What is Six Sigma DMAIC?

Six Sigma is defined as a limit of 3.4 defective parts per million opportunities (DPMO). The DMAIC process is a data-driven quality strategy for improving processes within the Six Sigma methodology. The goal of using DMAIC is to increase problem solving during the process of delivering products or services, so that improvement opportunities can be found throughout the process to improve the customer experience.

Why use Six Sigma DMAIC?

The main benefit of using this structured method is to improve customer satisfaction because it focuses on increasing quality based on the attributes that are critical to the customer’s perception of satisfaction. It also promotes productivity because people who use DMAIC manage their time more effectively, which results in a more efficient process. The DMAIC phases contain clear explicit process policies to help teams solve problems during the process, instead of finding out at the end when it’s too late and more costly to resolve.

Kanban Zone enhances the Six Sigma DMAIC process by embracing the 5 Kanban properties:

  1. Visualize the Six Sigma DMAIC process on a Kanban board
  2. Limit Work-in-Progress for each phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC model
  3. Measure & Manage Flow by tracking the cycle time and the throughput of the work
  4. Explicit Process Policies by mapping each deliverable within the DMAIC process
  5. Continuous Improvement by increasing collaboration and identifying factors that could negatively affect the overall process

This is why Kanban Zone works, it’s simple and everything you need is available visually on an intuitive board.

six sigma dmaic process

Please find below the details content of each of the Six Sigma DMAIC process

Define the project goals and customer (internal and external) deliverables.

  • Define Customers and Requirements (CTQs)
  • Develop Problem Statement, Goals and Benefits
  • Identify Champion, Process Owner and Team
  • Define Resources
  • Evaluate Key Organizational Support
  • Develop Project Plan and Milestones
  • Develop High Level Process Map

Measure the process to determine current performance; quantify the problem.

  • Define Defect, Opportunity, Unit and Metrics
  • Detail Process Map of Appropriate Areas
  • Develop Data Collection Plan
  • Validate the Measurement System
  • Collect the Data
  • Begin Developing Y=f(x) Relationship
  • Determine Process Capability and Sigma Baseline

Analyze and determine the root cause(s) of the defects.

  • Define Performance Objectives
  • Identify Value/Non-Value Added Process Steps
  • Identify Sources of Variation
  • Determine Root Cause(s)
  • Determine Vital Few x’s, Y=f(x) Relationship

Improve the process by eliminating defects.

  • Perform Design of Experiments
  • Develop Potential Solutions
  • Define Operating Tolerances of Potential System
  • Assess Failure Modes of Potential Solutions
  • Validate Potential Improvement by Pilot Studies
  • Correct/Re-Evaluate Potential Solution

Control future process performance.

  • Define and Validate Monitoring and Control System
  • Develop Standards and Procedures
  • Implement Statistical Process Control
  • Determine Process Capability
  • Develop Transfer Plan, Handoff to Process Owner
  • Verify Benefits, Cost Savings/Avoidance, Profit Growth
  • Close Project, Finalize Documentation
  • Communicate to Business, Celebrate

To learn more about Six Sigma and the DMAIC process , please find below a list of references.

  • “A Guide to Six Sigma and Process Improvement for Practitioners and Students: Foundations, DMAIC, Tools, Cases, and Certification” – April 8, 2015 by Howard S. Gitlow (Author), Richard J. Melnyck (Author), David M. Levine (Author)
  • “Process Improvement Using Six Sigma: A DMAIC Guide” – January 19, 2009 by Rama Shankar
  • “six sigma toolkit – The DMAIC Cycle in 15 Steps” – April 1, 2008 by Suzanne Birkmayer, Robert Dannenmaier, Sabine Matlasek, Wolfgang Weibert, Eduardo Bayo
  • “The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide to 100 Tools for Improving Quality and Speed” – August 1, 2004 by Michael L. George, John Maxey, David Rowlands, Mark Price
  • “What Is Six Sigma?” – November 16, 2001 by Pete Pande, Larry Holpp

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