Lean Six Sigma: Step By Step Lean Six Sigma is simply a process for solving a problem. It consists of ﬁve phases: Deﬁne, Measure, Analyze, Improve, & Control. This process is also known as DMAIC (“duh-may-ik”), its acronym.
PHASE 1: DEFINE DEFINE THE PROBLEM. The Deﬁne Phase is the ﬁrst phase of the Lean Six Sigma improvement process. In this phase, the leaders of the project create a Project Charter, create a high-level view of the process, and begin to understand the needs of the customers of the process.
Deﬁne the problem by developing a “Problem Statement”
Deﬁne the goal by developing a “Goal Statement”
VOC Translation Matrix Deﬁne process by developing maps of the process
Deﬁne your customer and their requirements
PHASE 2: MEASURE MAP OUT THE CURRENT PROBLEM. In the Measure Phase, the team focuses on data collection. They have two goals: determine the start point or baseline of the process and ﬁnd clues to understand the root cause of the problem in the process.
Determine how the process currently performs
Data Collection Plan
Look for what might be causing problem
Value Stream Map Create a plan to collect the data Ensure your data is reliable Update your project charter
PHASE 3: ANALYZE IDENTIFY THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM. In the Analyze Phase, the team reviews the data collected during the Measure Phase. They analyze both the data and the process in an effort to narrow down and verify the root causes of waste and defects.
STEPS Closely examine the process Visually display the data
TOOLS Process Analysis Data Analysis Cause & Effect Diagram
Brainstorm potential cause(s) of the problem
Value Stream Map
Verify the cause(s) of the problem Update your Project Charter
PHASE 4: IMPROVE IMPLEMENT AND VERIFY THE SOLUTION. In the Improve Phase, the team moves on to solution development. A structured improvement effort can lead to innovative and elegant solutions.
STEPS Brainstorm solutions that might ﬁx the problem Select the practical solutions Develop maps of processes based on different solutions
TOOLS Weighted Criteria Matrix To-Be Maps PDCA/PDSA
Select the best solution(s) Implement the solution(s) Measure improvement
PHASE 5: CONTROL MAINTAIN THE SOLUTION. TIn the Control Phase, the team begins to document exactly how they want to sustain improvements by passsing process improvement infrastructure on to the employees who work within the process.
STEPS Continuously improve the process using Lean principles Ensure the process is being managed and monitored properly Expand the improved process throughout organization
TOOLS Control Plan Response Plan Control Charts Documentation
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A step by step introduction to DMAIC, the Lean Six Sigma process.