Quality Progress - January 2016 - (Page 36)
BACK TO BASICS
BY CARL F. BERARDINELLI
To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC?
Identify when you need a structured method for problem solving
DEFINE, MEASURE, analyze, improve
capability. Project financials are updated,
in about a week. Prep work is completed
and control (DMAIC) is a structured prob-
verified and reported. Control plans are
by the quality or process improvement
lem-solving method. Each phase builds on
established with reaction plans, ownership
expert, and is centered on the define and
the previous one, with the goal of imple-
and control is transitioned to the process
measure phases. The rest of the phases
menting long-term solutions to problems.
owner, and lessons are documented. The
are done by a team of individuals who
Sometimes, project leaders or sponsors
team documents opportunities to spread the
have been pulled from their regular duties
don't feel a formal approach is necessary,
outcomes to other areas in the organization.
for the duration of the kaizen event.
When to use DMAIC
during the event, and full-scale implemen-
The tools used in the define phase lay
When improving a current process, if the
tation is completed after the event. It is cru-
the foundation for the project. The team
problem is complex or the risks are high,
cial the impact of these changes-whether
accurately and succinctly defines the prob-
DMAIC should be the go-to method. Its dis-
they are wanted or not-are monitored.
lem, identifies customers and their require-
cipline discourages a team from skipping
The advantage of this approach is the abil-
ments, and determines skills and areas that
crucial steps and increases the chances
ity to make rapid change.
need representation on the project team.
of a successful project, making DMAIC a
Individuals who must be part of the core
process most projects should follow.
In most cases, the changes are piloted
but most problem-solving efforts benefit
from a disciplined method.
team or be ad-hoc members are identified,
If the risks are low and there is an obvi-
DMAIC is not an implementation method
and project measures, financials and a
ous solution, some of the DMAIC steps
for best practices; it is a method to dis-
communication plan are established.
could be skipped, but only if:
cover best practices. When developing a
1. Trustworthy data show this is the best
new process from scratch, the design for
The measure phase is when the true process is identified and documented. Process
steps, and corresponding inputs and out-
solution for your problem.
2. Possible unintended outcomes have
puts are identified. Measurement systems
been identified and mitigation plans
are identified or developed, and validated
have been developed.
and improved as required. Baseline performance is established with trustworthy data.
In the analyze phase, the critical inputs
are identified. Inputs that have a strong
relationship with the outputs and root
3. There is buy-in from the process owner.
If the obvious solution can't be proven
Six Sigma (DFSS) approach should be followed. DFSS builds on traditional DMAIC
DMAIC is a data-driven, customerfocused, structured problem-solving framework. It builds on learning from previous
with trustworthy data, a DMAIC project
phases to arrive at permanent solutions for
should be launched.
difficult problems. Define will tell the team
There are two approaches to implement-
what to measure. Measure will tell the team
causes are determined. These critical
ing DMAIC. The first is the team approach
what to analyze. Analyze will tell the team
inputs are the drivers of performance.
in which individuals who are skilled in
what to improve. And improve will tell the
the tools and method, such as quality or
team what to control. QP
In the improve phase, potential solutions are identified and evaluated, and the
process improvement experts, lead a team.
process is optimized. The critical inputs
The team members work on the project
that must be controlled to maintain perfor-
part-time while caring for their everyday
mance that reliably satisfies the customer
responsibilities. The quality or process
are determined. Process capability and
improvement expert might be assigned to
project financials are estimated.
several projects. These are long-duration
The control phase establishes mistakeproof, long-term measurement and reac-
projects taking months to complete.
The second tactic involves the kaizen
tion plans. The team develops standard op-
event method, an intense progression
erating procedures and establishes process
through the DMAIC process typically done
36 QP * www.qualityprogress.com
Joseph M. Juran and Frank M. Gryna, Quality Planning and
Analysis, McGraw Hill, 1993.
Michael L. George, David Rowlands, Mark Price and John
Maxey, Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook, McGraw Hill,
CARL F. BERARDINELLI is a senior
principal health systems engineering
analyst at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He has a bachelor's degree in
electronics technology from Indiana
State University in Terre Haute. He is a
member of ASQ.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - January 2016
According to Plan
Use Your Head
Stakeholder Management 101
All About Data
Eight Simple Steps
Which Six Sigma Metric Should I Use?
Turning ‘Who’ Into ‘How’
In the Beginning
Outputs and Outcomes
That’s So Random—Or Is It?
Improving a System
Putting It All on the Table
Know the Drill
It’s Fun To Work With an F-M-E-A
Solve Problems With Open Communication
Tell Me About It
Separate the Vital Few From the Trivial Many
To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC?
Breaking It Down
1 + 1 = Zero Defects
Curve Your Enthusiasm
Make a Choice
What Is a Fault Tree Analysis?
Successful Relationship Diagrams
The Benefits of PDCA
Return on Investment
The Art of Root Cause Analysis
Why Ask Why?
Get to the Root of It
Checks and Balances
Clearing SPC Hurdles
Supplier Selection and Maintenance
Building a Quality Team
Plan Experiments to Prevent Problems
Quality Progress - January 2016