Don’t Try and Solve World Hunger! Use the Pareto Chart to Manage Scope.


What can cause a Six Sigma Project to Have a Slow Agonizing Death? Not have a manageable scope!

Only about 35% of Six Sigma Projects are completed (and this is a conservative number).

Why? Because no one has educated the belt that it is improbable they will solve world hunger. This eventually leads to a permanently stalled project.

We teach our students that three of the most important words when it comes to Lean Six Sigma Project Scope are: focus, focus and focus!

You can’t solve world hunger but you have a greater likelihood of success if you focus on one small village.

Once you Improve, Optimize and Control hunger in that small village then we can translate the Improvements to the next village in our priority with subsequent “mult-generational projects”.

With each generation of projects to solve world hunger, each village gets easier. We can even expand our scope to Improving several villages at a once as we have encountered most of the variables in previous projects.

I’m guessing the question that is burning in your mind is “do I have to solve world hunger before I complete my project?”

The answer is “No”. Each generation of projects are considered their own project.

The best tool for understanding the optimal Scope for a Project is the Pareto Chart.

To use the Pareto Chart, we must first have data.

In this scenario, the belt has been given the task to reduce missed deliveries in the domestic U.S.

As Lean Six Sigma practitioners, we know that focusing on the larger problem will decrease our chance of success. We need to scope down to a project that we can manage.

Below is the data:


pareto chart


We need to see the data in a Graphical format, so now we produce the Pareto Chart.

In Minitab 17, the Pareto Chart is found at Stat > Quality Tools > Pareto Chart …

Fill in the Pareto Chart as seen in the picture below:


pareto chart


This will produce the following “Pareto Chart of City”:


pareto chart


The Pareto Chart shows you that Atlanta and Chicago are where 47.1% of Missed Shipments occur, yet they are only 2 out of the 11 cities.

This chart can help us reduce our scope to one or both cities.

We can then use further Pareto Charts to scope down on Counties or Districts within the Cities.

Remember, Focus, Focus and Focus!

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