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Understanding DMAIC and DMADV

The foundation of Six Sigma and the methodologies that are used are tools in improving the manufacturing process. It is important to understand that the most important aspect of both approaches to Six Sigma is that they begin with a specific problem, and an attempt to improve or eliminate that problem. This is why the first step in DMAIC is to define the goals of the process that will in the end, yield the desired results. This can be contradictory to most people and companies in general, since many people are used to defining problems in very broad terms and that may not really be useful in the end. Sometimes the hardest part for people is sitting down and determining the exact source of the problem, so they can fix it. It is crucial to realize that stating the problem in quantitative terms helps define where the problem might be coming from. You must define the problem to help clarify the goal, and what can be done to fix it. It is also crucial to make sure that the goals, for process improvement, are consistent with customer demands, and the company's objectives.

In order to be successful you will also need to be able to measure the key aspect of the process, that is currently being used, and gather data about those processes that will help improve them. Keep in mind that the data should be able to tell you why certain problems might be found in the products themselves. If you are just measuring data, for the sake of having it, is completely useless, and makes the process more inefficient than before.Remember that defining the problem is really just the beginning, and then you need to have information that will help you determine which factors influence the quality of your product the most.

The next step is that you need to use the data that you have collected, and analyze it and make comparisons, with samples taken from the production line. You should be able to find cause and effect relationships, which will eventually lead to pinpointing the problem. It is then that you can take swift action to repair the problems that are leading to the quality issues. By understanding the variations in your production process, it will help you to reduce or eliminate them, resulting in higher efficiency. This is the ultimate goal of Six Sigma. Closely analyzing the data also helps you to determine if a problem was simply a random event, that doesn't regularly occur. If you find that this is the case, then you don't need to continue implementing the Six Sigma methods.

If you find a quantified problem then the next step is improving the design of the production process.Keep in mind that sometimes these changes can be done quite easily and will have little expense other than time.Sometimes these problems will require redesigning an entire portion of the process. It should constantly be the focus that the changes need to be made in accordance with customer expectations and the goals of the company. Remember that this step should only be taken if it has been determined that it is a real problem, and not just a fluke. Also, it is crucial that possible solutions should be tested to see if they will really make a significant difference, before they are put into full production.It is advised that all angles of the problem should be fully considered, and there should be an effort to apply multiple different solutions, and then select the best one of all.
At this point the process must be controlled, and data needs to be again collected about any deviations, from the target. There should be test runs made to ensure that the final product is up to expectations, and that it doesn't result in even more problems than the original problem. While this process will take some time and effort, insuring the quality of the product is very important, and critical to the long-term success of the company.

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