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DMAIC - Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control

The DMAIC cycle is often referred to in connection with Six Sigma and is composed of the words Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. These words represent the individual steps of the cycle. It provides a structured way of identifying, analyzing, improving, and controlling processes or other issues.


Why use the DMAIC cycle?

The DMAIC cycle is important because its ordered structure and helpful explanations of the individual steps (Six Sigma Toolbox) simplify process analyses and sets a fixed process. Furthermore, if required, the DMAIC steps can be separated from each other and executed by different people or at different times. However, the information from the previous step must be available for each subsequent step.

How does the DMAIC cycle work?

In the first step, “Define,” the problem, customer, and the target result are defined. This step is important to determine the exact focus of the investigation and to avoid collecting irrelevant key figures or carrying out inappropriate analyses. In the second step, “Measure,” certain measurement parameters (that is, key performance indicators) are decided upon and data for these key figures is recorded. The key figures are derived from the defined objective of the investigation, to guarantee added value. Then, in the “Analyze” step, the collected data and key figures are viewed and interpreted. The data can also be used to identify the causes of the problem. On the basis of these causes, suitable solutions are found and implemented in the next step, “Improve.” Finally, in the fifth step, “Control,” the implemented solution is maintained and regularly checked so that the solution remains permanently functional.

The DMAIC cycle is always based on the defined problem, customer, and target, so it helps find an optimal solution to the problem.

Related terms: Analysis

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