If you have spend any time around Lean Six Sigma trained professionals you have certainly heard the term DMAIC, typically pronounced as “Dee-May-ik”.

What is DMAIC?

The letters DMAIC are an acronym that stand for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. It represents the five phases that make up the problem solving process known as DMAIC.

  • Define
  • Measure
  • Analyze
  • Improve
  • Control

Where did DMAIC come from?

The DMAIC methodology originated during the 1950s through the work of W. Edwards Deming and has been used by Lean Six Sigma professionals for decades now. DMAIC is now most closely associated with the Lean Six Sigma

What is the difference between Lean & Six Sigma?

Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma have been evolving into a single discipline known as Lean Six Sigma.  Both Lean and Six Sigma represent methodologies and tools that as united under the business improvement strategy known as Continuous Improvement.

Check out this clever video about the battle between Lean & Six Sigma:

Which is better Lean or Six Sigma? Which is better PDCA or DMAIC?

Link to blog: https://www.kpifire.com/blog/using-pdca-and-dmaic-to-constantly-optimize-your-processes/

Who invented Six Sigma?

In 1986, Bill Smith and Mikel Harry, two engineers at Motorola were accredited to having developed “Six Sigma”, and in 1995, Jack Welch made it the central business strategy of General Electric

Where did “Lean Manufacturing” come from?

The roots of Lean Manufacturing are attributed to Toyota, a Japanese company. The origins of Toyota Production System date back to the beginnings of the twentieth century. The fathers of the system was Sakichi Toyoda, his sons: Kiichiro Toyoda and Eiji Toyoda as well as Taiichi Ohno, a manufacturing engineer.

When should DMAIC be used?

DMAIC is a structured problem solving tool used for improving a process. It should be used when:

  • The solution to the problem is not already known.
  • The problem to solve is complex.
  • The problem to solve is high value.
  • The problem to solve is high risk

When should DMAIC NOT be used?

In as much as the DMAIC process is a great problem solving tool, there are many cases where it may be the wrong tool for the job.  Some of these are;

  • When a solution is already known -> Use a “Just Do it” approach.
  • When a rapid change event is indicated, instead use a Kaizen Event

What are the steps of DMAIC?

Within each of the stages of the DMAIC process there are a number of individuals tasks and tools that can be followed.

KPI Fire makes it easy to incorporate the use of the DMAIC problem solving process and includes both a DMAIC Light, and a Full DMAIC workflow process for any project.

dmaic process software   dmaic-process-software

D) Define

  • Define the Problem or Opportunity
  • Select a Project Leader
  • Select Team Members including Subject Matter Experts
  • Establish a SMART Goal
  • Link to a KPI
  • VOC – Identify Stakeholders and perform Stakeholder Analysis.  (See Attached Stakeholder Analysis Tool)
  • Review the Project Charter and Team with the Project Sponsor
  • Scope the Project – Use a High Level Process Map to define where the process begins and ends. (See Attached SIPOC Tool)

M)  Measure

  • Take Before Pictures!
  • Create a Measurement Plan (See Attached Measurement Plan Tool)
  • Then Validate the Measurement System using Gage R&R
  • Walk the Process (See Attached Data Collection Form)
  • Create a Current State Process Map or Value Stream Map ISee Attached Value Stream Map Tool)

A) Analyse

  • Create a List of Waste, Sources of Variation and Overburdening (See Attached Template)
  • Similarly, Perform Root Cause Analysis (See Attached Fishbone, 5 Whys, RCA Tools)
  • Create a Hypothesis or theory for Input to Output Relationships, Y=f(x1, x2, …xn).
  • Clarify the Gap Between Current and Desired Performance

I) Improve

  • Brainstorm Possible Improvements
  • Then, Create an Improvement Plan
  • Implement the Process Improvements subsequently
  • Implement Mistake Proofing Devices
  • Validate the Changes subsequently

C) Control

  • Take After Pictures!
  • Update Process Documentation
  • Train Operators and Leadership to the New Process
  • Validate the Process using Control Charts and Key Metrics
  • Establish Leadership Standard Work to Follow Up with the Operators
  • Document Project Savings subsequently
  • Thereafter, Create a Project Report Out if Required by Management (See Attached Template)
  • Report Out to Project Sponsor and Leadership
  • Undoubtedly Reward and Recognize the Team
  • Share Best Practices with the Entire Organization

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