ast issue we began looking at DMAIC
, the centerpiece of Six Sigma Methods. We covered each section of DMAIC
in brief, this issue we will look at Section 1, "DEFINE", a bit more closely.
First understand that DMAIC
was organized to achieve Six Sigma levels of quality. Now most of the business community views this as a superb way of conducting a project. DMAIC
is data based problem solving and project management. Beginning first with expert knowledge, it is validated using statistical logic.
There is no point in accelerating the excavation if you are digging in the wrong spot. DMAIC
assures the practitioner that you are digging in the correct spot. The technique follows a series of well-organized steps that are clearly outlined in road maps. The trained and certified Six Sigma Black Belt is skilled at following these road maps.
The DEFINE is the first step in DMAIC
. Well not quite. Prior to defining a project the candidates must pass through an exhaustive evaluation process (filtering). Bouncing around in the potential project hopper are many candidates. Some are and some are not attached to the business plan, some can be handled by individual effort and others are just plain not useful. The filtering process identifies the projects that will be best prosecuted using DMAIC
Once the proper project has been identified, it is now time for the DEFINE Phase. This is the time that the "High Level Y" is identified. The "High Level Y" is the desired outcome. Underneath the "High Level Y" are many X / Y relationships that will be explored.
When the sponsoring company has identified the project, it is necessary to organize the team to carryout the mission. The team should be comprised of a Champion, Leader, Facilitator, Recorder, and cross-functional members. The Leader should be the one with most to gain by completing the project. This is not necessarily the Black Belt. The Black Belt should be the facilitator. The Champion represents the sponsor and should have a big enough title to assist the team in completing the assignment.
Once the project has been framed and the Champion and Leader picked, a Charter must be created. Included in the Charter is:
- Project identification
- Scope & Boundaries
- Expected benefit
- Anticipated resources
- Team structure and members
Once the Charter is completed, the Champion and the Leader should sign it. Following the signatures, this document is no longer a Charter. It is now a Contract.
Next issue we will take a closer look at the inner workings of the team.