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The DMAIC Improvement Process
DMAIC refers to a data-driven improvement cycle used for improving, optimizing and stabilizing business processes and designs. The DMAIC improvement cycle is the core process used to drive Six Sigma projects. DMAIC is not exclusive to Six Sigma and can be used as the framework for other improvement applications. DMAIC is an abbreviation of the five improvement steps: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. All of the DMAIC process steps are required and always proceed in this order: Define
Write down what you currently know. Seek to clarify facts, set objectives and form the project team. Define the following: * A problem statement
* The customer(s)
* Critical to Quality (CTQs) — what are the critical process outputs? * The target process and other related business processes * Project targets
* Project boundaries
* A project charter is often created and agreed during the Define step. Measure
This is the data collection step. The team decides on what should be measured and how to measure it. This forms a data collection plan. It is usual for teams to invest a lot of effort into assessing the suitability of the proposed measurement systems. Good data is at the heart of the DMAIC process: * Define the process critical Xs (inputs) and Ys (outputs). * Define the measurement plan.
* Test the measurement system.
* Collect the data.
* A Measurement System Analysis (gauge study) is performed at this stage. Analyze
The data collected in the Measure step is analysed to determine root causes of defects. Within Six Sigma, often complex analysis tools are used. However, it is acceptable to use basic tools if these are appropriate. * Identify gaps between current performance and goal performance * Identify how the process inputs (Xs) affect...