Recently, my wife told me “You’re a project manager and a black belt. Why don’t you apply Lean Six Sigma to a family project?” Basically she asked for my guidance to clean and organize our home with DMAIC framework.
This interested me very much and gave me hope. We have 6-year old twin daughters and my wife is not a very organized person. Therefore, we usually don’t have a neat and tidy home. I’m a very organized person, so I usually clean a mess completely, but I’m not a stay-at-home dad – I work outside the home all day – so the mess continues.
Even so, on weekends I had offered to help her organize several times, but it usually ended up in a little argument. She doesn’t like the topic and husbandly advice. However, since my wife has read my blog recently, she became interested in LSS and welcomed professional advice. This is the first time in our 18 years of marriage regarding this topic.
In the Define Phase, the most important thing is to complete a project charter. We decided to name the project the “Crap Creep Elimination Project”. I like the name. Our project charter template has a “Business Case” section, on which we are supposed to explain the background of the project. We discussed about it, then we had a huge disagreement. It didn’t help anything, so I just deleted the whole section.
My wife is kind of an idealist and perfectionist. When we talked about project scope, she had so many things that she wanted to accomplish. We were already falling into “Scope Creep”, so I narrowed it to something realistic and practical.
Now, when we discussed about project team members, she said she wanted to be a stakeholder, which sounded like she was top management. So was I going to be the only project team member and clean everything up by myself? I managed to accomplish proper positioning with myself as team leader and her as team member.
Define Phase, especially making a project charter, is very important as I mentioned before. Let’s imagine what would happen between us without it on this project. Both of us would have had tremendous stress and arguments!
Unfortunately, though, we’ve only just started. We still have an entire apartment of untidyness to deal with.