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DMAIC:  Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control



DMAIC It is a problem solving methodology used very often and also as normal part of a KAIZEN project. The word comes from the initial letter of the words denoting the following actions:


Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control





Define the team, the team leader, what is the problem or current situation, what improvements are required, define dates for accomplishment, the resources required (money, human resources, technology), the Return On Investment ROI and gets management approval. In other words a Project Charter document is required.


What is a Project Charter? A Project Charter is a document that defines and makes official the most important aspect of  the project. The Project Charter is a common ground and simple communication tool, it is the “Magna Carta” of the project and as such needs to be approved by the upper Management and Direction.


See Project Charter Sample



Fully understand the actual state, quantify and measure all key parameters, elements and deliverables to be improved.


1- These parameters and deliverables need to be tangible and measurable.

2- Set the inputs and outputs of the process. To what stimulus correspond what response and in     what proportion, what are the processes involved.









3- Confirm and validate the measurements concerning repeatability and sufficiency of data.

4- Organize and tabulate the measurements in such way that will be easy to understand and     manipulate for analysis. Example: Number of customers complaint calls, number or     percent of returned products, number of defective units on a specific production area per     unit of time or period, process time.


5- Evaluate the process capability and perform a value stream mapping of the current state     listing obvious problems, bottle necks and road blocks. Tag these as opportunities for     improvement.



1- Determine critical inputs-outputs relationships

2- Analyze the data. Look for trends, anomalies, discontinuities etc.

3- Analyze the process flow (Compare process efficiency against the best benchmarks in the     industry)

4- Perform a value analysis of the process and separate value added and no value added     “works” functions and activities, plus no valued added activities but necessary such as QC     inspection, filing and recording documentation, etc

5- Find root causes, use some of the problems solution tools already explained such as:

     The  5 Why’s ,  The 4 M’s +1,  The 4W’s +H+W

6- Rank root causes from more to less important use FMEA and other problem solving tools

7- Make conclusions and rank solutions based on importance weight and time urgency



1- Based on the analysis performed, rank areas for improvement in accordance to the     impacts that can be the most important for the  organization

2- Select the potential solutions

3- Make use of  Lean Manufacturing tools such as Six Sigma (Statistical Process Control,     Value Stream Mapping, Kanban System etc.)

4- Evaluate risk potential and confirm corrective actions effectiveness

5- Implement pilot runs and make corrections if necessary

6- Deploy and  inform improvements results company wide. Train all personnel that will be     involved but were not part of the main team

7- Implement improvements at full range and follow up on project transition to the final owner     of the process.

8- Document improvements and changes, maintain a “Before and After Changes Results”     comparative table



Now that all these improvements have been carried out the main task will be to maintain and control what has been achieved.


1- Establish  metrics control by mean of tables and charts for all key indicators with variations in     time, quantity and percent against the given targets.

2- Establish standard operating procedures

3- Establish standard  inspection and verification procedures, including audits.

4- Deploy results and project information center visible to all parties involved, score boards etc.

5- Implement corrective actions procedures and process maintenance committee

6- Recognize the effort of all participants


Process (P)





X2 = f(Y1) + f(P)

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