- Six Sigma
In 1917, we split the atom and released an incredible force for destruction. In 2019, we split the DMAIC and released an even bigger force for improvement.
There is no doubt that the various improvement methods work. Whether it is PDCA or 7-Step problem-solving or A3 or Is–Is Not or DMAIC or any other tool, it has been used to great success in many organizations stretching back over decades. But why have some organizations been wildly successful with these and others not?
The reason is that much of today’s continuous improvement (CI) training is focused on tools. Training includes days or even weeks working through every possible tool a practitioner of CI might need. But rather than teach people about a set of tools that they might or might not use, why not teach them how to accomplish a specific objective? Why not give them a path for solving a particular type of problem that works most of the time? This way, anyone anywhere can make CI work by “splitting the DMAIC.”
This book shows four typical paths through the DMAIC process to accomplish four different objectives:
- Reduce variability of a characteristic
- Reduce failures of a machine
- Reduce waste in a process
- Reduce the frequency of a defect
For each path, the following is presented:
- Methodology—an overview of the purpose and actual steps through the DMAIC process for that path.
- Step Details—a detailed description of each step including specific tools used.
- Checklist—a simple one-page sheet that anyone can use as a guide along the path. Think of these as a new app called DMAIC Maps, which helps people get around the DMAIC world the same way Google Maps helps in the real world.
Project selection and team management are also discussed, since the choice of projects is crucial to creating context and therefore success.