The term 'DMAIC' stands for the five main steps in the Six Sigma process improvement method namely Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.
- the customer and their 'Critical To Quality' issues and expectations
- the business processes that are involved, the boundaries of the project
- create a process map
- decide on the metrics 'Big Y', little y's and the x's
- form a project team and develop a project charter
- the existing process by gathering data from the process
- the data
- identify the gaps between existing and desired performance
- identify sources of variation
- decide on the processes that will be improved
- gather more data ('measure') if necessary
- propose solutions
- carry out pilot studies, design of experiments etc. to test and evaluate the proposed solutions
- develop an implementation plan
- implement systems and procedures to ensure the improvements are sustained
- develop procedures, control plans, staff training etc.
A Six Sigma project works through each of these steps in turn, completing each before moving on to the next.