Skill level: Basic


A storyboard is a display created and maintained by a project or process improvement team that tells the story of a project or initiative. The storyboard should be permanently displayed from the inception to the completion of the project in a location where it’s likely to be seen by a large number of associates and stakeholders impacted by the project. Storyboards can be printed or presented online.


  • Summarizes and visually displays the progress of the initiative
  • Powerful communication mechanism to the team and stakeholders
  • Documents the completion of the project
  • Can be used for any process improvement methodology, including lean, Six Sigma, plan-do-check-act (PDCA), and more
  • May be used in the future as a guide for similar projects

How to Use

  • Step 1.  Decide where the storyboard will be displayed and obtain permission in advance. Determine if the storyboard will be displayed on your intranet and/or the Internet and who will be responsible for maintaining it.
  • Step 2.  Develop a title for the project and include a statement of the problem.
  • Step 3.  Describe the problem and why it’s important. Select a chart to illustrate the current state that will be updated after the solution is implemented. Gather data to populate the chart.
  • Step 4.  Describe the current process (current state) with a flow chart or list of process steps.
  • Step 5.  Identify problems (root cause analysis) in the current state. Consider using a fishbone diagram.
  • Step 6.  List possible solutions examined and indicate the solution(s) implemented.
  • Step 7.  Collect the data and update the chart chosen in step 3.
  • Step 8.  Indicate final conclusions, limitations of the project, and potential future steps.

Relevant Definitions

Define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC): A process improvement methodology focused on effectiveness.

Lean: A process improvement methodology focused on efficiency.

Plan-do-check-act (PDCA): A basic process improvement methodology.


A generic DMAIC storyboard template outline is shown below.


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