Six Sigma DMAIC Roadmap

Six Sigma DMAIC Roadmap

The Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology can be thought of as a roadmap for problem solving and product/process improvement.

Most companies begin implementing Six Sigma using the DMAIC methodology, and later add the DFSS (Design for Six Sigma, also known as DMADV or IDDOV) methodologies when the organizational culture and experience level permits. You can read the main differences between DMAIC and DMADV, but we’ll focus on the DMAIC in this article.

Six Sigma DMAIC Roadmap

While the DMAIC methodology presented above in the graphic and below in the listing may appear linear and explicitly defined, it should be noted that an iterative approach may be necessary – especially for Black Belts and Green Belts that are new to the tools and techniques that make up DMAIC. For instance, you may find that upon analyzing your data (Analyze phase) you did not gather enough data to isolate the root cause of the problem. At this point, you may iterate back to the Measure phase.

In addition, prior knowledge of the tools and techniques is necessary in determining which tools are useful in each phase. Remember, the appropriate application of tools becomes more critical for effectiveness than correctness, and you don’t need to use all the tools all the time.

DMAIC Phase Steps Tools Used
D – Define Phase: Define the project goals and customer (internal and external) deliverables.
  • Define Customers and Requirements (CTQs)
  • Develop Problem Statement, Goals and Benefits
  • Identify Champion, Process Owner and Team
  • Define Resources
  • Evaluate Key Organizational Support
  • Develop Project Plan and Milestones
  • Develop High Level Process Map
Define Tollgate Review
M – Measure Phase: Measure the process to determine current performance; quantify the problem.
Measure Tollgate Review
A – Analyze Phase: Analyze and determine the root cause(s) of the defects.
  • Define Performance Objectives
  • Identify Value/Non-Value Added Process Steps
  • Identify Sources of Variation
  • Determine Root Cause(s)
  • Determine Vital Few x’s, Y=f(x) Relationship
Analyze Tollgate Review
I – Improve Phase: Improve the process by eliminating defects.
  • Perform Design of Experiments
  • Develop Potential Solutions
  • Define Operating Tolerances of Potential System
  • Assess Failure Modes of Potential Solutions
  • Validate Potential Improvement by Pilot Studies
  • Correct/Re-Evaluate Potential Solution
Improve Tollgate Review
C – Control Phase: Control future process performance.
  • Define and Validate Monitoring and Control System
  • Develop Standards and Procedures
  • Implement Statistical Process Control
  • Determine Process Capability
  • Develop Transfer Plan, Handoff to Process Owner
  • Verify Benefits, Cost Savings/Avoidance, Profit Growth
  • Close Project, Finalize Documentation
  • Communicate to Business, Celebrate
Control Tollgate Review
Handpicked Content:   Using the DMAIC Model to Achieve Buy-in

As you can see, the power of the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology lies in the structure and the rigor. Of the hundreds of TQM tools that have been developed over the years, the most important ones (described above) are taught in detail by consultants to Black Belts and Master Black Belts.

Comments 13

  1. a sivakumar

    good useful one

  2. Six Sigma Brainstorming

    innovations it’s as a rule always nice. the only drawback is the fact, one needs to get used to it. i’m sure this project will be broadly supported, cause it’s really worth our attention.

  3. Rohit

    that’s really important one

  4. Shree

    Very useful, Thanks

  5. Yasin

    A very nice article on DMAIC. Thanks for such an informative post.


    I’m studying both project management and Six Sigma. This is a great tool to put them together.

  7. Mark

    Great summary of the different objectives of each stage of the DMAIC process and how different tools fit into each stage. I always find it interesting to see how people use different tools during different phases.

  8. Smith

    Good source of information.

  9. Delo

    nice and useful doc.

  10. Alfonso Meneses Duran Sr.

    This one of the best 6 Sigma articles I ever seen.
    Continue on that track!

  11. Sasha

    Very informative and useful. Great applications

  12. Excellent!! I have learned alot as a technical sales engineer.

    This is very useful .

  13. Nur

    Very informative and useful indeed.

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