DMAIC

This structure of problem solving forces the users to focus on what the root cause of a problem is while staying within the bounds of the project.  The following is a more detailed description of the objectives in each phase of DMAIC:

Define

•  Establish the Project Charter
o Define the scope of the project including the objectives, timeline and budget.
o Outline the high level process under consideration in the project scope.
o Identify the project stakeholders
o Select the project team members
o Get the go ahead from the project sponsor.
•  Train the members of the project team in Lean Six Sigma in preparation for the start of the project.

Measure

•  Gain a detailed understanding of the process, the process inputs, and results.
•  Decide on a measurement strategy to measure the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of the process.
•  Capture the current state of the process and quantify the outputs.  Compare these outputs to the known requirements of the customer.
•  Evaluate the measurement system and the process which captures the data.  This ensures that the data collected is valid and not influenced by an inaccurate or biased measurement system.

Analyze

•  Analyze the value stream or process to identify ways to meet the standards of the customer (given that the current state of the process was failing to meet customer standards). 
•  Find and analyze any sources of variation in the process.  These variations can contribute to poor quality of the process outputs.
•  Determine which inputs to the process have the most significant effect on the output.
•  Identify a benchmark of a similar product or service to compare results to.
Improve
•  Prioritize the opportunities based on project objective and the magnitude of achievable results.
•  Design and implement a solution to the problems found in the previous phases (Measure and Analyze).

Control

•  Verify that the changes put in place through the Six Sigma project meet the objectives of the project.
•  Develop a plan to control the process with the new changes.
•  Implement the control plan.
•  Document any lessons learned from the current project so that they can be referenced in future Six Sigma projects.