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The DMADV methodology of six sigma

The DMADV process is primarily used when a product or process is not in existence and needs to be developed in your company. Another reason is if there is an existing process that is not meeting your expectations. DMADV methodology is geared towards creating new products and business practices. Many steps are taken within the process to meet the customers' needs.

The five steps of the DMADV process are spelled out in the following acronym:
D = Define. Define the project goals and customer deliverables.
M = Measure. Measure and determine customer needs and specifications.
A = Analyze. Analyze the process options to meet the customer needs.
D = Design. Design (detailed) the process to meet the customer needs.
V = Verify. Verify the design performance and ability to meet customer needs.

The DMADV process relies on the company's ability to understand the customers' needs and determine which are unmet. Many times this is a challenge for companies as they do not know how to determine what their customer's needs are and have no idea which needs are unmet.
The Six Sigma Methodology is used to help companies design and develop new products, services and processes. The company begins by drawing up a business strategy that leads to improvement of products or systems and ultimately result in customer satisfaction.

The DMADV Method
The goal of the DMADV Method differs from Six Sigma alone since it starts at the beginning of the design of a new product, service or process. This is different as this method is not focused on taking an existing product and "patching" it.

The Steps Defined
In the Define step you spell out the purpose of the project, the importance, scope, deadlines, and available resources. This may seem tedious as you will have numerous meetings to discuss planning for future products and services.

During the Measure process you learn to understand the voice of the customer. This includes customer research, benchmarking, and technical research to arrive at CTQs (Critical To Quality Characteristics). Data collection, planning, and translating customer requests into designs are essential.

When you reach the Analyze step, you will look back on the CTQs from step 2 and use them as your cornerstone for new ideas and design. Each idea or concept is evaluated and the best concept or design will be chosen. During the evaluation it is important to have customer feedback and input. During this phase there will be a lot of creativity, prototyping and support from the design team.

The actual Design phase includes several people and teams. Development, testing, building, budgeting and many others will be included. During this time you will be involved in reviewing simulations, process modeling, risk analysis, and process charts.

Finally, you have reached the Verify stage. This last step helps all teams involved transition the product, process, or service to the customer.

Six Sigma is a management philosophy that "emphasizes setting extremely high objectives, collecting data, and analyzing results to a fine degree as a way to reduce defects in products and services."

The structure of Six Sigma is to get as close to perfection as possible. Therefore, companies measure how many defects are in a process and then narrow them down to achieve perfection. In order for a company to achieve Six Sigma, it cannot produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities, where an opportunity is defined as a chance for nonconformance.

DMADV is a methodology from Six Sigma. DMADV is a data-driven quality process for designing products and processes. If followed as outlined, the DMADV method will ensure success. Understanding the customers' needs and deciding how to fix problems that occur from those needs is the key tool in becoming successful with the DMADV process.

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