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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”

Project Charter

Define the goal by developing a “Goal Statement”

Deployment Map


VOC Translation Matrix Define process by developing maps of the process

Tree Diagram

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

Operational Definitions


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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Lean Six Sigma: Step By Step