DMAIC is a data-driven, structured, customer-centric problem solving methodology. DEFINE tells you what to measure. MEASURE tells you what to analyze. ANALYZE tells you what to improve. IMPROVE tells you what to CONTROL.
Each phase has very specific objectives and is supported by a set of activities. Objectives for each stage should be satisfied and approved by project sponsors before the team progresses to the next stage.
All the tools in the VRI Toolkit will have one or more of the DMAIC Symbols in the title (see below). Choosing the right tool to use in your project can be difficult at first. The right tool can help you understand the problem you are trying to fix, analyze the data, and point to a viable solution.
The tools covered in our toolkit are not meant to be an exhaustive list of Lean Six Sigma tools an/or methodologies, but are the ones most commonly used. It is important to remember that every Lean and/or Six Sigma project is unique and therefore the tools that are utilized will vary from one project to another. No project uses all the tools, each is unique into itself, has specific applications and often criteria as well. Use the tools that make the most sense, fit the criteria and the problem. We have laid this book out to help understand where in the DMAIC process you are and which tool is best to use.
Moreover, it is possible for the same tool to be used in different phases of the DMAIC cycle. Using the right tool for the problem at hand is a key element of process improvement.
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Stepping through DMAIC with the VRI Toolkit.
The DEFINE in the DMAIC process is about selecting high-payback projects and identifying the underlying metric(s) that will measure project success. Without senior leadership oversight and support, project leaders will typically be overwhelmed with resistance from the organization, and will make little progress. Download a brief overview of the most common tools used in this phase.
The MEASURE in DMAIC is about understanding the current process, how the process is measured, and its baseline (historical or pre-Lean Six Sigma) performance. Download a brief overview of the most common tools used in this phase.
The ANALYZE phase starts with team input regarding potential causes and uses statistical methods to isolate the top issues to be discussed. Oftentimes there is one primary cause that is driving most of the unwanted variation, and controlling or eliminating this cause is all that is needed. Download a brief overview of the most common tools used in this phase.
The IMPROVE phase is about redesigning the process to achieve improved capability. This involves brainstorming potential solutions, selection solutions to test and evaluating the results of the implemented solutions. Download a brief overview of the most common tools used in this phase.
The CONTROL phase of the Lean Six Sigma DMAIC Process consists of executing the Control Plan and finalizing the project documentation. Monitor post implementation process performance to ensure expected improvement in the project has occurred. Ensure ongoing process monitoring system is in place. Communicate the Business Results and sign off to close the Lean Six Sigma Project. Download a brief overview of the most common tools used in this phase.