Which methodology to select for problem solving DMAIC or PDCA?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums General Forums Methodology Which methodology to select for problem solving DMAIC or PDCA?

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    Arturo Bolanos

    I just hired in to a new position as the Continuous Improvement Manager for global company and which has selected PDCA as the problem solving methodology. I have been trained in Lean using PDCA methodolgy and certified as a Black Belt using DMAIC.

    What are the pros and cons for using PDCA and DMAIC?

    Can PDCA methodlogy be used to solve problems?


    Russell Demetri Ollie Sr.

    Hi Arturo.

    I’ve always thought of PDCA as more of a framework and formerly a methodology. In this context it was a precursor to DMAIC and other C.I. methods. The primary difference in application in my experience is that PDCA tends to be more iterative in nature than a typical DMAIC project but there’s no reason why DMAIC can’t be iterative particularly if you start with the ‘Recognize’ phase for DMAIC.

    In modern C.I. circles I just don’t hear about PDCA as a standalone methodology anymore. I think it’s analogous to saying someone is writing a computer program in Pascal or Fortran ’77 – these methods are past their prime but paved the road for and relate to current methods. Some of the tools of PDCA are embedded in Six Sigma.

    Can you tell us a bit about the types of problems your new employer is facing? With this information someone can make a more informed recommendation about whether DMAIC, Lean, PDCA, DFSS, Blue Sky, etc. may be the best starting point in laying the foundation for success. I think you’re going to find that you’ll want to build a portfolio of tools and methods and right now you’re just putting the first brick in place.

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