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The Define Measure Analyze Improve Control (DMAIC) Process

DMAIC is a data-driven quality strategy used to improve processes. It is an integral part of a Six Sigma initiative, but in general can be implemented as a standalone quality improvement procedure or as part of other process improvement initiatives such as lean.

The DMAIC Methodology

DMAIC is an acronym for the five phases that make up the process:

  • Define the problem, improvement activity, opportunity for improvement, the project goals, and customer (internal and external) requirements.
  • Measure process performance.
  • Analyze the process to determine root causes of variation, poor performance (defects).
  • Improve process performance by addressing and eliminating the root causes.
  • Control the improved process and future process performance.

The DMAIC process easily lends itself to the project approach to quality improvement encouraged and promoted by Juran.

Excerpted from The Certified Quality Engineer Handbook, Third Edition, ed. Connie M. Borror, ASQ Quality Press, 2009, pp. 321–332.

Read more about DMAIC

To DMAIC or Not To DMAIC? (open access) Identify when you need a structured method for problem solving.

DMAIC Failure Modes (members only) Read about actual experiences related to some of the key failure modes associated with DMAIC and effective countermeasures you can take.

How to Scope DMAIC Projects (members only) Scoping is a vital part of the define phase and can have a long-term impact on a Six Sigma program’s ultimate success.

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