Six Sigma works towards zero defects, streamlined processes, and quality products through two main systematic approaches: the DMAIC methodology and the DMADV methodology. Choosing the methodology depends on whether the focus is on a new process or an existing one.
DMADV stands for the phases Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify. Six Sigma teams that are looking to create a new process to meet the needs of the customer will used this methodology to design the new process. While DMAIC is focused on improving current business processes to reduce defects, DMADV has more of a focus on creating business processes that satisfy the customer.
The five phases of DMADV are:
Define: In this phase, the purpose of the project or process is identified, and goals are set accordingly. Goals should be realistic, measurable, and align with customer needs and the business strategy.
Measure: The next step is to identify components that are critical to the quality of the product. Product capabilities are measured as well as production process capability and risks. Using a balanced scorecard can be beneficial during this phase.
Analyze: Building upon the Measure phase, develop and design process alternatives. The process options should be analyzed to identify the ones that will best meet the established goals.
Design: This phase includes taking the process selected in the previous step and designing it to specifically meet the customer’s needs.
Verify: Finally, the design should be verified by setting up pilot runs and having the new process implemented.
Both DMAIC and DMADV have traits in common and work towards the ultimate goal of quality, but they are two methodologies that should not be used simultaneously or interchangeably. DMADV focuses on defining and measuring the customer’s needs while developing processes that will meet those needs. It should be noted that the DMADV method require the use of certified Green Belts, Black Belts, and Master Black Belts as well as support from a Project Champion.