DMAIC Six Sigma Methodology


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 :

DMAIC Six sigma Case Study

Case Study 1:

A manufacturing company, ABC Inc., produces electronic components for the automotive industry. The company had received a large number of customer complaints about defective components, which were causing delays in the production process and affecting the company’s reputation. The company decided to use the DMAIC methodology to address this issue.

Define: In this stage, the company defined the problem, goals, and objectives. The team identified the problem as “increased customer complaints about defective components.” The goal was to reduce customer complaints by 50% within six months.

Measure: In this stage, the team collected data to understand the problem and the process. They used data from the production line and customer feedback to identify the most common defects. The team identified five critical defects that were causing the majority of customer complaints. They used statistical tools to measure the defect rate and establish a baseline for improvement.

Analyze: In this stage, the team analyzed the data to identify the root cause of the problem. They used tools such as the Fishbone diagram, Pareto chart, and Histogram to identify the main causes of defects. The analysis showed that the root causes of the defects were related to the quality of the raw materials, the skill level of the operators, and the maintenance of the production equipment.

Improve: In this stage, the team developed and implemented solutions to address the root causes of the problem. The team identified the best practices for selecting and testing raw materials, trained the operators on the new procedures, and implemented a preventive maintenance program for the production equipment. They also set up a quality control process to ensure that the components met the required specifications.

Control: In this stage, the team monitored the process and established controls to sustain the improvements. They implemented a statistical process control system to monitor the process, set up a regular review process to ensure the quality control procedures were being followed, and created a plan for ongoing maintenance of the equipment.

Results: After implementing the solutions, the team measured the results and found that the defect rate had decreased by 60%, surpassing the goal of 50% reduction. The number of customer complaints also decreased significantly, and the company’s reputation improved. The company continued to monitor the process and sustain the improvements to ensure long-term success.

In summary, the DMAIC methodology helped ABC Inc. identify the root causes of the problem, develop and implement effective solutions, and establish controls to sustain the improvements. By doing so, the company was able to improve the quality of its overall performance.

Case Study 2:

Company X is a manufacturer of electronic components. Their manufacturing process has been experiencing a high defect rate, resulting in a significant loss of revenue due to the need for rework and customer returns. In order to address this issue, the company decided to use the DMAIC Six Sigma methodology to improve their process.

Define: The team started by defining the problem and creating a project charter. The problem was identified as the high defect rate in the manufacturing process, and the project charter included a clear statement of the problem, the goals of the project, and the expected benefits of the improvement. The team also identified the stakeholders and the key metrics that would be used to measure the success of the project.

Measure: The next step was to measure the current process performance. The team collected data on the defect rate, and used statistical analysis to identify the root cause of the defects. They also collected data on the time required to complete each step in the process, and identified any bottlenecks that were contributing to the defects.

Analyze: The team then analyzed the data to identify the underlying causes of the defects. They used tools such as the Ishikawa diagram and the 5 Whys to identify the root causes. They found that a key issue was the inconsistent temperature of the manufacturing equipment, which was causing variations in the quality of the components produced.

Improve: The team then developed and implemented a plan to improve the process. They worked with the manufacturing team to install temperature sensors on the equipment, and created a standard operating procedure for maintaining the temperature within a specific range. They also implemented a training program to ensure that all operators understood the new procedures.

Control: Finally, the team established a control plan to ensure that the improvements were sustained over time. They set up a monitoring system to track the defect rate and the temperature of the manufacturing equipment, and established procedures for addressing any issues that arose. They also provided ongoing training and support to the manufacturing team to ensure that the new procedures were followed consistently.

As a result of the Six Sigma project, Company X was able to reduce their defect rate by 50%, resulting in a significant increase in revenue and customer satisfaction. The Six Sigma methodology provided a structured approach to problem-solving, and helped the team to identify and address the root cause of the defects.

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