Starting a project

"Well begun , is half done". Starting a project , finding the right problem to work on can be tricky .

Choose from the below tools and techniques by clicking on the link in the box

Problem Definition

Helps you define and agree on the problem

See Problem Statement

Team Charter

Get going with complete information on Team Charter


To understand and communicate high level view of a process

use COPIS 

CTQ Tree

A version of tree diagram to help you find right metrics to work on is CTQ Tree


You can use any of these methods to find specific areas to work on - brainstorming techniques


A risk management tool to identify areas to work on and to manage project risk


Problem Statement / Problem definition

To solve a problem or to start a project, with a team, you first need to arrive at an agreement, what is the problem you are trying to solve. 

This in fact is true in our personal lives as well. 

Problem statement helps you write the problem in a manner which ensures all necessary facts are captured. This makes it easy for you to arrive at a consensus on the problem.

Its a statement that conveys the description of the issue at hand in a concise manner

Read on more about - when to use a problem statement, how to write a problem statement and see an example 

Team charter 

When starting any project , it is necessary that information like -

  • what are we here to do ( problem statement),

  • where do we want to go ( goal statement) ,

  • why are we doing this ( business case),

  • whats our scope 

  • by when , how ( milestones and method) ,

  • who all are involved and their roles (ARMI) 

Is captured and agreed upon by the team. 

Team charter is a document that provides purpose, goals & direction for a project team

Read on more about - how to write a team charter , download template

COPIS - High level process view

Expanded as Customer - Output - Process - Input - Supplier

Also known as SIPOC , same expansion just the other way .around. COPIS is used here - to keep the focus on customer.

COPIS is an integral part of an improvement project, specifically DMAIC. 

Its a high level process map, helps you quickly understand the process at a high level and also present the same to others

How do COPIS and download the template

CTQ (Critical to Quality) Tree

Critical to Quality / Key Performance Indicator tree - used to start from a broad CTQ/ KPI Or a customer desire and then break it down to the area/KPIs that has most impact and you want to work on to do the project ( see example)

Its a diagram that presents hierarchical view from the goal / question till a certain level.

A tree diagram is a great visual and thinking tool, and is used for variety of reasons - task mapping, decision, probability tree , to show logical break down of an argument. 

It also is task mapping tool for implementation. You start with a goal and then break into detailed actions, that would be required for implementation

See examples and "how to" of tree diagrams here 


To work on a project, you need a team, a problem and a sponsor - Brainstorming is great tool to connect them all. Brainstorming can be used to come up with ideas on which projects to do and then prioritization tools can help you pick the one that you finally work on. 

Brainstorming is a tool that can be used at the start to settle team rules, then for find probable causes and solutions. So to me , its a tool that should be mastered by all trying to do a project 

Its a team oriented method, where the team together creatively thinks and shares freely on the topic

Learn about how to brainstorm, various types and rules here 

FMEA - Failure Mode Effect Analysis

FMEA is a risk management tool, used to find your biggest risk areas for the chosen area. It helps us find, prioritize, risk areas to work upon as a project. FMEA, like brainstorming , can throw up several project areas. 

Learn about how to do FMEA here