Iowa State University - Home Extension and Outreach - Home ISUE Logo
CIRAS - Iowa State University - Extension and Outreach

CIRAS - Productivity - Lean: Six Sigma

Lean: Six Sigma DMAIC Process

Contact us

Graduation Cap: In-depth information on this topic.

"The Six Sigma Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) Process"1

Six Sigma – DEFINE process includes:

  • Define the project: purpose, scope, and resources in the charter
  • Develop the SIPOC (Suppliers-Inputs-Process-Outputs-Customers) map to understand the process
  • Determine project goals the fit customer needs (Voice of the Customer)

Six Sigma – MEASURE process includes:

  • Collect baseline data on suspected problem
  • Plot the data in time order
  • Use Pareto charts to pinpoint occurrence
  • Calculate process sigma
  • Create detailed process maps to analyze waste and bottlenecks

Six Sigma – ANALYZE process includes:

  • Focus on the problems identified in the "Measure" process
  • Brainstorm as many potential causes as possible
  • Select a few of the most likely causes and collect data on them
  • Use statistical methods to quantify the effects

Six Sigma – IMPROVE process includes:

  • Brainstorm many ideas for improvement
  • Select solutions: select criteria to assess alternative solutions, then evaluate alternatives through testing
  • Develop plans, including tasks, timelines, budget, resources, and stakeholders
  • Plot the selected solutions using PDCA cycles
  • Implement plans, including the means by which you will check results
  • Interpret the charts to quantify effects of solutions
  • Evaluate overall results against the methods used to achieve them

Six Sigma – CONTROL process includes:

  • Document the new methods in order to develop standard work procedures
  • Provide training to those who will use new methods
  • Monitor implementation and make course corrections
  • Create a process to update and improve the method
  • Summarize and communicate key lessons learned to others
  • Recommend next project to further increase sigma level

1Condensed from Six Sigma Black Belt Training developed by Oriel Inc.