The DMAIC methodology

  • Define process improvement goals consistent with enterprise strategy.
  • Measure key aspects of the current process and collect relevant data.
  • Analyze the data to verify cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Improve or optimize the process based upon data analysis.  
  • Control to ensure that any deviations from the target process are corrected before they result in defects.
Six Sigma’s benefits:
  • Emphasizes the need to recognize opportunities and eliminate  defects as defined by customers.  
  • Recognizes that variation hinders the ability to reliably  deliver high-quality services.  
  • Requires data driven decisions and incorporates a  comprehensive set of quality tools under a powerful framework for effective  problem solving.  
  • Provides a highly prescriptive cultural infrastructure effective in obtaining sustainable results.  
  • When implemented correctly, promises and delivers $500,000 or more of improved operating profit per black belt per year — a hard dollar figure  many companies consistently achieve.
LEAN’s benefits:
  • Focuses on maximizing process velocity.  
  • Provides tools for analyzing process flow and delay times at each activity in a process.  
  • Centers on the separation of value-added from non-value-added work with tools to eliminate the root causes of non-valued  activities and their cost. 
8 types of waste/non-value-added work
  • Wasted human talent — Damage to people.   
  • Defects — Stuff that’s not right and  needs fixing.  
  • Inventory — Stuff waiting to be worked.   
  • Overproduction — Stuff made too frequently/too early.  
  • Waiting time — People waiting for  stuff to arrive.  
  • Motion — Unnecessary human movement.   
  • Transportation — Moving people and stuff.
  • Processing waste — Stuff we have to do that doesn’t add value to the product or service we are supposed to be producing.
When Six Sigma and Lean practices are combined, the result is a means to quantify and eliminate the cost of  complexity.

Source: Defense Business Transformation Agency’s Lean Six Sigma Office

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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