All posts by Eric Dayal

Project-Kickoff-Presentation.pptx

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This is a Project Kickoff Presentation that can be used for a variety of project types.  It is intended to be used at a project kickoff meeting with relevant stakeholders, project sponsors, and project team members present.  The meeting is typically led by the project manager or a project sponsor. The tone of the meeting should be motivating to encourage interest and commitment to the project. Depending on the size of the project, the meeting can be between one and two hours, including time for questions. The kickoff meeting provides high level information about the project and does not get into granular details of the project implementation. The slides are in wide screen format.

This project kickoff presentation includes slides for:

  • Goals
  • Benefits
  • Assumptions
  • Scope
  • Project Team
  • Groups Impacted
  • Key Dates and Milestones
  • Implementation Plan
  • Risks and Mitigation
  • Communication Plan
  • Next Steps

Each of the items above should be well planned and thought out prior to the project kickoff. It is common to involve key project members in the creation of the project kickoff presentation content to ensure accuracy and that a wide variety of perspectives have been accounted for. It is also wise to discuss some of the information above with key project sponsors and stakeholders prior to the kickoff meeting to avoid any major disapproval in the meeting. Time should be allotted throughout the presentation or at the end for questions and discussion. Discussion items that are very detailed or are taking too much time should be tabled by the meeting leader, and he/she should assign someone to follow up on that topic after the meeting.

This project kickoff presentation can also be used later in the project if new team members are brought on board.  The presentation can be shared with them to help them get up to speed quickly on the details of the project.

 

5w2h.docx

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This is a document for 5W2H problem analysis.  The 5W2H is often used in lean and six sigma process improvement initiatives to help bring clarity to the problems and concerns with the current process.  It is also used in Problem Statement definition as a way to get alignment across stakeholders on the current situation.

5W2H stands for:

  • Who – Who is impacted?  Which people, groups, departments are involved?
  • What – What is issue/concern/problem is occurring?
  • When – What is the timeframe for which the issue has been occurring? When did it begin?
  • Where – Where is the issue/concern occurring?  Is it isolated to certain areas?
  • Why – Why is it a problem?  Why do we care about it?
  • How – How is this done today?  How do we know it is a problem?
  • How Many – How frequently does the issue occur?  Hourly?  Weekly?  Yearly?

The 5W2H is typically used at the beginning of a project. It should be completed before root cause analysis. The exercise of going through each item in the analysis is typically more valuable than the completed document. Often times, the result of the 5W2H analysis is a problem statement that can be used in the “head” of a fishbone diagram during root cause analysis.

Project-Charter-Template.docx

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This is a versatile, professional project charter template that can be used for projects of all different types. The template is fairly detailed. Sections that are not needed for certain projects can be removed. The project charter is usually created by the Project Manager early in the Project Management Life Cycle.

The project charter can be used to “pitch” or “sell” the project to executives or leaders who will decide whether or not to fund the project. It is also used to communicate project details to resource managers who will decide whether or not to commit their team members to the project. Once approved, the project charter authorizes work to commence on the project and gives authority to the project manager to lead the project. Additionally, all project team members should be familiar with the project charter prior to beginning work. This helps ensure that all team members understand the objectives and benefits the team is working towards, as well as what is in and out of scope.

This project charter template includes sections for:

  • Project Overview
  • Objectives and Expected Benefits
  • Problem Description
  • Root Causes
  • Solution Proposal
  • Scope Details
  • Project Milestones
  • Team Members
  • Project Costs
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Communication Plan
  • Additional Details

The project charter is also a great resource to help bring new project team members up to speed who join the project after the initial kick off.

Context-Level-DFD-with-Groupings.vsd

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This is a Visio template for a Context Level DFD (Data Flow Diagram).  A Context Level DFD is often used in system analysis and IT projects to help determine scope.  Typically, the name of the project or the system that is being worked on is put into the middle circle.

The boxes connecting to the middle circle are people, groups, departments, processes and other systems that will interact with your project.  The connecting lines describe what input (information, business rules, etc) are being provided to you and what output you are providing to the other entities.

This Context Level DFD provides groupings of the connecting entities to help organize the document.  This is useful anytime a group of entities share the same inputs or outputs.

It is important to complete the Context Level DFD early in the project.  The connecting entities need to be aware and in agreement with the changes you are making since they will be impacted.  The connecting entities are often considered stakeholders of your project.

The colors, green, yellow and red are used to demonstrate what connection points are in scope and out of scope for the given phase or duration of the project.  

Context-Level-DFD.vsd

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This is a Visio template for a Context Level DFD (Data Flow Diagram).  A Context Level DFD is often used in system analysis and IT projects to help determine scope.  Typically, the name of the project or the system that is being worked on is put into the middle circle.

The boxes connecting to the middle circle are people, groups, departments, processes and other systems that will interact with your project.  The connecting lines describe what input (information, business rules, etc) are being provided to you and what output you are providing to the other entities.

It is important to complete the Context Level DFD early in the project.  The connecting entities need to be aware and in agreement with the changes you are making since they will be impacted.  The connecting entities are often considered stakeholders of your project.

It is considered a best practice to only document one step out from the middle circle.  The inputs and outputs between a connecting entity and their stakeholders are not typically included in the Context Level DFD as that entity is responsible for managing and understanding all of their own connection points. This also prevents the diagram from becoming over complicated.

The colors, green, yellow and red are used to demonstrate what connection points are in scope and out of scope for the given phase or duration of the project.

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SIPOC-Visio-Template.vsd

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Using this SIPOC Visio Diagram, you can create a more visually appealing SIPOC.  Instead of using simple boxes to represent Suppliers and Customers, you can use people shapes that visually depict the work they do. This SIPOC Visio Diagram highlights a handful of different Visio shapes you can use.  To find additional people shapes to represent the Suppliers and Customers, use the “Departments” Visio stencil found under the Flowchart category.

Other shapes can be found by searching in Visio using the search Shapes box or by navigating through the “More Shapes” menu.

SIPOC stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers. The Visio SIPOC Diagram can be used in Lean and Six Sigma process improvement projects to:

  • Define the stakeholders of a process (suppliers and customers)
  • Define the scope and boundaries of the process
  • Provide a high level overview of the process
  • Understand how process outputs serve the end customer
    • This template was built using Visio 2010, but will likely work in versions as early as 2007.

       

Example-Cross-Functional-Flow-Chart-Diagram.vsd

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This is an example Cross Functional Flow Chart Diagram built in Visio.  Note that not all Microsoft Office installations come with Visio.

The flow chart includes the following shapes:

  • Rectangle for a process step
  • Diamond for a decision
  • Tube for start and end shapes
  • Annotation for comments
  • Rectangle with a curve for a Document
  • Rectangle with two vertical stripes for a pre-defined process (sub process)
  • Separator (vertical line) to distinguish phases of the process
  • A cloud shape to indicate unclear or uncertain steps in the process

This example is of an IT system release process and has three swim lanes. Additional lanes can be added as needed from the “Cross Functional Flowchart Shapes” stencil. Coloring has been added to the separators to help visually indicate when you are moving from one phase of the process to the next. Additional coloring suggestions include red for process steps that require attention, and yellow for the creation or update of a document.  

PICK-Chart.xlsx

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Most PICK Chart templates require you to manually place the idea onto the chart.  This template uses the Scatter Chart functionality in Excel to automatically place the ideas on the chart for you based on the the values you enter for Impact and Effort.  0 is the minimum value (low) and 3 is the maximum value (high)

The PICK Chart is a Lean/Six Sigma tool used to help prioritize ideas.  The X axis represents the Effort to implement an idea while the Y axis represents the expected Impact.  

Four quadrants are displayed in the PICK Chart:

  • Possible – ideas that are considered "low hanging fruit". The effort to implement is low, but the impact is also low.  These should only be implemented after everything in the "Implement" quadrant.
  • Implement – ideas that should be implemented as they will have a high impact and requrie low effort
  • Challenge – ideas that should be considered for implementation after everything in the "Implement" column.  The impact is high, but the effort is also high. 
  • Kill – ideas that should be "killed" or not implemented.  The effort to do so is high and the impact is low.  

A PICK Chart is typically used in a Lean/Six Sigma project after Problem Identification Waste Analysis and Root Cause Analysis.  

IT-Project-Plan-Template.xlsx

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This IT Project Plan template is intended for small IT projects, roughly 3-6 months.  It has the basic tasks of a project already populated for the Project Manager, Business Analyst and Developer/Programmer.

Additionally, it has places for the Status of each tasks, Start Date, End Date, Duration, and Owner.  The Duration field calculates automatically based on the Start & End Date of the Task.

Be careful with the Status field.  What you enter into this field determines the color of the entire row.  You may enter: Not Started, In Progress, Delayed, Completed, Milestone or (Phase).

Since this is a template for smaller IT projects, it does not provide functionality for Dependencies, a Gantt Chart, etc.  For those types of features, consider using MS Project or another tool instead of Excel.

Cross-Functional-Flow-Chart-Diagram.vsd

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This is a template for a simple Cross Functional Flow Chart Diagram (also known as a Cross Functional Process Flow Diagram). Note that it is built in Microsoft Visio, VSD format.  Visio does not come with most Microsoft Office installations.

Cross Functional Flow Chart Diagrams are used to illustrate processes that are performed by two or more parties.  The process steps are separated by “swim lanes” designating which party performs which step.

This template uses the basic flow chart diagram symbols:

  •     Rectangle for a Process Step
  •     Diamond for a Decision Step
  •     Tube for the Start and End Steps
  •     Annotation for Comments

To make the chart larger, drag the edges to extend the working space to the amount needed.


An example of this template in use can be found here.