"The Six Sigma Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (Dmaic) Process

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"The Six Sigma Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) Process"1

Six Sigma Ð²Ð‚" DEFINE process includes:

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Define the project: purpose, scope, and resources in the charter

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Develop the SIPOC (Suppliers-Inputs-Process-Outputs-Customers) map to understand the process

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Determine project goals the fit customer needs (Voice of the Customer)

Six Sigma Ð²Ð‚" MEASURE process includes:

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Collect baseline data on suspected problem

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Plot the data in time order

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Use Pareto charts to pinpoint occurrence

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Calculate process sigma

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Create detailed process maps to analyze waste and bottlenecks

Six Sigma Ð²Ð‚" ANALYZE process includes:

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Focus on the problems identified in the "Measure" process

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Brainstorm as many potential causes as possible

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Select a few of the most likely causes and collect data on them

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Use statistical methods to quantify the effects

Six Sigma Ð²Ð‚" IMPROVE process includes:

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Brainstorm many ideas for improvement

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Select solutions: select criteria to assess alternative solutions, then evaluate alternatives through testing

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Develop plans, including tasks, timelines, budget, resources, and stakeholders

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Plot the selected solutions using PDCA cycles

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Implement plans, including the means by which you will check results

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Interpret the charts to quantify effects of solutions

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Evaluate overall results against the methods used to achieve them

Six Sigma Ð²Ð‚" CONTROL process includes:

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Document the new methods in order to develop standard work procedures

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Provide training to those who will use new methods

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Monitor implementation and make course corrections

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Create a process to update and improve the method

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Summarize and communicate key lessons learned to others

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Recommend next project to further increase sigma level

1Condensed from Six Sigma Black Belt Training developed by Oriel Inc

The Cause and Effect Diagram (a.k.a. Fishbone)

By Kerri Simon

When utilizing a team approach to problem solving, there are often many opinions as to the problem's root cause. One way to capture these different ideas and stimulate the team's brainstorming on root causes is the cause and effect diagram, commonly called a fishbone. The fishbone will help to visually display the many potential causes for a specific problem or effect. It is particularly useful in a group setting and for situations in which little quantitative data is available for analysis.

The fishbone has an ancillary benefit as well. Because people by nature often like to get right to determining what to do about a problem, this can help bring out a more thorough exploration of the issues behind the problem - which will lead to a more robust solution.

To construct a fishbone, start with stating the problem in the form of a question, such as 'Why is the help desk's abandon rate so high?' Framing it as a 'why' question will help in brainstorming, as each root cause idea should answer the question. The team should agree on the statement of the problem and then place this question in a box at the 'head' of the fishbone.

The rest of the fishbone then consists of one line drawn across the page, attached to the problem statement, and several lines, or 'bones,' coming out vertically from the main line. These branches are labeled with different categories. The categories you use are up to you to decide. There are a few standard choices:

Table 1: Fishbone Suggested Categories

Service Industries

(The 4 Ps)

________________________________________ Manufacturing Industries

(The 6 Ms)

________________________________________ Process Steps

(for example)

________________________________________

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Policies

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Procedures

Ð²Ð‚Ñž People

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Plant/Technology Ð²Ð‚Ñž Machines

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Methods

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Materials

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Measurements

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Mother Nature

(Environment)

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Manpower

(People) Ð²Ð‚Ñž Determine Customers

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Incent Purchase

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Sell Product

Ð²Ð‚Ñž Ship Product

You should feel free to modify the categories for your project and subject matter.

Once you have the branches labeled, begin brainstorming possible

...

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