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Process improvement is accomplished through the implementation of two Six Sigma sub-methodologies: DMAIC and DMADV. Although similar, these methodologies are not interchangeable and were each established for improving the efficiency and efficacy of different business approaches.
DMAIC is a central and significant component of a Six Sigma enterprise, but it can also function as a standalone quality improvement procedure, or as part of another process. This statistically- driven approach is concerned with improving existing processes. The technique has five key phases which are repeated until the sought after level of quality is achieved:
Define the problem, look into the resources, limits, and goals of a project. Consider the customer requirements
Measure important aspects of the current process by collecting relevant data
Analyse the data in order to identify the significant factors impacting on process performance and verify cause-and-effect relationships
Improve the process by applying alterations based on the data that was analysed. Organise pilot runs to test the efficacy of the changes made
Control the new process to ensure that any deviations are corrected. Maintain and monitor the improvements to verify that defects have effectively been removed from the system
DMADV is an alternative approach to DMAIC which is used primarily for the development of new products, processes, or services. With design and development as its focus, this technique may not always work with existing processes. The five key phases are:
Define the purpose and goals of a new project and ensure that they are consistent with the requirements of the customer
Measure the factors that are CTQs (Critical to Quality). Evaluate customer requirements, product capabilities, and design components etc.
Analyse alternatives to decide on the best design option for meeting project objectives.
Design the decided upon alternative
Verify that the new design is acceptable to all stakeholders. Set up pilot runs to ensure the design is of the highest quality