How to use DMAIC to improve your business processes
DMAIC is a part of the Six Sigma method. This is the method that is used to help improve businesses (primarily based in manufacturing), by pulling out defects that are slowing the company down, and costing too much money and waste. DMAIC is an acronym that stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. You can use the following steps to improve your business and decrease waste.
- Define-This means planning out what your first step will be. You will need to clearly identify what goals you want to reach, and how you are going to reach them. You will also want to be able to utilize what resources you already have. This is done by finding out what needs to be change and what ideas your management, and employees have. Keep in mind that there may be employees that can help you improve with their ideas and research, they have already done; or it may be done by having a Black Belt Six Sigma help you. A Black Belt has the knowledge of how to assess the situation and make the necessary changes.
- Measure-This is the step where you decide how you are going to decide if the changes, you have put in place have worked. You will need to evaluate the changes you have made, and study what your employees have documented. Keep in mind that you must have accurate reading and documentation, in order to know if you are achieving your goal. When you first implement your new changes and procedures, you will need to make sure everyone knows what and how to document it. As you measure your changes, be sure to take the time to talk to the employees that are documenting the process. This is important since they are the ones that will have the information you are looking for.
- Analyze-Once you have measured your changes, you now need to analyze them. You will need to speak to management and other employees, to see if the company has made the changes that you and they have implemented.If you are not seeing the progress you wanted, you will need to re-organize and re-evaluate the situation.
- Improve-Keep in mind that even though you have made changes, and you have seen an increase in work, and a decrease in un-needed materials, there is still room to improve. You will want to make sure you are always aware of what is going on throughout the company. You will need to keep open communication, between management and other employees. Remember that everyone is doing something different, and may have an idea that is going to improve your business. In addition, keeping communication open throughout a business will also help trust between management and employees. The benefit of this is that when you have good morale, your company will increase in productivity.
- Keeping Control-This is the last and most important step in the DMAIC method. This step can help improve your organization the most. After putting in all the work of the first steps, you must keep it under control. When you see something that is hurting your business, you need to act quickly to turn that around and keep the negative out.You and your Six Sigma trained team can work to keep the positive aspects of your work in place. Keep in mind that it is important to utilize the resources, you have already paid for, or else you are generating more waste. The focus of your DMAIC is to reduce or eliminate waste, improve productivity, and help insure that your business has profitability in the long-term.