Six-Sigma (6σ): DMAIC Five Systematic Improvement Process

Six-Sigma (6σ): DMAIC Five Systematic Improvement Process. The history Example and development of the Six-Sigma strategy. Also, the development and implementation system of the Six-Sigma program. The example of the top-ranked company that practices the six-sigma process. The history and development of the Six-Sigma strategy. Examples of the most used tools in the Improvement phase

The development and implementation system of the Six-Sigma program:

Six Sigma (6σ) refers to a set of tools and technologies that identify and erase the cause of defects and minimize the variability in manufacturing to improve the business process. This strategy was articulated by Bill smith in 1986. He was American engineering and working at Motorola when he introduced this process. A six-sigma process can produce a defect-free feature. Six-sigma applies a systematic improvement system known as DMAIC-Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control Evans, 2013).

The Six-sigma process follows a sequence of stages when carried out in an organization. Finally, the project has a special value target that reduces cycle time, pollution, costs, and increases customer satisfaction and company profits.

The example of the top-ranked company that practices the six-sigma process:
  • Amazon
  • Motorola
  • BAE Systems
  • Bank of America
  • Becton Dickinson
The history and development of the Six-Sigma strategy:

At the end of the 1970s, Japanese business industries had managed to maintain competitiveness markets all over the world, because of providing a higher quality product at a lower cost (Yang, 2012). However, the secret 0f this competitiveness market was the systematic integration of the knowledge, skills, technology, and experiences to improve core products and new business markets.

Firstly, Motorola implements the six-sigma program to improve the operation to yield an effective result. After implementing this program, Motorola earned a huge profit by reducing the defect of the products. Six-sigma program managed to save about $2.2 billion and finally, Motorola achieved the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1988.

The implementation system of the Six-Sigma program:

The Six-Sigma program has a five systematic improvement process known as DMAIC- ‘Define,’ ‘Measure,’ ‘Analyze,’ ‘Improve,’ and ‘Control’ (Evans, 2013). Another cycle of the six-sigma program is DMADV- ‘Define,’ ‘Measure,’ ‘Analyze,’ ‘Design,’ and ‘Verify’ that organization applies to design and redesign.

Six-Sigma (6σ) DMAIC Five Systematic Improvement Process

Figure-1: DMAIC the five systematic improvement process of Six-Sigma Strategy


Define is the first step of the six-sigma project that summarizes the plan of the project. Therefore, this step focuses on identifying the problems of the project, the objective of the project, and the opportunity for the six-sigma project. The input of this stage comes from the voice of the customers, business, process, or employee. Finally, the Define stage addresses some management issues such as what will need to be completed, by whom, and when.

Examples of the most used tools in the Define phase: Business Case, Problem Statement, Project Scope, Team & their broad responsibilities, and Time plan.


The measure is the second stage of the six-sigma and the main purpose is to gather data related to the project. It can use the histogram to analyze the data as well as discover its nature. The most common measurement methods are process sigma and defects per million opportunities (DPMO).

Examples of the most used tools in the Measure phase: Benchmarking, process flowcharts, run charts, process capability, and Gage R & R.


The principal objective of this stage is to dig out the main cause of the business ineffectiveness. In addition, It focuses more on finding out the root cause among many causes that identified initially. Although, It very often matters to jump to a solution without emphasizing on to find out the source of the problems. Hence, this phase tries to find out why errors, defects, and variations occurred in production in the industry.  However, the Analysis step of the DMAIC process conducts an experiment after identifying the variables.

Examples of the most used tools in the Analysis phase: Fishbone Diagram, Hypothesis testing, Brainstorming, 5 Whys, Scatterplot, Histogram, and Time-series plot.


The prime objective of this phase is to ascertain the potential result and execute them for improvement. This stage will start to remove or resolve the problem once the root cause is identified exactly. One of the common problems of this stage is to prejudice ideas before evaluating them. But,  A good problem solver always accepts the most promising ideas among a set of proposed ideas.

Examples of the most used tools in the Improvement phase:

Mistake-proofing (Poka Yoke), Piloting, Brainstorming, Simulation software, Prototyping, and Pugh Matrix.


The control stage focuses on how to continue the improvement and ensure excellent performance. The main objective of the Control phase is to ensure-Holding the gains. It also ensures the monitoring system, improving the standard, and increasing profits in the organizations. In the meantime, the post-implementation result will be evaluated to ascertain the progress or modify them. The most important part of this stage is to train the relevant stakeholders to overcome the challenges.

Example of the most used tools in the Control phase: Control plan, Process sigma calculation, Cost saving calculations, and Control charts.


In sum, Six Sigma DMAIC methodology has become one of the most popular and worldwide accepted strategies. This strategy can be executed in high-profile to small-size organizations; because five important staged – DMAIC ensures the continual improvement in the business.


N. (2020, May 18). Total Quality Management and Six Sigma. Six Sigma Study Guide.

Yang, C. C. (2012). The integration of TQM and Six-Sigma. Total Quality Management and Six Sigma, 219.

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