Toolkit for Phase 1 - DEFINE (Project Definition)

The following tools will help you complete the DEFINE Phase of a Process Improvement Project (PIP). The tools are listed in alphabetical order.

There are two tables below. The first table lists general tools you may reference at any time while completing the Phase. The second table lists tools related to specific Steps in the Phase.


General Tools
Tool Description When to Use
DEFINE Phase Role / Responsibility Matrix This tool will help you understand the roles/responsibilities of individuals and groups during the DEFINE Phase and each step in the Phase. Phase 1 — DEFINE (Project Definition)
Deliverables Checklist This tool will help you determine if you have completed all the deliverables applicable to a step. It will also help you plan by looking ahead to see the outcomes of future steps. There is a template with this tool. Phase 1 — DEFINE (Project Definition)
Glossary of Terms This tool will help you define unfamiliar terms. There is a template with this tool. Phase 1 — DEFINE (Project Definition)
Process Improvement Project Management Map This is a project management tool. It lists all the ePIP steps with their corresponding outcomes, importance and roles responsible for completing each step. It also has columns for entering “Scheduled Completion” and “Date Completed” for each step. There is a template with this tool. Phase 1 — DEFINE (Project Definition)
Supersystem Map The Supersystem Map is used to help understand, analyze, improve and manage the organization’s relationships with its external environment. There is a template with this tool. Phase 1 — DEFINE (Project Definition)
Specific Tools
Tool Description When to Use
Communication to Interviewees (DEFINE) This tool will help you prepare a communication to the Steering Team and other interviewees who will participate in the interviews conducted during the DEFINE Phase. There is a template with this tool. Step 3—DEFINE Interviews Planned and Conducted
Critical Business Issue This tool will help you prepare the case for change that will be communicated to everyone involved in the project, and possibly the entire organization. Step 4—Project Goals Defined
Critical Process Issues This tool will help you answer the question, "What is it about the process that must be improved to have a positive effect on the Critical Business Issue?" Step 4—Project Goals Defined
Critical Process Profile This tool will help you understand the process at a high-level—where the process starts and ends, what other processes provide input or receive output from the process, and the supplier and customer of the process. This tool includes a template that can be used during interviews to direct questions around critical processes. Step 4—Project Goals Defined
Design Team Support Requirements This tool will help you understand potential support requirements for the Design Team throughout the PIP. The Steering Team may refer to this tool when determining and reviewing the appropriate level of support for the Design Team. Step 7—Project Plan Developed
Function Relationship Map This tool will help you depict the functions (departments) in the organization and their input/output relationships. The purpose of this map is to help analyze, improve, manage and design the organization's functional relationships. There is a template with this tool.

Step 5—Project Scope Defined and Validated

Milestones for a Project Plan This tool will help you understand the key milestones that may apply to a PIP. Use these key milestones in developing a high-level Project Plan that is entered into a PDW. Step 7—Project Plan Developed
IT Application Profile This tool will help you show the importance of an Information Technology (IT) application to the Critical Business Issue and reveals impacts on a PIP’s resource requirements, budget and schedule, business case, and risks. This tool includes a template that can be used as a questioning guide during interviews when IT applications play a role in the project. There is a template with this tool. Step 5—Project Scope Defined and Validated
Organization Style Assessment This tool will help you create an overview of current organizational characteristics that may need to be addressed or changed as you move toward implementing the redesigned process. The tool can also be used to compare different functional group profiles and to identify where there may be resistance or friction between groups. As you begin planning for Implementation, having the current organization profiled and the SHOULD organization conceptualized will help you identify gaps that need to be addressed. This tool collects data during the Define and IS Phases that is then incorporated into tasks during the SHOULD and Implementation Phases. There is a template with this tool. Step 3—DEFINE Interviews Planned and Conducted
Process Inventory A Process Inventory is a list of the major processes in the organization. It is a useful input to profiling processes and developing a Process Relationship Map (PRM). There is a template with this tool. Step 3—DEFINE Interviews Planned and Conducted

Step 3—DEFINE Interviews Planned and Conducted

 

Step 5—Project Scope Defined and Validated

Process Relationship Map This tool will help you develop a picture of the input/output relationships between the major work processes in an organization. It will help you understand and display the network of processes required to conduct the business. It will also identify how other processes affect or are impacted by a specific process selected for improvement. There are two templates with this tool. Step 5—Project Scope Defined and Validated
Project Constraints and Assumptions This tool will help you understand the potential limitations placed on resources available for a PIP (e.g., organizational boundaries within which the project must stay). Steering Team members may reference this document when preparing and reviewing the list of Project Constraints and Assumptions in the PDW. Step 5—Project Scope Defined and Validated
Project Definition Worksheet This tool will help you document the key deliverable of the DEFINE Phase of a PIP—The Project Definition Worksheet. The PDW defines the purpose and scope of the project. It is approved and signed by the Steering Team, Project Sponsor and Process Owner and will serve as the contract between the Facilitator, the Steering Team and the Process Owner. It is also the blueprint used by the Design Team as they complete the IS and SHOULD Phases of the project. There is a template with this tool. Step 3—DEFINE Interviews Planned and Conducted
Project Definition Worksheet Review and Approval Meeting Memo This tool will help you customize a memo inviting the Steering Team to the PDW Review and Approval Meeting conducted at the conclusion of the DEFINE Phase. There is a template with this tool. Step 8—Project Definition Worksheet Reviewed and Approved
Project Goals This tool will help you develop goals for how the organization wants the process to perform. Step 4—Project Goals Defined
Project Plan This tool will help you list the major activities and deliverables associated with the IS and SHOULD Phases of a PIP. Step 7—Project Plan Developed
Project Risks and Countermeasures This tool will help you assess the potential risks to the project and the actions you should take to minimize or avoid those risks. Step 5—Project Scope Defined and Validated
Project Teams Profile This tool will help you build the project infrastructure for the project. The often unstated assumption is that we believe people closest to the work must be key players in the PIP. The objective is to have all key stakeholders represented in a meaningful way in the project. Step 6—Project Teams Defined
Sponsorship Scorecard This tool will help engage a group of people in active participation or sponsorship of a project. Because sponsorship can occur at different levels in an organization and with different groups of people, this tool can be modified and used at a number of points throughout the process improvement project. There is a template with this tool. Step 8—Project Definition Worksheet Reviewed and Approved
Stakeholder Profile This tool will help you profile Stakeholders and their relationship to the target process. Step 5—Project Scope Defined and Validated
Summary of Project Team Roles This tool will help you understand the teams involved in a typical PIP. The Steering Team and Process Owner may refer to this tool when determining and reviewing project team membership. Step 6—Project Teams Defined