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Analysis>DMAIC Process - The 5-step Analysis Process

DMAIC stands for:  Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control
It’s a 5-step process that is used by analysts to identify and implement process improvements.

Mistakes can be costly therefore it is essential that analysis is carried out to ensure the right improvements become a project. The first three stages of the DMAIC, Define, Measure, Analyse, identify what improvements need to be made.  The last 2 stages, improve and control, are about planning, implementing and monitoring the improvements.

The actions carried out at each stage, and the analysis tools that can be used, are briefly explained below (click to see the DMAIC chart):

Step 1 - DEFINE – What is the problem?: 
This stage is about identifying the improvement opportunities and identifying the scope (e.g. what will be included) of the project. The business requirements (see the Article business requirements) and the customer’s requirements are established. If there are any shortfalls between the requirements and the process the analysis moves to the next stage

To see the DMAIC chart listing the analysis tools used at this stage Click here

Step 2 - MEASURE – How are we doing?:
The process is analysed. And the expected performance is determined (Process maps are usually created (see process mapping)

To see chart listing the analysis tools used at this stage Click here

Step 3 - ANALYSE – What is wrong?:
The root causes of the problem are identified. Various analysis is used to obtain data to help work towards a solution.

To see the DMAIC chart listing the analysis tools used at this stage Click here

Step 4 - IMPROVE.  Fix what is wrong:
The improvement opportunities are refined and prioritised. A Business Case is usually completed which provides details of the solution and the benefits to be gained. If there is more than one solution the business case will usually include details of all solutions and the benefits that each would provide.  The pros and cons of each would usually be included together with recommendations for the best solution. When the solution is agreed and receives approval to proceed, a project is initiated, implementation is planned and the project is managed.  

To see the DMAIC chart listing the analysis tools used at this stage Click here

Step 5 - CONTROL. Hold the gains celebrate:
Control is maintained throughout the project to ensure the desired outcomes are achieved. At the end of the project the process is measured again to ensure the expected outcomes have been achieved and checks made to ensure the improvements can be sustained. A further evaluation may be carried out several weeks or months after implementation to check that the expected improvements are still being maintained.

The results are usually communicated and participants are usually provided with feedback and thanked.

To see the DMAIC chart listing the analysis tools used at this stage Click here

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See also


Go to Process Change Knowledge Base
Go to Project Management Knowledge Base

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