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"the Six Sigma Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (dmaic) Process

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Essay title: "the Six Sigma Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (dmaic) Process

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

Six Sigma – DEFINE process includes:

• Define the project: purpose, scope, and resources in the charter

• Develop the SIPOC (Suppliers-Inputs-Process-Outputs-Customers) map to understand the process

• Determine project goals the fit customer needs (Voice of the Customer)

Six Sigma – MEASURE process includes:

• Collect baseline data on suspected problem

• Plot the data in time order

• Use Pareto charts to pinpoint occurrence

• Calculate process sigma

• Create detailed process maps to analyze waste and bottlenecks

Six Sigma – ANALYZE process includes:

• Focus on the problems identified in the "Measure" process

• Brainstorm as many potential causes as possible

• Select a few of the most likely causes and collect data on them

• Use statistical methods to quantify the effects

Six Sigma – IMPROVE process includes:

• Brainstorm many ideas for improvement

• Select solutions: select criteria to assess alternative solutions, then evaluate alternatives through testing

• Develop plans, including tasks, timelines, budget, resources, and stakeholders

• Plot the selected solutions using PDCA cycles

• Implement plans, including the means by which you will check results

• Interpret the charts to quantify effects of solutions

• Evaluate overall results against the methods used to achieve them

Six Sigma – CONTROL process includes:

• Document the new methods in order to develop standard work procedures

• Provide training to those who will use new methods

• Monitor implementation and make course corrections

• Create a process to update and improve the method

• Summarize and communicate key lessons learned to others

• 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

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