DMAIC is Six Sigma’s signature framework for process improvement. DMAIC provides a structured way of improving a process.
DMAIC Overview Video
Dive deeper into DMAIC
DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve Control) addresses the improvement of an already existing process.
Phases of DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)
No phases of DMAIC should be skipped.
History of DMAIC
Michel Harry & Bill Smith created “MAIC” – the methodology that evolved to become DMAIC.
Harry includes the following strategy elements in the traditional approach to six sigma:
- (R) Recognize the true state of your business
- (S) Standardize the systems that prove to be best-in-class
- (I) Integrate best-in-class systems into the strategic planning framework.
Useful DMAIC Links
DMAIC Phases Videos
Six Sigma Tools Walkthrough
When I was learning Six Sigma it was just a massive amount of information. This Six Sigma Tools Walkthrough is a great way to get started to see how the pieces fit together. This page lists the major components of Six Sigma, the tools you apply in each phase, and a few other bits that help bring it all together.
While I’ve made Six Sigma study guides for each of the major organizations’ certification exams (Green Belt: ASQ, IASSC, Villanova | Black Belt: ASQ, IASSC, and Villanova), I don’t find that their organization of topics is the best way for me to learn the material. Nor do I find their presentation to be the best way for me to see how each tool fits into the overall picture.
Looking to pass your Six Sigma exam? My course students report a 100% success rate passing their Six Sigma certification on the first try when they use my practice exams. Join now.
Define Phase Six Sigma Tools
Use this phase to qualify a project to see if it is worth doing, if it is a good fit for the Six Sigma approach, and to set the stage for the project. Like a good reporter, learn the background of what is being asked and focus on the 5Ws – Who, What, When, Where, and Why. This becomes evident when you use the tools below to identify scope, goals, and rationale.
- Select a project with needs and criteria that are appropriate for using DMAIC.
- Project Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA)
- Project Charter
- Project Plan & Project Tracking Tools
- Commitment Scale
- Stakeholder Analysis
- Communication Plan
Current State Process Analysis
- Flow Chart
- Swim Lane Flow Chart
- Input-Output (IPO) Model
- High level process map
- Process Mapping
- Rolled Thoughput Yield (RTY)
Voice of Client
- Get Voice of Client with these tools
- Customer complaints
- Help desk calls / emails /Tech support cals
- Sales data (or returns / refunds/ warrant claims)
- Context dependent
- Observation: “Go to the Gemba”
- Most of the time this is considered proactive because you are looking to get ahead and prevent issues. However, I’ve seen in real-life practice that many people launch this activity as a result of being made aware of problems. This is a wonderful tool if used in a pro-active sense. This is a poor tool if used in the ‘witch hunting sense.’
- Observation: “Go to the Gemba”
- Analyze VOC
Measure Phase Six Sigma Tools
Now that we have the project identified, take the lessons learned from the first phase and get the ‘real story’ behind the current state by gathering data and interpreting what the current process is really capable of.
- Detailed Process Analysis
- Data Collection
- Data Collection Plan
- Plan for and begin collecting data.
- Data Organization / Data Display / Data Patterns
- Select the right tool to identify the data patterns and to display your data.
- Spaghetti Diagram
- Pareto Chart
- Identify the variation & sources of process problems
- Data stratification
- Process Sigma calculation.
Analyze Phase Six Sigma Tools
Now that we have the data let’s use it to identify the root causes that are at the heart of what we want to fix.
- List Potential Causes
- Value Added / Non Value Added Analysis
- Root Cause Analysis
- Data Analysis & Results
- This is where we use various methods and mathematical tools to verify our assumptions. We can also use the advanced techniques to compare data against each other and even to make predictions.
- Mathematical Tools
- Central Limit Theorem
- Distribution Types
- Normal Probability
- F Distribution
- Hypergeometric Distribution
- Binomial Probability Distribution
- Analyzing Bivariate Data:
- Income Example
- Cost vs. Billed Hours Example
- Exponential Distribution
- Coffee Example
- Reliability Example
- Lognormal Distribution
- Poisson Distribution
- Cumulative Poisson Distribution
- Student’s t Distribution
- Data Tests
- Hypothesis Testing
- Design of Experiments
- Design of Experiments (DOE) Terminology
- Main Effects Plot
- Interaction Plot
- Factorial Designs
- DOE Strategy for Experimentation: Full Factorial
- Full Factorial Example
- DOE: Determining Statistical Significance
- Fractional Factorial Designs
- Strategy for Experimentation: Screening Designs
- Design Resolution
- Standard Order of Design Matrix
- DOE: Illustration of F Ratio Test
- DOE: Taguchi Loss Function
- DOE: Evolutionary Operations (EVOP)
- DOE: Graeco-Latin Square Design
- DOE: Hyper-Graeco-Latin Square
- DOE: Latin Square
- Finding a Z Score
- Weibull Analysis
- Process Capability
- Cp and Pp Process Potential Indices
- List of potential causes
- Data Analysis and results
- “Vital few” x’s
Improve Phase Six Sigma Tools
Armed with the data analysis we can now may informed decisions to develop a solution. Best practices include running a pilot to ensure success and validate our conclusions.
- Identifying Solutions
- Pull System
- Value Stream Mapping
- Kanban in Assembly
- Kanban in a Hospital
- Kanban in a Law Office
- Pull System Using Kanban Cards
- Pull System Without Kanban Cards
- Cellular Manufacturing
- 5S in Manufacturing
- 5S in an Office Environment
- Visual Workplace
- Takt Time Ebb and Flow
- Quick Changeover
- Lean Accounting
- Design for Six Sigma (DFSS)
- Design for X
- Proposed Solution
- Identifying Potential Solution Relationships
- Organizing the Project / Process Completion (7M Tools)
- Pilot plan
- Implementation Plan
Control Phase Six Sigma Tools
Now let’s bring those improvements to life. Be certain that the improvements lead to solutions that are sustainable and enable continuous improvement.
- Control Plan
- 1.5 Sigma Shift
- Standard Operating Procedures / Standard Practices
- Training materials and job aids
- Run Chart
- Basic Construction
- Control Chart
- Formulas for Centerlines
- Measurement Discrimination
- Formulas for Control Limits
- Shewhart’s Test for a Natural/Normal Pattern #1
- Shewhart’s Test for a Natural/Normal Pattern #2
- Shewhart’s Test for Outliers
- Shewhart’s Test for Runs #1
- Shewhart’s Test for Runs #2
- Shewhart’s Test for Runs #3
- Shewhart’s Test for a Sudden and Drastic Shift in Level
- Shewhart’s Test for a Stable Mixture
- Shewhart’s Test for an Unstable Mixture
- Shewhart’s Test for a Repeating Pattern/Cycle
- Shewhart’s Test for a Trend/Gradual Change in Level
- x-bar and R Control
- Formulas and Factors for X-Bar: Sigma Control Charts
- Moving Average Chart
- Rational Subgroup
- X-MR (I-MR)
- S Chart:
- Basic Idea
- Exceeding Control Limits
- Zone Analysis
- Exponentially Weighted Moving Average (EWMA)
- Attribute Control Charts
- Cumulative Sum (CUSUM)
DMAIC Tollgate Reviews
You’ll typically review progress regularly with your sponsors. This kind of review, especially when ending one phase and moving on to the next, is called a Tollgate review.
Learn more about DMAIC tollgate reviews here.
Helpful Six Sigma Tools Videos
What Makes a Good DMAIC Project?
What Makes a Good DMAIC Project Videos
What Makes a Good DMAIC Project? Notes