Does everyone want to improve their business the right way? I’m pretty sure the answer to that question is yes and we are going to use the DMAIC model to get you there!

“DMAIC refers to a data-driven improvement cycle used for improving, optimizing and stabilizing business processes and designs. The DMAIC improvement cycle is the core process used to drive Six Sigma projects. It should be noted that DMAIC is not exclusive to Six Sigma and can be used as the framework for other improvement applications. In many cases, a much simplified DMAIC approach is more productive than a complex long-term six sigma project, especially if it going to be used as part of a business leadership plan.
DMAIC is an abbreviation of the five improvement steps: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. All of the DMAIC process steps are required program steps and always proceed in this order.”

The following are steps in the DMAIC Process

Define –
First, write down what you currently know and expect. Clarify all facts, set realistic objectives and form your project team. Next, you will need to define the following:

  • The problem statement
  • All customers involved
  • What are the critical process outputs
  • Project targets
  • Project boundaries
  • Other related business processes

Measure –
To accurately measure, you will need to collect as much data as possible. Usually, the team decides on what should be measured and how to measure it which forms a data collection plan. It is usual for teams to invest a lot of effort into assessing the suitability of the proposed measurement systems. Good and accurate data is key to the success of the DMAIC process. Data should include the following:

  • Defining the process
  • Defining the measurement plan
  • Testing the measurement system
  • Collection of all data

Analyze –
The data collected in the Measure step is now analyzed to determine root causes of defects. Within Six Sigma, often complex tools are used. However, it is acceptable to use basic tools when appropriate. Those tools are the following:

  • Identifying gaps between current performance and goal performance
  • Identifying how the process inputs affect the process outputs
  • List and prioritize all opportunities to improve
  • Identify sources of variation

Improve –
Identify creative solutions to fix and prevent process problems. Some projects can utilize complex analysis tools like DOE (Design of Experiments), but try to focus on obvious solutions if these are apparent:

  • Create innovate solutions
  • Focus on the simplest and easiest solutions
  • Test solutions using FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis)
  • Create a detailed implementation plan
  • Deploy improvements

Control – 
Monitor the improvements to ensure continued success. Create a control plan. Update documents, business process and training records as required.

Replicate –
This is additional to the standard DMAIC steps but it should be considered. Think about replicating the changes in other processes. Share the new knowledge within and outside of your organization.

If you should have any questions about the DMAIC process, please let me know and if there are topics you want me to discuss in the tuture, please share those with me for consideration!

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