Guide To Implementing Lean Six Sigma

By Dave Litten
About Guide To Implementing Lean Six Sigma

Your Guide To Implementing Lean Six Sigma

Welcome to our Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Project Roadmap.


Lean Six Sigma Dmaic

Lean Six Sigma DMAIC

DMAIC is an acronym for the five phases of six sigma improvement: define-measure-analyze-improve-control.

These phases lead a team logically from defining the problem through implementing solutions linked to underlying causes and establishing best practices to make sure the solutions stay in place.

The DMAIC structure in carriages creative thinking within boundaries such as keeping the basic process, product, or service.

I will assume that you will work on projects selected for you by managers or sponsors.

Do you have to follow all steps of DMAIC?

Good point. DMAIC is a valuable tool that helps people find permanent solutions to longstanding or tricky business problems. The basic framework works well in a wide variety of situations, but it does involve time and expense.

You should weigh the cost of using DMAIC against the benefits and the costs plus risks of missing out some steps or jumping right into solutions.

As a guideline, if your problem is complex and establishing the cause needs different areas of knowledge or experience - plus you may need to gather lots of different data, and this in turn will need to be analyzed before you discover plans that provide clues about the causes…then

… the above should be a candidate to use all the steps of DMAIC.

A key step within DMAIC is developing testing, and refining solution ideas before they are implemented within the workplace and customers.

So you should use DMAIC any time that the risks of implementation are high even if you think the solution is obvious.

DMAIC must be used within your project if you cannot answer the following questions:

  • What data do I have to show that this idea is the best possible solution?
  • How do I know that the solution will really solve the targeted problem?
  • What possible downsides are there to the solution idea?

The biggest benefit of combining lean and six sigma, is that you can deliver more value to both your business and your customers.

Our Projex academy "Lean Six Sigma Practitioner Masterclass”, is aimed at developing an individual so that they can master lean six sigma at green belt level, and to this end, the Masterclass fully covers the official IASSC Lean Six Sigma Green Belt syllabus.

NOTE: IASSC is a professional association dedicated to growing and enhancing the standards within the Lean Six Sigma community. IASSC is an independent third-party certification body within the Lean Six Sigma Industry that does not provide training, mentoring and coaching or consulting services.

So that a lean six-sigma green belt can successfully deliver a project, they must be familiar with what is to be done and how to accomplish them any phases, tools, techniques, and activities.

What will this course cover?

This course is a step-by-step procedure to execute the five phases of a Lean Six Sigma project.

The primary objective of implementing a lean six sigma project using the DMAIC approach, is to positively impact customers, business, and employees.

For this reason, stakeholder buy-in and sponsorship are very important factors for project success.

To this end, every project should have at least one or two project sponsors as a maximum. The project sponsor owns the process, possibly partnered with a senior management executive who is accountable for the overall project and its success.

Both these roles would be responsible for identifying the project and its objectives along with forming a cross functional team.

Assuming a green belt practitioner leads the project, it is their responsibility to complete the project on time, and to deliver the desired results. That is the assumption I shall make for the remainder of this Handbook.

Typically, a lean six sigma DMAIC project would have a duration of between three to four months. Of course, the project plan will be structured to address the define, measure, analyze, improve, and control DMAIC phases.
For each of these five steps, there are defined deliverables or products if you will, that need to be created within each step before progressing to the next.

As each DMAIC step or phase comes to an end, a formal gate review is carried out by the sponsors, with the project only proceeding if this gate review is approved.

Within each of the five DMAIC steps there are a variety of six sigma concepts and tools that will be used to assist in creating the phase products and outcomes.

Ideally, as the project progress is through its timeline, green belt and team members meet regularly and in addition are mentored by black belts or master black belts.

DMAIC Project steps and key deliverables within each phase

Dmaic Project Steps And Typical Activities

DMAIC Project steps and typical activities

In summary, each phase or step is there to perform the following:

  • Define – Identify the project objective and define the problem to be solved
  • Measure – Collect necessary data regarding the problem and establish current performance
  • Analyze – Use the data collected to analyze and screen factors which are the root causes for a problem
  • Improve – Identify suitable solutions to overcome the root causes
  • Control – Implement the solutions and monitor its results

Ready for the next lesson?

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