Lean Management Systems


Project Prioritization

aka Project Prioritization template, Project Priority Matrix, Priority Matrix Project Management...


Project Prioritization Matrix

for Lean Six Sigma Opportunity Analysis

One popular use for your decision making template

is to analyze, select, and prioritize Lean Six Sigma projects


What should we work on next?

How to use your

Project Prioritization template

Decision Matrix template for project prioritization

Choose the right project priority matrix template

The training on this page assumes that you are using
your Decision Matrix Quadrant Chart (DecisionPICK.xlsx)

for the purpose of selecting and prioritizing Lean Six Sigma projects

You might, however, choose to use one of your other decision making tools

for either more or less thorough decision making analysis.

Follow the usual instructions for how to use your template

When you get to the steps where you choose factors affecting Impact and Effort...

then the training on this page will give you lots of ideas for factors that you might consider.

Project Priority Matrix

Project Selection Criteria — Impact

Potential Objectives for Lean Six Sigma Projects

Values List for Project Prioritization

Critical To Quality

Voice of the Customer

Change Management

X Matrix

Project Charter

After coming up with a long list of potential Objectives

(perhaps using brainstorming methods and/or your Values List template...)

then narrow down your list of Impact Objectives,
using the following list of potential considerations:

Customer Impact

Contribution to customer Critical to Quality factors.

Most of your objectives should come from your 'Critical To' analysis.

Critical To Quality, Critical To Delivery, Critical to Customer Satisfaction...

Are the expected benefits significant enough?

Perhaps use your templates for Voice of the Customer Analysis

Are there direct measurable benefits to specific key customers?

Itemize them.

Financial Impact

Ideally both hard dollars
and soft dollar impacts from customer satisfaction.


Is there a burning platform?

Are customers complaining or defecting?

Don't artificially invent a burning platform,
but if you face an honest potential crisis... use it for motivation.

Do all stakeholders agree this is a major problem?

Perhaps use your templates for stakeholder analysis.

Alignment with Strategic Objectives

Synergy (or conflict) with other existing and proposed initiatives.

How does each proposed Alternative contribute to this team's Hoshin Plan?

SWOT Analysis

How well does this project use or contribute to Strengths?
Avoid or shore up Weaknesses?
Take advantage of Opportunities?
Avoid or alleviate Threats?

Clear Scope and Boundaries

How well is the Project Charter scoped?

What are the risks that the scope of this project will creep?

Specific and Measurable

Are all Objectives and Targets narrowly defined, and objectively measurable?

Not 'improve delivery time', but perhaps 'average 2 day lead time'.
Not 'reduce defects', but perhaps 'specific defect < 10 pmo'

Project Prioritization Matrix

Project Prioritization Criteria — Effort

Potential Factors affecting Achievability

Decision Matrix chart type

The very first instruction for using your Decision Matrix template

is to use the dropdown list to choose either:

  1. Impact Effort, or
  2. Effective Achievable

The following list of potential factors affecting Achievability assumes that you chose 'Effective Achievable'.

If your chose 'Impact Effort', then you will need to rephrase all criteria so that a lower score is more desirable.

Lower Effort is more desirable.

Higher Achievability is more desirable.

Enthusiasm of Leadership

Enthusiasm of Executive Sponsor Change Agent

Enthusiasm of Project Leader and Team

Enthusiasm of all Stakeholders affected by the project

Or stated the opposite for 'Effort'...

How much effort might be needed to counter potential resistance?

Again... use your Change Management tools

Team Availability

Ocean Liner

How easy is it to turn your ship?

Who is needed for which proposed Alternatives?

What is their availability?

Resource Availability

What resources are needed?

What is their availability?

How much investment is needed?

Data Availability

What data is needed?

Does that data exist?

How easily can it be obtained?

Use your Voice of the Customer Data Collection template

Control of Variables and Risks

To what degree does this team have control over the possibility that the project will not yield desired results?

Customer? Nature? Are all variables known?

Will a cross-functional team be required? Are all areas of the value stream adequately involved and committed?


Is this process stable?

Not just SPC, but also consider leadership and other factors.

Is it expected to remain stable?

Or are potential changes on the horizon?

If not stable... then the only acceptable type of project is a 'Just Do It'.

See types of projects below.

Probability of Successful Implementation

Anything other factors that might affect successful implementation?


Return to Decision Matrix training


Project Prioritization

Project Type

Additional Considerations

At the bottom of your Impact Effort Matrix

there is a section for 'Other Considerations'

In addition to Impact and Effort,
another major consideration is...

What type of approach might be best for each proposed project?

You can easily define your own dropdown list of your own project types

on the DV sheet...

(the same way that you define dropdown lists in all of your other 150+ templates)

Types of Lean Six Sigma Projects

Just Do It

One Good Idea Storyboard

Leader Standard Work

Value Stream Map

Standard Work Audit

SQDC Quality

Control Chart template



Root Cause Map

A3 Report

Event Checklist

Gantt Chart

Job Instructions


To quickly implement an obviously good idea
perhaps using your One Good Idea template
or perhaps using Jidoka swarming
or perhaps just handle it as part of Leader Standard Work

If there is already an obvious good solution

then JDI is the only correct approach.

Every one of the other approaches (listed below)
are only appropriate if there is doubt
that an initial 'shoot-from-the-hip' proposal
might not turn out to be the best solution after all.

Value Stream Event


To improve flow between processes in a value stream,
and accomplish any or all of the other purposes of value stream mapping

Lean Methods


To improve flow within each process
and accomplish any or all of the other purposes of lean process improvement

If your value stream has not yet passed the acid test for lean transformation

then there really shouldn't be any debate.

Your priorities for that value stream should be focused on
lean flow, visual management, and standard work.

If you don't have those things in place, then anything else that you try is just going to soon be a distant failed memory anyway... so why start?

DMAIC Six Sigma


To improve reliability and quality
using the DMAIC method and Six Sigma tools

If your problem is complex enough to require a certified Black Belt

because you suspect interrelationships between multiple Y variables,
then it's time to dig in and authorize the time and cost
of a lengthy, complicated Six Sigma project.

If there are any simpler hypotheses
that might be resolved using the Green Belt level
Seven Basic Tools of Quality... then try those first!

Design for Six Sigma


To develop a new or improved product or service
perhaps using the DMADV method and DFSS tools
or perhaps using Process Engineering
or (most commonly) using DFMEA and PMFEA

Root Cause Analysis


To identify root causes of a problem

If there is not yet consensus about root causes

then it is often wise to authorize a project with the scope
limited to the mission of identifying root causes...

before authorizing a larger project to 'solve the problem'.

After thorough Root Cause Analysis,
the subsequent 'solution' phase might be a simple 'Just Do It'.

A3 Problem Solving


To thoroughly and systematically solve an important problem

If your organization is going to use only one problem solving method

then A3 problem solving is probably the right choice.

It is flexible, robust, and time-efficient,
and is easily mentored and managed.

Kaizen Event


To radically improve a process in a very short amount of time

If you have the luxury of locking several high-level people in a room for several days

then the best way to make big changes quickly is a Kaizen Event.

Lengthy Project


Traditional project management tools

If you need to move facilities, or merge and acquisition, or plan the Christmas party...

the Gantt Chart is not dead.

Training & Education


To increase awareness and competence with Lean Training & Education

To train and mentor people to do things the same way every time
(whether or not your organization is officially ISO 9000 certified)


Process Improvement Programs

In addition to the types of Lean Six Sigma projects (listed above),

many organizations also have on-going Process Improvement Programs

They are on-going... endless... They don't have a defined ending.

Strategic Planning & Alignment

Strategies worksheet

X Matrix

PDCA Coacing

5S Scorecard

Prioritization Matrix


To do periodic strategic planning, (perhaps at multiple Hoshin levels),
and then to effectively coordinate and deploy
those strategically aligned initiatives.

Improvement Kata / Coaching Kata


To consistently and systematically apply PDCA problem solving
throughout multiple layers of management.

We reluctantly put this in the 'Programs' section

because each new Strategic Objective is essentially a mini-project,
but one of the primary differentiators of the Kata approach
is that it tends to be deployed with quasi-religious fervor

and the instant that one problem is solved,
each team is encouraged to actively seek another new target



To establish habits and culture to reveal problems

Hidden problems can't be solved

and 5S is usually a cornerstone program in most lean organizations

Preventive Maintenance


To identify, reduce, and eliminate causes of downtime

TPM is usually an ongoing program; not a one-time project.

Lean Management Systems


To coach and develop lean leadership
using Lean Management Systems

Task Prioritization

Once you have selected your projects, you need to manage them.

Your Systems2win templates also empower you with several Project Management Tools

to prioritize and manage tasks in several popular, field-proven ways.

Project Prioritization template

and 150+ templates to empower your team leaders


to lead ANY type of project
or program for process improvement



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