The DMAIC cycle is often referred to in connection with Six Sigma and is composed of the words Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. These words represent the individual steps of the cycle. It provides a structured way of working for identifying, analyzing, improving and controlling processes or other issues.
Why use the DMAIC cycle?
The DMAIC cycle is important because its ordered structure and helpful explanations of the individual steps (Six Sigma Toolbox) simplify the analyses and subject them to a fixed process. Furthermore, if required, the work steps can be separated from each other and executed by different people or at different times. However, the information from the previous step must be available for each subsequent step.
How does the DMAIC cycle work?
In the first step, the problem or goal, the customer and the expected result are defined. This definition is important in order to determine the exact focus of the investigation and not to collect irrelevant key figures or carry out inappropriate analyses in the following steps. In the second step – “Measure” – certain measurement parameters (key performance indicators) are decided upon and data on these key figures is recorded. The key figures are derived from the previously defined objective of the investigation, so that their added value is guaranteed. Then, in the “Analyze” phase, the collected data and key figures are viewed and interpreted. The data can also be used to identify the causes of the problem initially defined. On the basis of these causes, suitable solutions are found and implemented in the next step – Improve. Finally, for this DMAIC procedure, the implemented solution must be maintained and regularly checked so that the solution remains permanently functional.
Since the DMAIC cycle is always based on the defined problem, customer and target, it is ensured that the solution actually addresses this and improves the process accordingly. In this way, an optimal solution for the problem can be found.