Definition of Six Sigma DMAIC


Six Sigma is a fact-based methodology designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of processes. DMAIC is an acronym for the five phases used in improving existing processes: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.


  • The Define phase summarizes the business problem to be solved and quantifies the impact on the customer, establishing the critical-to-quality characteristics of the process.


  • Measure establishes a data collection plan, gathers the data necessary to study the process and establishes the validity of the data.


  • Analyze looks for the root cause of defects by comparing current performance against the desired goal. Variables responsible for process variation are isolated using statistical methods and other analytic tools.


  • Improve determines the best way to improve the process and might include experimentation or simulation to arrive at an improvement plan.


  • Control creates accountability for the improved process with a control plan and, often, statistical process control (SPC) charts to ensure the variation does not return.


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