Six Sigma widely use DMAIC approach during continuous process improvements as DMAIC is a data-driven quality strategy. DMAIC approach that includes Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control Phase improves the process and ensures best possible results during the continuous process improvements.
Define Phase is the initial stage of the Six Sigma project that identifies and defines the problem, project goal and the necessity of the project with the financial impact. The problem defined in the define phase is more specific to the problem and describes the problem accurately with numeric values. The define phase includes project scope, goal, constraints and assumption, Cost analysis.
→ Project Charter
→ Process Mapping
→ Decision tree
→ Voice of the customer
→ Kano Model
Questions that needs to be answered during Define Phase
→ Who the customers are?
→ What is their requirement?
→ What is their expectation?
Measure Phase measures the core business process involved in the project. It gathers baseline information about the process that needs improvement. The baseline information helps to compare against the measurements after the project has been completed to establish the success of the project. Measure phase studies the current state of the process to provide the clarity on where the problem lies and assess the measurement system to ensure that the observed data points are accurate and no inherent variation exists the manner in which the data has been collected.
→ Data collection process
→ Value Stream Mapping
→ Process Capability
→ Measurement System Analysis
Questions that needs to be answered during Measure Phase
→ Where the problem lies?
→ What is happening exactly in the process?
→ What is the customer expectation?
Analyze Phase analysis the collected data to determine whether the problem is valid or it is a random event that can be fixed directly. Analyze phase identifies the gap between the current and goal performance. It identifies the potential root causes of defects and opportunities for the improvement.
→ Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
→ Hypothesis Testing
→ Scatter Plots
→ Cause and Effect Diagram
Questions that needs to be answered during Analyze Phase
→ Why the problem occurs?
→ What is the cause of the problem?
→ Whether the root cause has been verified?
→ What are the uncovered issues?
Improve Phase targets the process by identifying the innovative solution to prevent the problem. The creative innovative solutions are listed and prioritized by the people who work on the process. Creative innovation may include new process. The implementation plan of new process and timeline for deployment is developed for the successful completion of the project.
→ Pareto Chart
→ Design of Experiments
→ Affinity Diagram
Questions that needs to be answered during Improve Phase
→ Whether right solutions exist?
→ How are the solution verified?
→ Whether the solutions are piloted?
→ Whether the variation has been reduced?
Control Phase places controls in the process after the implementation of the solution. The phase involves standardization, documentation and implementation of the new process. It ensures that all the employees are trained and communicated about the deployment of new process and project results.
→ Statistical Process Control
→ Standard Operating Procedures
→ Measurement system analysis
Questions that needs to be answered during Control Phase
→ What is the recommendation?
→ Any support for suggestions?
→ Are results sustainable?
Prior to proceeding with these steps following queries needs to be considered while applying DMAIC approach:
→ Is there a need for DMAIC approach?
→ Whether historical data available to assess the measurement system?
→ Does the stakeholders/Sponsor support for improving the process?
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