Data Collection Plan: How to Create It in 8 Steps
A Data Collection Plan is created during each phase of the Six Sigma Method’s DMAIC framework. It is useful to know what areas you should be focusing your efforts on, if you have Six Sigma Green Belt training. It is a detailed document that outlines the exact steps and the sequence required to gather the data for a Six Sigma project.
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Green Belt training is a great way to learn more about the DMAIC process and how Data Collection Plans fit into it, beyond what we will be discussing here.
A Data Collection Plan ensures everyone involved in Six Sigma projects is on the same page regarding the data plan. This plan ensures that the information is properly channeled to the appropriate stakeholders within the organization who will help us with our data needs. The plan’s purpose is to ensure that data are valid and meaningfully collected and that all relevant data are simultaneously collected, the Xs as well as the Ys.
A Data Collection Plan is necessary because we want to save resources and not waste time collecting data that is not relevant to the project. A Data Collection Plan allows us to focus our efforts on specific questions that have business value. This focused approach to data collection with a Data Collection Plan allows us to avoid just finding and measuring data for the sake of it.
How to create a Data Collection Plan Six Sigma
1) Identify the questions you want to answer
First, identify the questions you want to answer. Your data must be relevant to your project. A DMAIC project’s purpose is to improve a process. These questions should focus on the current state of affairs and status quo of the process. It is best to use the SIPOC chart as a guide when collecting data. We must also determine the type of metrics or measurements we want to include.
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2) Determine the type of data available
The second step in creating your Data Collection Plan is to determine what data you can collect. What data is available that can provide all the answers? Sometimes, one piece of data may provide multiple answers. You should make a list of all the data points needed to answer the questions you are focusing on.
3) Determine how many data are needed
The third step in creating Data Collection Plans is to decide how many data we need. We need enough data to see patterns and trends. Write down the actual data needed for each data element.
4) Decide how to measure the data
The fourth step in creating data collection plans is to determine how we will measure the data. Data can be measured in many ways, including check sheets, survey responses, and other methods. The type of data we are looking will determine the way we measure it.
5) Decide who will collect the data
The fifth step in creating data collection plans is to decide who will collect the data. The data can also be collected using automated software. To ensure that the data is correct and available, we may need to communicate with the software developer.
6) Decide where the data will come from
The sixth step is to determine where the data will be collected. This is the process of deciding on the source and location of data. It does not refer to any particular physical location. It refers to the location of the process. The data collection plan should clearly state where data must be collected.
7) Decide whether you want to measure a sample of the entire population or just a portion.
The seventh step is to decide if you want to sample the data. Sometimes it is impossible to measure the entire population.