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There are two reasons that data might not be available. One situation is that there is no existing data, nothing is sitting in “system” or there is no report that is easily accessible but it could still be collected manually. This is what we see most often. Most projects require some kind of manual data collection. That usually involves a Check Sheet of some kind and training for the person collecting the data, unless it’s the team lead. The other reason data might not be available is that there’s no way to get it. I gave the example of a proposed project to reduce the number of people who dropped off the website while opening an investment account. But since the people dropped off, there was no way to reach them and understand their reasons. In that case, the project isn’t viable even if you have a Sponsor.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.