Six Sigma requires a highly methodical form of implementation. The way to use this powerful tool correctly requires completing five stages. There are five well-defined phases. The objective, always the same, to achieve the improvement of processes through statistical data and greatly reduce errors.
This is how the DMAIC Cycle appears (by abbreviation in English for step names: Define – Measure – Analyze – Improve – Control). Below we will describe each of these phases, highlighting the most important aspects through questions, whose answers are those that will define our progress grade within the improvement cycle:

Define
Who is the customer and what are their expectations? What do you expect from us?
What are the critical requirements of the customer? (These requirements are known as CTQ: Critical to Quality)
What will be the scope of the improvement project?
Where does the process that we want to improve start and end?
What information do we currently have about the process?
Who will be part of the team?
Measure
How does the process behave today?
What indicators and parameters do we need to know to comply with CTQs?
What and how will we measure to obtain the necessary data? (Measurement methods must be validated)
Analyze
What is the root cause of our problem?
Why is there so much variability in the process?
What opportunities for improvement are there?
Improve (Improve)
How do we solve the problem? (A plan must be defined for the implementation of improvements)
How do we implement and verify the final solution?
Control
How do we guarantee that the solution was implemented correctly?
How do we monitor the progress of the program?
How much has the process improved since the implementation of the improvement program?
To what other processes could we extend the program and make improvements?
Another option: The DMADV Cycle

There is another variant as a method of implementation of Six Sigma, known as DMADV (by abbreviation in English of step names: Define – Measure – Analyze – Design – Verify).

In this case, the Design phase requires that we design the process based on the client’s expectations. In the next phase, Verify, we verify that the capacity of the new process is in accordance with what we expected of it. In general it is used for new processes.

There are other alternative methods, which introduce small variations on the most popular ones. Its use depends on the application, the type of process and the comfort of each organization to work with one or the other. This will be subject for another post.

 

DMAIC: The 5 Phases of the Six Sigma Implementation Process

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