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What is the Capability Maturity Model? (CMM)

Capability Maturity Model (CMM) broadly refers to a process improvement approach that is based on a process model. CMM also refers specifically to the first such model, developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in the mid-1980s, as well as the family of process models that followed. A process model is a structured collection of practices that describe the characteristics of effective processes; the practices included are those proven by experience to be effective. CMM can be used to assess an organization against a scale of five process maturity levels. Each level ranks the organization according to its standardization of processes in the subject area being assessed. The subject areas can be as diverse as software engineering, systems engineering, project management, risk management, system acquisition, information technology (IT) services and personnel management. CMM was developed by the SEI at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. It has been used extensively for avionics software and government projects, in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa.Currently, some government departments require software development contract organization to achieve and operate at a level 3 standard. History The Capability Maturity Model was initially funded by military research. The United States Air Force funded a study at the Carnegie-Mellon Software Engineering Institute to create a model (abstract) for the military to use as an objective evaluation of software subcontractors. The result was the Capability Maturity Model, published as Managing the Software Process in 1989. The CMM is no longer supported by the SEI and has been superseded by the more comprehensive Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). Maturity Model The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a way to develop and refine an organization’s processes. The first CMM was for the purpose of developing and refining software development processes. A maturity model is a structured collection of elements that describe characteristics of effective processes. A maturity model provides: a place to start the benefit of a community’s prior experiences a common language and a shared vision a framework for prioritizing actions a way to define what improvement means for your organization A maturity model can be used as a benchmark for assessing different organizations for equivalent comparison. It describes the maturity of the company based upon the project the company is dealing with and the clients. Context In the 1970s, technological improvements made computers more widespread, flexible, and inexpensive. Organizations began to adopt more and more computerized information systems and the field of software development grew significantly. This led to an increased demand for developers—and managers—which was satisfied with less experienced professionals. Unfortunately, the influx of growth caused growing pains; project failure became more commonplace not only because the field of computer science was still in its infancy, but also because projects became more ambitious in scale and complexity. In response, individuals such as Edward Yourdon, Larry Constantine, Gerald Weinberg, Tom DeMarco, and David Parnas published articles and books with research results in an attempt to professionalize the software development process. Watts Humphrey’s Capability Maturity Model (CMM) was described in the book Managing the Software Process (1989). The CMM as conceived by Watts Humphrey was based on the earlier work of Phil Crosby. Active development of the model by the SEI began in 1986. The CMM was originally intended as a tool to evaluate the ability of government contractors to perform a contracted software project. Though it comes from the area of software development, it can be, has been, and continues to be widely applied as a general model of the maturity of processes in IS/IT (and other) organizations. The model identifies five levels of process maturity for an organisation. Within each of these maturity levels are KPAs (Key Process Areas) which characterise that level, and for each KPA there are five definitions identified: 1. Goals 2. Commitment 3. Ability 4. Measurement 5. Verification
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What is the Capability Maturity Model? (CMM)

706
What is the Capability Maturity Model? (CMM)

Capability Maturity Model (CMM) broadly refers to a process improvement approach that is based on a process model. CMM also refers specifically to the first such model, developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in the mid-1980s, as well as the family of process models that followed. A process model is a structured collection of practices that describe the characteristics of effective processes; the practices included are those proven by experience to be effective.

CMM can be used to assess an organization against a scale of five process maturity levels. Each level ranks the organization according to its standardization of processes in the subject area being assessed. The subject areas can be as diverse as software engineering, systems engineering, project management, risk management, system acquisition, information technology (IT) services and personnel management.

CMM was developed by the SEI at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. It has been used extensively for avionics software and government projects, in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa.Currently, some government departments require software development contract organization to achieve and operate at a level 3 standard.

History

The Capability Maturity Model was initially funded by military research. The United States Air Force funded a study at the Carnegie-Mellon Software Engineering Institute to create a model (abstract) for the military to use as an objective evaluation of software subcontractors. The result was the Capability Maturity Model, published as Managing the Software Process in 1989. The CMM is no longer supported by the SEI and has been superseded by the more comprehensive Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).

Maturity Model

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a way to develop and refine an organization’s processes. The first CMM was for the purpose of developing and refining software development processes. A maturity model is a structured collection of elements that describe characteristics of effective processes. A maturity model provides:
a place to start

the benefit of a community’s prior experiences

a common language and a shared vision

a framework for prioritizing actions

a way to define what improvement means for your organization

A maturity model can be used as a benchmark for assessing different organizations for equivalent comparison. It describes the maturity of the company based upon the project the company is dealing with and the clients.

Context

In the 1970s, technological improvements made computers more widespread, flexible, and inexpensive. Organizations began to adopt more and more computerized information systems and the field of software development grew significantly. This led to an increased demand for developers—and managers—which was satisfied with less experienced professionals.

Unfortunately, the influx of growth caused growing pains; project failure became more commonplace not only because the field of computer science was still in its infancy, but also because projects became more ambitious in scale and complexity. In response, individuals such as Edward Yourdon, Larry Constantine, Gerald Weinberg, Tom DeMarco, and David Parnas published articles and books with research results in an attempt to professionalize the software development process.

Watts Humphrey’s Capability Maturity Model (CMM) was described in the book Managing the Software Process (1989). The CMM as conceived by Watts Humphrey was based on the earlier work of Phil Crosby. Active development of the model by the SEI began in 1986.

The CMM was originally intended as a tool to evaluate the ability of government contractors to perform a contracted software project. Though it comes from the area of software development, it can be, has been, and continues to be widely applied as a general model of the maturity of processes in IS/IT (and other) organizations.

The model identifies five levels of process maturity for an organisation. Within each of these maturity levels are KPAs (Key Process Areas) which characterise that level, and for each KPA there are five definitions identified:

1. Goals
2. Commitment
3. Ability
4. Measurement
5. Verification

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KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
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Top 10 Six Sigma Tools

Six Sigma is a fact-based, data driven philosophy of quality improvement used to drive business process improvement, customer satisfaction and bottom-line results. The Six Sigma expert uses qualitative and quantitative techniques to drive process improvement. With the right tools, not only will there be an elimination of waste, but also an increase in profits and productivity of employees. Although the tools themselves are not unique, the way they are applied and integrated as part of a system is.  In this article, we present the top ten statistical and graphical tools commonly used in improvement projects. Value-Stream Mapping  Value stream mappingThis tool, part of the lean six sigma methodology performs outlining of the materials and information neededto take the product to market, all the way to the customer. It is useful to streamline the process of production. While lean manufacturing is the predominant industry where value-stream mapping is used, it finds application across other several other industries as well. The primary focus of this tool is to visualize the information as error rate, time period, and unnecessary delays that occur within the process. The value-stream map has three parts: Process Map: This contains all the steps included in the business process. Timeline: It comes from the process map for summarizing all the data that was used during the process. Information Flow: It explains the interaction that every step has with one another. Cause-and-effect Analysis  One of the most common six sigma tools, cause and effect analysis allows for brainstorming the different causes of a problem. The cause-and-effect analysis diagram is also referred to as the fishbone diagram due to its resemblance to the fish’s skeleton.  The first step in this is to analyze and identify the problem for which the solution is being sought. Make sure that you note down where and when a process is occurring and who is working on it. In the next step, write down the issue on the left side in a box. Now, make a horizontal line that extends to the other side. From there, you will be making vertical lines that will be extending off giving a view like a spine. On each of these lines, you will be writing the major cause that can be behind this problem and the reason behind that cause. Next, you will be breaking down these causes into sub-causes. Once you are done with the diagram, you will have all the possible causes of your issue. You need to test and analyze this result. The Five Whys  Sometimes, organizations mayfind an issue occurring repeatedly and no matter how many times it is fixed, it bounces back after some time. These problems are the result of a deeper underlying issue at the core. This is where a tool such as the Five Whys is useful. The Five Whys method  Created in the 1930s during the Japanese Industrial Revolution, this method involves asking the question ‘why’ five times. It is best suited in dealing with moderately difficult issues. Although it sounds like an unsophisticated method, when used in conjunction with other six sigma tools, the method yields impressive results.  Onedoes not necessarily need to ask ‘Why’ five times and may reach the root cause sometimes in one or two Whys itself. However, one may also end up going up to seven to eight Whys. In general, however, five Whys are observed. As a caveat, you are not to proceed further if you find the root cause going beyond your control. In these cases, you must take a step back and work on the root cause. Kanban System  This is a supply chain control system focusing on cost reduction. This is done through the implementation of the inventory control system. Because of its potential benefits and ease of use, Kanban is one of the most famous six sigma tools.   Kanban methodLet us take the example of a supermarket. When the refrigerator at the supermarket is stocked, the store does not stock it up for months or years.Neither does the store keep products that it doesnot expect to sell right away. Similarly, in Kanban, you create a shopping list of products that you need, based on the customer's demand. Kanban uses this arrangement and makes the firm’s output controlled by its inventory supply.  The Kanban system is known for limiting the inventory-holding for all the business processes. This frees up additional resources which can be used better. There is a simple idea behind the Kanban system: activate the supply chain only when there is a demand for it. This brings focus to the business process and improves its efficiency.  Pareto Chart  This is a graphical representation of the Pareto Principle. It states that in any given situation, 20 percent of input will produce 80 percent of output. There are a line graph and a bar graph on the chart. The bar graph is representing the different metrics of the different components of the business processes. The line graph is representing the cumulative total of the metrics.   Example of a Pareto chart With this tool, you will be able to visualize which part of the process will be influencing the output most. For creating such charts, the first step is figuring out all the processes’ components and measuring them. After you have completed this, you put the data into the Pareto chart. Every component has a big influence on the outcome. You will also be able to get an idea of what requires immediate attention. Process Mapping  This is a method of visualizing the business process and having a better understanding of how it works. A map will be outlining the standard, roles, and responsibilities that are involved in the process. All the data is presented in a structured way displaying the steps of the process. This also includes what the inputs/outputs are, who is responsible for what, and what is the relevant information for the processes.  When it comes to process solving, business process mapping helps a lot. With this, you visualize the complete process which makes it easy to identify the issue, thus allowing you to get directly to the cause. Also, you will be visualizing the roles of the people that are involved in the process. With business process mapping, you will be able to find the potential risks created by the processes. While creating the map, you will have to rethink every step and look for any hidden liabilities. Example of a high-level Process mapThere are several maps from which the most appropriate one can be chosen for your business processes:  A flowchart is a less flexible process map. You can either draw it by your hand or use a software like MS Office. It is used for creating workflow diagrams. Swimlane diagram is just like generic flowcharts, only it has a better structure. The value stream map provides an in-depth option. It is hard to analyze it at first glance. Supplier Inputs Processes Outputs Customer (SIPOC) diagram is a simplified map focusing on the important aspects of the people and the process involved. It strips the extra information.  Project Charter  This is a document defining the scope and purpose of the project. You can use this as a blueprint of the business process and the project’s legal authorization. It contains the project’s scope and overview, details of the resources and the team, and its timeline. With this, you will have all the basic information regarding the project.  The best thing about the project charter is that it keeps everything less chaotic. Once the team starts working on the project, it is easy to forget who is responsible for what, what deadlines need to be met first, etc. Things will get messier if the company doesn’t have a better managerial hierarchy.  With the project charter, you will be able to focus on what the project is all about. You will get a clear understanding of the structure of the project and what is the relationship among the people involved in it. It will help you bring order to your project and firm. This document is dynamic and undergoes evolution as and when project progresses. RACI Matrix RACI Matrix or Responsibility Assignment Matrix is a table describing the responsibilities of every member of the team regarding all the tasks involved in the business process. The full form of RACI is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.  Responsible is referring to who is going to achieve a specific task. Accountable is the one who assigns the tasks to everyone and monitors their progress. There is one accountable for every task. Consulted are a group of experts who will be providing their opinion to those who are working on the task. Informed are the people the team will be notified to after completing the task.  Example of a RACI matrix  The RACI matrix contains tasks and team members on the left side and the top row of the table respectively. The intersecting cells will contain a letter about what a person is handling in the task. This matrix helps all the team members to understand their role in the process. Also, it makes seeing the gaps in the structure of the team easy and what roles must be filled. Regression Analysis This is a statistical process used to eliminate and understand the relationship between the different variables. You can use it for defining the relationship between the input and the output variable. With this tool, one can visualize patterns or deviation from the patterns in the workflow. Regression analysis is a reliable method of identifying which variables have impact on a topic of interest. The process of performing a regression allows you to confidently determine which factors matter most, which factors can be ignored, and how these factors influence each other. While working on regression analysis, one needs to be cautious in avoiding statistical illusions. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a structured approach to discovering potential failures that may exist within the design of a product or process.Failure modes are the ways in which a process can fail. Effects are the ways that failures can lead to waste, defects, or harmful outcomes for the customer. The Failure mode and effects analysis is designed to identify, prioritize, and limit these failure modes. Lean Six Sigma practitioners often use this method to improve the quality of their services, processes, and products to detect and fix their problems even before they have occurred. In conclusion, of the many tools available to green belts, black belts, and master black belts, these ten tools are the most common. While every project is different and may require a unique application for its own purposes, you will be hard pressed to find a project managed by a six sigma professional that does not use at least four of these ten effective six sigma tools. 
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Top 10 Six Sigma Tools

Six Sigma is a fact-based, data driven philosophy... Read More

Essential Guide to Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

What is Six Sigma Green Belt? A Six Sigma Green Belt is a professional who has a thorough understanding of the advanced elements of the Six Sigma Methodology. Green Belts lead improvement projects and also act as team members to be part of more complex improvement projects that are led by Black Belts.  Being well versed in all aspects of Six Sigma Methodology, a Six Sigma Green Belt is competent in subject matters of DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control). A Green Belt certified professional is highly proficient in implementing, performing, interpreting and applying Lean Six Sigma. Who is eligible for the Six Sigma Green Belt? Being a people-driven process, the performance levels of a Six Sigma project are dependent on the expertise, commitment, and persistence of individual team members. When considering the roles that provide a contribution to the project, only the higher roles like that of Black Belt are often considered. However, Green Belts also have a crucial role in improving the performance of projects. Green Belts are efficient team members and their objective is improving process quality. They help in bridging the gap between the real-world application and theory behind Six Sigma. They play an important role in process improvement, project management and data inspection. A Green Belt certification training teaches the candidates about the basic tools that a project team uses and application of DMAIC skills relative to a Six Sigma project. Six Sigma Green Belt certification is meant for candidates who have work experience in business management or supply chain and have an interest in terminologies like waste reduction and continuous improvement. Earning the certification improves the proficiency of the candidates, making them more desirable for employers. The certification is best suited for professionals who are responsible for improving outputs, controlling costs and helping in improving results. How to get certified in Six Sigma Green Belt? Six Sigma certificate can be earned through different providers. Some major certification providers include ASQ, IASSC etc.  The following section explains the process for you to get certified in Six Sigma Green Belt,  Learn the relevant subject matter You will first need to learn the relevant subject matter, appear for and pass an examination that tests proficiency and competency in a hands-on environment. You will then need to purchase learning materials to train online or enrol into a classroom training course provided by an accredited training school.  Pass a written examination The next step is to pass a written examination consisting of multiple-choice questions and secure For the IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Exam™, you will need to attempt a 100 question, closed book, proctored exam within a 3-hour period.  Complete Quality projects On securing a score of 70% or more, you must complete quality projects related to the concepts of Green Belt. You will then be awarded the professional designation of IASSC Certified Green Belt (IASSC-CGB™) from the International Association for Six Sigma Certification. What are the roles and responsibilities of a Six Sigma Green Belt? A Green Belt is an employee of an organization who has training on the improvement methodology of Six Sigma. The main aspect of their full-time job is leading the process improvement to get high-quality products or services. Green Belts spend a considerable amount of time on strategy building and decision-making components of the Six Sigma project planning process.  With a thorough knowledge of the overall process, they help deliver feedback and driving performance goals by working with centralized project managers. The main responsibilities of a Six Sigma Green Belt are:Lead the project team of Six Sigma improvement Work under a Six Sigma Black Belt’s supervision. Analyze quality problems and solve them Work in coordination with the project’s data collection process team and provide validation to the measurement system Green Belts operate within the limits of their functional area Assist in the improvement of team facilitation skills Develop Project charter along with Supplier, Input, Process, and Output (SIPOC) Diagram for the project What are the benefits of Green Belt Certification? Professional development Earning Green Belt certification equips you with different skills that help the organization you are working for. These skills are useful in day-to-day interactions as well. The training for Six Sigma Green Belt makes you capable and confident enough to discuss complicated subjects, solve problems in an effective manner and provide helpful recommendations Financial advantages When you earn Green Belt certification, you have the confidence of finishing projects effectively and reducing costs of operation for your organization. Generally, organizations need to pay reserve funds for every project for timely completion of project and getting positive output from the project. However, it might not be needed to use reserve funds if Six Sigma Green Belt principles are implemented properly. Benefits to the customer A Green Belt expert can help in providing better products and services, thus ensuring the loyalty of the customers. A lot of clients look for companies making use of Six Sigma. Green Belt experts improve the reliability of an organization, attracting new customers with the assurance of best quality products or services. Competitive advantage Six Sigma can be applied in the sales pitch and advertisement of your business too. By getting a Six Sigma Green Belt certification and implementing Six Sigma, you can help maintain a performance level that is ahead of the competitors. Six Sigma provides you with the required confidence and expertise. It revolves around accumulating information and investigating, which is why the decision-making process won’t be that complex. Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Exam Requirements The requirements to get Six Sigma Green Belt certified are mentioned below: Work experience A Green Belt is an employee who spends some time as a part of process improvement teams. They perform the job of analysing and solving quality problems. They are usually involved with quality improvement projects like Six Sigma. To get Green Belt certified under ASQ, you need to have a work experience of at least three years in an area or more in the Body of Knowledge of Six Sigma Green Belt. The IASSC certification does not have any prerequisites. The job has to be a paid, full-time one. Co-op, paid intern or other course works are not applicable for the work experience requirement.For the CSSC certification, there are no prerequisites. Education:There are no educational waivers granted. Expectations A certified Six Sigma Green Belt is expected to: Operate in the supervision of or in support of a Six Sigma Black Belt Solve and analyze quality problems Be involved in quality improvement projects Has a work experience of minimum three years Be capable of demonstrating their understanding of tools and processes of Six Sigma. Exam format Six Sigma Green Belt Here is the exam format for Six Sigma Green Belt for all the Accrediting bodies: ASQType of questionsNo of questionsDurationOpen/closedMCQ110 for computer 100 for paper-based Four and a half hour Four hoursOpen bookIASSCType of questionsNo of questionsDurationOpen/closedMCQ and True/False100Three hoursClosed bookCSSCType of questionsNo of questionsDurationOpen/closedMCQ and True/False100Non-TimedOpen bookHow to apply for Six Sigma Green Belt exam? In the section to follow, we guide you through the certification process through the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC), the Council for Six Sigma Certification (CSSC) and the American Quality for Quality (AQS). Certification from the International Association for Six Sigma Certification (IASSC)  For the IASSC Certified Yellow Belt, you have to apply for the ICYB exam, take the exam, and achieve a passing score. To apply for the exam, you will be contacting your KnowledgeHut representative who will order the exam voucher. The certification fee is not included in the course fee. After this, you will be able to take the exam. Certification from the American Society for Quality (ASQ) While applying for the ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt exam, you have two options: Computer-based exam This is a one-part exam is offered only in English and it consists of 110 questions and has a duration of four and a half hours. Paper-based exam This one-part exam consists of 100 questions and has a duration of four hours. This exam is offered in English, Mandarin and Spanish, based on specific locations. Depending on what you prefer, you can visit your exam provider’s website and apply for the exam by following relevant steps. Prometric is one such testing partner. Here is how you can schedule your exam. Go to Prometric’s official website. Click on Schedule Your Exam present under the Test Takers section. Search for ASQ in the search bar. Click on Read More. Under the Actions table, select the Schedule option. Select your Country. On the next page, Read Information Review and hit Next. Agree to the Privacy policy and click on Next. Enter your Eligibility ID and other details. Next, select Yellow Belt in the appointments section. Select a suitable date and time for the exam. Your exam will be scheduled. Certification from the Council for Six Sigma Certification (CSSC) For the CSSC Six Sigma Green Belt exam, follow the below-mentioned steps: Visit the link. Click on ‘Add to cart’. A pop-up will appear. You will see the options ‘View Cart’ or ‘Checkout’. Select the Checkout option. Fill in the details.  Complete the payment. Your order will be placed. How long does it take to get my Green Belt certification exam results? It is always important to be promptly notified of the exam results. The results are usually provided in quick time. If you have taken the IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Exam™, you will be provided your results through email within 1 to 2 days after giving the exam. If you pass the exam, you will be getting a certification from the IASSC. What is the average salary of Six Sigma Green Belt certified professionals? The Green Belt certification is for a mid-managerial role that involves implementation of Six Sigma methodologies. Positions that a Green Belt may undertake include: Process Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Quality Manager Supplier Quality Engineer Continuous Improvement Manager. According to a study revealed by Indeed.com over 12 months from more than 222,000 data points, the range of average annual salary for a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certified professional is from $71,381 per annum to $101,869 per annum. A Six Sigma Green Belt earns around $72,000 per year on an average. According to PayScale.com the average annual salary for a Green Belt certified individual is approximately between $65,000 per annum and $79,000 per annum. The annual salary also tends to vary based on the Green Belt role. Average salary for a Process Engineer is $73,166, Quality Manager is $79,141, Continuous Improvement Manager is $77,141, and a Quality Assurance or Quality Control Engineer is $66,030 per annum. 
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Essential Guide to Six Sigma Green Belt Certificat...

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The DMAIC Methodology in Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a quality improvement approach created in early 1980s. Thanks to the efforts of engineer, Bill Smith, working in Motorola in the 80s, this approach has found its way into mainstream business. Today, it has become one of the most common methodological practices used to improve business processes, product quality, enhance customer satisfaction and increase overall profitability. Over the years, although the Six Sigma approach has been refined, the goal has remained the same: to improve business processes by eliminating the causes of errors leading to defects in a service or a product.To accomplish this, a combination of management philosophy, a set of statistical tools and a problem-solving approach must be employed to eliminate errors and provide systems. People who work with Six Sigma practices work at different levels of accomplishment: Yellow Belt, Green Belt, Black Belt, and Master Black Belt.The Six Sigma methodology was based on the bell curve created by Carl Frederick Grauss in the 19th century. In the 1920s, a founder member of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, statistician Cark Shewhart, showed that the process had deviated from the mean by 3 sigmas and had to be corrected. Fast forward to the 1970s, Art Sundry, Senior Executive at Motorola, complained that there was a lack of consistent quality products in the company. Bill Smith responded to the complaint by implementing the six sigma methodology in 1986. Over time, other management improvement strategies influenced the system like Zero Defects and Total Quality Management.In this article, we discuss the DMAIC framework and provide an overview of the steps in each phase and the tools that can be used in each phase.The DMAIC frameworkTo improve business processes systematically, the DMAIC framework can be used. DMAIC is a data-driven and effective five-step approach that works on eliminating expensive variation from the manufacturing and business processes. It stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. This methodology was designed for delivering the best performance without any defects and with competitive quality costs.The five steps of the DMAIC frameworkLet us discuss the five phases of DMAIC:DefineThis is the first step in which we identify the customers, internal and external deliverables of the customer and the goal of the project will be defined. The primary focus of this phase is selecting high-impact projects and metrics that will be reflecting the success of the project. During this phase, questions like who the targeted customers are, what their requirements regarding products and services are, and what their expectations are, are asked. Also, the boundaries of the project are defined. Along with this the start and stop points, as well as the process flow, need to be mapped out during this phase.Steps in the Define phaseDefining Customers and requirements (CTQs)Defining resourcesDeveloping a high-level process mapDeveloping milestones and project planDeveloping problem statement, benefits and goalsPrepare a project charterEvaluating key organization supportIdentifying team, process owner, and champion  Tools that can be used in the Define phaseCTQ DefinitionsDMAIC Work Breakdown StructureProcess FlowchartProject CharterSIPOC DiagramRACI DiagramStakeholder AnalysisVoice of the Customer gathering MeasureThis is the second phase of the DMAIC where the current process must be documented. This also includes validating the forms of measurement and assessment of the performance of the baseline. This step is similar for determining shortfall by using a customer survey. In this phase, we collect data from different sources for determining the type of defects and metrics. The most important tools that can be used in this phase are basic Pareto charts, process capability measurement, Gage R & R, and process flowcharts.Steps in the Measure phaseDeveloping data collection planCollecting the dataBeginning Developing y = f(x) relationshipDefining unit, opportunity, and defectDetailing the process map of different, appropriate areasDetermining sigma baseline and process capabilityValidating the measurement systemTools that can be used in the Measure phaseBenchmarkingData Collection Plan/ExampleMeasurement System AnalysisProcess Flowchart & Value Stream MapProcess Sigma CalculationVoice of the Customer GatheringAnalyzeThe primary focus of the Analyze phase is the filtration of the topmost causes of the Critical-to-Quality Characteristic or the CTC metric for examination. Usually, for being successful, there should not be more than three causes that require control. If there are more than three causes, it means that the isolation of the critical causes was not done properly. The other reason behind this can be that the project’s goal is way too ambitious. In this step, you will have to identify if there is any gap present between the goal performance and the current performance. Sources of variation and opportunities for priority improvement needs to be identified as well. There are several tools that can be used for this phase including scatter diagrams, hypothesis testing, multi-vari analysis, time series plots, fishbone diagrams, histograms, and Pareto charts.Steps in the Analyze phaseDefining performance objectivesDetermining important few x’s and y=f(x) relationshipIdentifying value as well as non-value added process stepsIdentifying sources of variationDetermining root causesPrioritize the root causesTools that can be used in the Analyze phase5 WhysCause and EffectFishbone DiagramHistogramHypothesis TestingNon-Normal Data AnalysisPareto ChartProcess Map Analysis and ReviewRegression AnalysisRun ChartScatter PlotStatistical AnalysisTime SeriesImproveThis is the fourth step of the DMAIC framework that ensures an understanding of all the causes that were identified in the Analyze phase. The aim of this phase is eliminating and controlling the causes for achieving the required breakthrough performance. Now, discipline and technology are used for designing creative and innovative solutions that will be fixing as well as preventing problems. You will also have to develop and deploy an implementation plan. For this phase, you can use tools like Hypothesis Testing, Regression Analysis, Design of Experiments (DOE), and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA).Steps in the Improve phaseAssessing potential solution’s failure modesCorrecting or re-evaluating potential solutionsDefining the potential system’s operational tolerancesDeveloping potential solutionsPerforming design experimentsValidating potential improvements through pilot studiesTools that can be used in the Improve phase5 SBrainstormingDesign of ExperimentsFailure Modes and Effects AnalysisHouse of QualityMistake ProofingPugh MatrixQFDSimulation SoftwareControlIn this last phase, you have to ensure that all the improvements that were made must be controlled for ensuring sustained changes and lasting results. In the case of best controls, there will be a need for little to no monitoring such as irreversible product changes and process design. But there are always some process setting, setup procedures, or some other improvements that will make the daily operation and monitoring requirements necessary. Steps need to be taken for ensuring that the process doesn’t revert to the old way.Steps in the Control phaseCommunicating to businessClosing project and finalizing documentationDefining and validating control system and monitoringDetermining process capabilityDeveloping handoff to process owner and transfer planDeveloping procedures and standardsImplementing statistical process controlVerifying cost savings/avoidance, benefits, and profit growthTools that can be used in the Control haseControl ChartsControl PlanCost Savings CalculationsProcess Sigma CalculationEach of the five DMAIC phases come together in the implementation of six sigma, which can turn the business around for any organization.Implementation of DMAICIn this section, we will take a look at two examples of DMAIC implementation that use varied continuous improvement models for specific applications:Floor yield improvement in a manufacturing shopThe first example is of a repetitive manufacturing process, where the yield is increased by making products:Define: Identify the product flow, the specific products, and the goalMeasure: Define the metrics that will be used as the first-pass yield, rolled first-pass yield, or OTIFNE; it will also include monitoring for time to gather baseline data that is statistically meaningful.Analyze: Look for trends, assess the standard deviation and mean from data, address, and identify outliers; this also includes identifying variables impacting the yield using root cause analyses.Improve: Define and put in place countermeasures o address the identified root causes; monitor the process to confirm the achievement of desired yield improvement.Control: Implement measures to maintain improved performance.Impact on Hospital outcomes through evidence-based careThe second example shows how improvements can be driven in a hospital through observation and usage of principles of Lean in a DMAIC framework:Define: Ask questions like how often infections occur in a hospital, over what time frame will infection’s treatments will improve.Measure: Measuring the current stateAnalyze: Determine the root cause like the procedures introducing contamination and specific process steps.Improve: Implement a checklist like basic hygiene steps, sterile barriers, disinfectants, enhancing equipment, and avoiding susceptible areas.Control: Incorporate reinforcement and training to internalize the process and improve the culture; this can also include empowerment of nursing staff to ensure enforcement of the measures introduced.ConclusionAccording to the six sigma level, only 3.4 defects out of one million products or services are acceptable. To achieve this, continuous efforts are made to the point where predictable results and stable products are achieved.As discussed above, the six sigma methodology deconstructs the process of manufacturing to its smallest, essential parts. It then works on defining and evaluating every step of the process and searches for ways to improve efficiencies in the structure of the business. This is done to both improve the process quality and increase the bottom-line profit.With a good overview of the DMAIC framework, you can now work towards becoming proficient in the six sigma methodology. Start with the Yellow Belt or move up the Green Belt and Black Belt to the Master Black Belt.
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The DMAIC Methodology in Six Sigma

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