When does a DMAIC become a DMADV?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums Healthcare When does a DMAIC become a DMADV?

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    ‘Rocket’ Rogers

    Hi all, I’m new to the Six Sigma game having just been appointed ‘trainee’ Black Belt.
    My question is quite specific. My colleague (another BB) and I were debating the potential scale of projects within our current DMAIC. I have suggested that in a project lasting only 4-6 months (a fixed constraint) to go through the whole DMAIC cycle, realistically  we should look to improve, tweak and refine an existing ‘stable’ process aiming to reduce variation to within CTQ spec.  And, to attempt more in such a short period may be ambitious but also of too broad a scope that we fail to deliver benefit and merely procrastinate. My colleague however believes that we should approach things in a bigger way attempting fairly substantial change (eg, moving core processes – thereby requiring employee change and considerable buy in from key business stakeholders).
    I think what he is suggesting is heavily biased toward process redesign (especially as it involves splitting existing cross functional process and reinstating them in a fundamentally different order).
    Am I being too cautious, or is he being too ambitious? And, when tackling a first tranche of Sigma projects as our company is, should we aim to demonstrate the power of DMAIC or DMADV? the former delivering less substantial – but sustainable wins, the later suggesting investment in new process before we see benefit? My experience tells me that we should start small and build using the continuous improvements to guide decision of more radical change later on…
    Opinions and advice welcomed.


    Kim Niles

    Dear Rocket:
    I would imagine that by now (4 months after your post) you might be finished with your project.  If so, how did it go?
    My thoughts regarding your question are that if the process is in place and working you should use DMAIC as DMADV is for development mainly.  Also, improvement projects tend to follow the Pareto principle such that about 80% of the improvement is made near the beginning as low hanging fruit is plucked … so I bet the answer you sought was somewhere in the middle.   

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