Lean Six Sigma practitioners use a wide variety of tools to deliver their process improvement projects. Perhaps two of the most common tools are DMAIC and DMADV. Centred around improving the processes that underpin an organisation, DMAIC and DMDAV provide reliable frameworks that put customer needs, real data and scientific design at the forefront of process improvement.
Being similar concepts, these two tools are often confused for one another by those just getting started with Lean Six Sigma. In this article we will cover each framework in more detail and discuss the differences between DMAIC and DMADV.
What is DMAIC?
The most robust and widely-used Lean Six Sigma tool, DMAIC is used to improve existing processes. DMAIC seeks to identify, measure and resolve the causes of unknown problems with a process using data and statistical analysis.
DMAIC stands for:
- Define. Define the problem with the process and use that information to establish the goals of the project and the needs of the process customers. The Define stage helps to focus the project and ensures its goals are aligned with those of the organisation.
- Measure. Measure the process to collect data on current performance. This helps to both quantify the problem being experienced and establishes baseline performance prior to improvement projects.
- Analyse. The Analyse phase focuses on identifying the root cause of the problem to uncover the true issues with the process.
- Improve. With the root cause identified, the process improvement team can begin making improvements and implementing their plan. The Improve phase is also where Lean Six Sigma professionals will refine their countermeasures, carry out solutions and collect data to find out if there is a measurable improvement.
- Control. The Control phase seeks to develop ways to maintain the improvements made to a process. The focus here is on creating sustainable change that delivers positive results over the long-term, usually through continuous monitoring and updating of the process.
What is DMADV?
DMADV is a Lean Six Sigma tool that assists with the development of new products, services and processes. Using DMADV provides solid grounding for new processes by identifying key deliverables and basing the development cycle on real data and analysis.
DMADV stands for:
- Define. Define the problem the business is experiencing and how a new process can resolve that problem. This stage includes identifying project goals, customer deliverables, project scope, allocated resources and an estimated timeline.
- Measure. The Measure phase works to understand the customer’s requirements. Customer requirements can then be used to identify things that are Critical to Quality (CTQ) in the new process. Each CTQ that is identified requires its own measurement systems.
- Analyse. During the Analyse phase, design concepts that will address customer demands and CTQs are developed. The Analyse phase also generates alternative design concepts, which can later be evaluated and have their best parts combined to create the final process design.
- Design. The best process design from the Analyse phase is converted into a prototype during the Design phase.
- Verify. In the final stage of the process, the prototype from the Design phase is validated. The Verify phase seeks to make sure the new process addresses all CTQs, performs its intended functions and aligns with organisational goals.
The DIfference Between DMAIC and DMADV
While DMAIC and DMADV share three of the same letters, the two tools differ widely in their application. The primary difference between the two tools is the way they are used. Where DMAIC is used to define, measure and improve existing business processes, DMADV is exclusively used to develop new processes (such as products and services).
DMAIC and DMADV also differ in several other ways:
- DMAIC measures how a process is currently performing. DMADV measures a customer’s needs and seeks to develop a matching process.
- DMAIC aims to minimise the defects in a process, reducing waste and delivering organisational performance increases. DMADV designs business models to meet customer requirements.
- DMAIC establishes controls to monitor the ongoing performance of a process. DMADV undergoes testing and simulations to verify that the process meets the needs of customers and the organisation.
Despite the difference in their applications, DMAIC and DMADV work together to deliver stronger processes that directly address the needs of customers. Combined, these two tools deliver on the central mission of Lean Six Sigma, which is to reduce organisational waste and improve the quality of products.
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Lean and Six Sigma offer a variety of tools designed to improve the way organisations operate. Reducing waste and improving product quality saves money and increases customers satisfaction, ultimately leading to greater profits and better outcomes for customers. DMAIC and DMADV are just two of the tools taught as part of the Lean Six Sigma training courses at Thornley Group. Our programmes can be tailored to meet the needs of every member of your business, from the factory floor to the boardroom. Contact us today for more information on our Lean Six Sigma and corporate solutions.