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Issue Statement

An Issue Statement describes the purpose of an improvement project in terms that supports clear measurement and provides a focus for the improvement work, e.g.

  • Decrease the shelf time of part-completed assemblies
  • Increase customer satisfaction across all PL45 projects
  • Reduce customer complaints about delays in shipments
  • Increase on-time arrival of trains at all stations

The statement has three parts.

  1. Change: this indicates which direction the measurement should go, up or down.
  2. Variable: something that is to be changed, and is an indicator of quality.
  3. Object: Description of something to which the variable applies, typically a process or item.

Note that there is no target included. If necessary, this may be added as a separate statement, although sometimes giving the objective of changing something can result in a far better improvement being made than was expected. Targets can thus, paradoxically, be limiting as the people working in the project reach the target and stop thinking about improvements.

See also:

SMAET Objectives

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