DMAIC Six Sigma Methodology

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What is DMAIC Six Sigma Methodology

DMAIC is the process improvement  methodology in Six sigma DMAIC (which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) is a data driven methodologies which is used for improving current process. Six sigma methodology consist of 5 phases.

Define Phase

DEFINE phase is the 1st phase of Six sigma .The goals of the define phase is to define the problem. So now let us understand about the Define Phase Before we go into the details, Let us first understand all the steps one by one.

 Step 1: Identify problem. You can use 5W1H to define the problem correctly. 5W1H includes

  • Why : Why are you doing this project ?
  • What : What are you going to get out of this project ?
  • When : When are you going to start and end this project
  • Who : Who are the stakeholders and project team ?
  • Where : Where will the improvement be implemented ?
  • How : How are you going to work on this project ?

Step 2: Define Goal statement : Make sure Goal you select are SMART goals. SMART is a short acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound

Step 3: Defining the project scope : What is in Scope and what is out of scope. This helps in deciding later whether there is a project scope creep or not

Step 4: Develop a Business Case. Business case help to define need to do this project. What are the benefits, cost and Risk involved . It is a part of Project charter

Step 5: Develop a Project Charter. It identifies, key milestones, deliverables, estimated timelines , key stakeholders etc. The project charter is ideally created by the Project initiator – the person who came up with the initial idea for the project. Project charter is signed by the Project Sponsor .

Step 6: Form a project Team : Now it is time to define the project team. There are 5 stages in forming a team which includes Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning.

Step 7: Define the CTQ’s : Define CTQ which are critical drivers to function and safety of product.

Measure Phase

Measure phase is the 2nd phase of Six sigma. Next set up critical parameters to judge how success or failure of the project is ? This phase is very important, but it can be, I would say, the most difficult phase as well.

Let us first understand all the steps one by one.

Step 1: Baseline the current process : So in order to define your baseline, you have to perform some of the analysis. Against this baseline, we are going to see how we have improved.

Step 2: Collect the data :   Do you have data already available or you have to collect the fresh data. if you already have the data, you can go ahead.  But if you don’t have the data then first activity is to plan for Data Collection. You can use primary or secondary data collection methods.

Step 3: Validate Measurement system : Once you have collected the data, it is time to know whether the data you have collected is good enough or not. Can you rely on this data or no  or go ahead and perform the analysis? If not, then validate your measurement system also called as MSA.

Step 4: Determine Process Capability : Okay, now let us accept, that the data we collected is authenticate and we have already perform the Measurement System Analysis. Now what next ? Check the process capability, we calculate Cp and Cpk.

Step 5: Update Project Charter :  Finally, we update our project charter based on above information.

Analyze Phase

Analyze phase is the 3rd phase of Six sigma. Main aim is to figure out the Root cause.  You can represent the data graphically either using flow charts or using Value stream mapping. Let’s see each step separately in Analyze phase.

Step 1: Identify the root cause of the problem: It is recommended to deal with root causes rather than surface problems. You can use either 5Why analysis or Root Cause analysis tool to identify the root cause analysis.

Step 2: Closely examine the process :

Step 3: Verify the root cause of the Problem

Step 4: Update Project Charter as needed.

Improve Phase

Improve phase is the 4th phase of Six sigma. Now change the current process into the ideal process that was designed in the previous analyze phase. Let’s see each step separately in Improve phase.

Step 1: Brainstorm Solutions : Use brainstorming session to arrive at multiple solutions. Use affinity diagram once Brainstorming is completed to sort the ideas.

Step 2: Select practical and best solutions from the above selected brainstorming solutions.

Step 3: Implement the best solutions

Step 4: Measure to ensure improvement

Control Phase

Control phase is the 5th phase of Six sigma. Let’s see each step separately in control phase

Step 1: Ensure the process is managed and monitored . See if there some special cause of variations

Step 2: Document the Improved process. We can control through Control plan.

Step 3: Apply improvements to other Areas

Step 4: Share and celebrate your success

Watch this animated YouTube video for details :



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