Track and monitor on an ongoing basis
Before the control plan moves forward, the project team needs to ask and answer
several important tactical questions about its implementation:
• Who owns the control plan?
• Who will monitor the process for lapses in adherence? What are the specific
actions that should be taken to document and resolve failures to follow the new
• What specific steps should be taken to trigger a holistic review to inform
necessary decisions to provide further communication, training, or
documentation to stakeholders?
• What automated control mechanisms prevent the process from reverting back to
the “before” picture? What data is captured and collected by these mechanisms
and who will monitor and review these outputs to measure ongoing adherence?
Build a culture of continuous improvement
As the team winds down the application of DMAIC, members need to consider
what part of the process should be reexamined, and when, to ensure continuous
However, a number of factors might indicate the need for the process owner to test
whether the newly designed process might require some adjustments or additional
enablement and training support to expand control mechanisms to drive ongoing
adherence and acceptance. One example is the integration of new staff or new outside
service providers; if the law department is seeing active turnover in either area, the
process owner should consider a related project to improve onboarding protocols for
new team members and new outside service providers.
The creation of a new business unit or some other change in the business environment
may also call for a new round of VOCs to capture any new requirements or to help
initiate necessary dialogue and enablement for new internal clients.
Creating a continuous feedback loop with clients by asking what you’re doing well and
what you could be doing better helps to trigger ongoing discussions. Even a quarterly
process creates a backdrop where internal clients and stakeholders know you’re
measuring and watching, and that tends to improve performance. When you stop
asking and measuring, people may slide back into old, bad habits.