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Six Sigma Acronyms and Their Usage

six sigma acronyms

The genius of Lean Six Sigma is its simplicity to correct manufacturing issues. In its attempt to make the phases easy to remember, acronyms were developed. The acronyms seem similar but are different in mindset and intent. As most of you already know, the mindset and intent are very important in all Six Sigma and Lean methodologies. 

So, let’s clarify each acronym and when you would use those steps in that particular set of acronyms.

First of all, the acronyms that we will be talking about today are the following:

  • DMAIC
  • DMADV
  • DFSS

Please note that there are many, but most often these three are the ones that could be confusing, which is why we are shedding light on them. All of these represent the steps to be taken in the Lean Six Sigma methodologies. This keeps the practitioners focused as to what comes next. Each letter represents a phase and each phase has specific steps to be taken.

DMAIC: Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control

DMAIC is the most popular and used the most within the Lean Six Sigma methodology. It is used for the improvement of an existing process. This means that you already know that there is an issue with your current day-to-day process that you have in order to produce your product or service.

An abbreviated explanation for DMAIC: 

Define: Your issue or problem with your product or service.

Measure: Collect current data, establish a baseline using current processes.

Analyze: Using Lean methods and tools to find out the root causes of issues.

Improve: After the data has been established, upon analysis and tested, improve the process and test the results.

Control: Now you can control your new process and monitor how it is working, constantly checking for any defects.

DMADV: Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify

DMADV is used when you want to create a new product or service. This will help you foresee any design flaws you might encounter because you will address them before any product is produced.

Define: The process and design goal.

Measure: Measure and be mindful of critical to quality aspects of the product’s design, risks as well as production values.

Analyze: Identify goals and figure out how process inputs impact process outputs.

Design: Identify process details and test your design to optimize.

Verify: Check the design and pilot test both design and process for creating it. Then monitor the new process closely.

DFSS: Design For Six Sigma

DMADV is the actual phases involved and steps that are taken with Design For Six Sigma. DFSS focuses on the work performed to ensure the customer’s needs and expectations are fulfilled. Since a great deal of time is required in the design process of a new product or service, high quality is ensured by following this proactive process. The DFSS process should be used when designing a brand new product or service. 

Peter Peterka is the president of Six Sigma US. For additional information on Six Sigma Green Belt or other Six Sigma Certification programs contact Peter Peterka.

Author: Peter Peterka LinkedIn