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Steps in Six Sigma Methodology
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The Steps in Six Sigma Methodology is page 4 in my free six sigma online training course Define Six Sigma.


Steps in Six Sigma Methodology

Each of the five steps in six sigma methodology progresses forward building on the previous step.

steps in six sigma methodology
DMAIC
  1. Define opportunities and what has significant consequence regarding customer service and quality.
  2. Measure performance of that activity. How well is it being done compared to how well it could and should be done.
  3. Analyse the chances and opportunities that exist to determine what is going wrong.
  4. Improve processes and activities performance. Fix all the aspects in the process or activity that are leading to defects or process variations.
  5. Control performance by building controls into the process that will stabilise outputs.

The Five Steps in Six Sigma Methodology - Six Sigma Procedure

Within each of the DMAIC phases below, the steps in six sigma methodology, follow each of the six sigma procedure sub-steps. This provides a pretty good idea of how to work through the step in six sigma methodology.
Define Phase
  1. Determine which projects will be worked on, prepare a project plan.
  2. Put together the start up project team including with a black belt.
  3. Put together the project plan and deliverable (milestones) and finalise work agreements.
  4. Define customer requirements by estimating the current amount of defects and the cost per defect.
  5. Define the units or processes that are going to be measured - the metrics.
  6. Set targets and plans for both for long term cost savings and for short term sigma targets, i.e. the outputs of the process.
  7. Document the process. Map the process from start to finish and identify and include all the material resource inputs that produce the outputs.
  8. Record the process into a SIPOC diagram and gain agreement from the stakeholders.
  9. Develop a communication strategy for meeting the needs of stakeholders and for effective workplace communication.

SIPOC Diagram Template
sipoc diagram template

Download SIPOC Diagram Template



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Measure Phase
  1. Measure the current 'as is' of the process to have a base line moving forward. Ensure the baseline is relevant to what is going to be measured.
  2. Develop a preliminary data collection plan.
  3. Test data collection methods several times to ensure any variable to the data collection has been identified.
  4. Repeat the collection and measurement process several times, reviewing the process map to ensure any variations to the process are acceptable and there is confidence in the data, collection and measurement.
  5. Calculate a baseline process sigma.
  6. Evaluate the capability of the process to produce outputs within customer tolerance levels.
Analyse Phase
  1. Begin the analysis by ensuring the process is stable and okay to be statistically analysed.
  2. Analyse and review the process in several ways to determine the cause of the variations to the process and to identify possible causes of defects.
  3. Determine the variations and root cause against the existing data (process within the flowcharts, sub process flows, etc), or generate new data to validate against.
  4. Undertake root cause analysis to explain the reason for the variation or defect.
  5. Take advantage of any opportunity to implement quick wins and implement improvements if possible at this analysis phase.
Improve Phase
  1. Involve stakeholders and undertake idea generation and brainstorming sessions to determine and select long-term solutions. Carry out benchmarking exercises where appropriate for more ideas.
  2. Refine the list of improvements so that they can be implemented with a 'bit-by-bit' process improvement approach. Select the ideas based on there fit to the projects criteria.
  3. Conducting pilot studies before implementation is an option. Then modify implementation plans as required.
  4. Test the improvements, if they are showing success go ahead with full scale implementation.
  5. Ensure a training plan is in-place to assist staff with new skills requirements.
  6. Stick to the company communication strategy including updating site dashboards.
  7. Follow the change management implementation plan, including aligning the necessary organisational structural elements.
Control Phase
  1. At this final stage processes are documented, training packages are finalised and the new activity and work becomes a standard process part of the business.
  2. Activities are determined for monitoring the effectiveness of the processes and to control them, and a plan for how this monitoring will take place is issued.
  3. Continue with all stakeholder communication updating plans.
  4. The process owner takes on responsibility for the future of the process.
  5. The project is closed.
Six Sigma Online Training Course

One of the best free six sigma training courses of its kind available online. If you liked this page steps in six sigma methodology, you may like to complete this free six sigma online training course.

Page 1 - Define six sigma. What is six sigma?
Page 2 - Overview of six sigma. Why do firms like it, the requirements for success, when to use it and when not to?
Page 3 - Six sigma history and Motorola six sigma.
Page 4 - The Steps in Six Sigma Methodology.
Page 5 - The six sigma process and six sigma basics for process improvement jobs.
Page 6 - What is lean six sigma, lean six sigma training, lean six sigma tools and the lean six sigma methodology.




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