The methodology known as the DMAIC cycle, a name that comes from the initials in English of the phases or stages that the methodology is made up of. D. Define; M. Measure; A. Analyse; I. Improve and C. Control
It is important to see it as a cycle that does not end until all the phases or stages have been completed.
The most well-known cycle for improvement is the PDCA or DEMING cycle, but this one is a remote precedent. The DMAIC cycle is far better.
The essential difference between the PDCA cycle and the DMAIC cycle is that while the PDCA cycle in its P (plan) and D (do) stages it defines WHAT has to be done (this is obvious), the DMAIC cycle also defines, in addition to WHAT has to be done, HOW it has to be done.
To say that it is necessary to Plan and Do is to approach the problem from too high a perspective; when a working group approaches a problem in order to improve a process it needs tools and methods that are clear and organised, as well as simple, in order to lead them to achieve the desired improvement.
When a team faces the challenge of improving a process it must think that:
- No process can be approached unless it is defined; that is, if there is not a sequence of operations to analyse.
- No process can be improved if it cannot be measured against standards or against the past.
- No process is improved unless its performance throughout has been analysed.
- No process is maintained unless it is controlled.
The best way to face an improvement of a process is to think about how to “break” it to establish a “process of rupture” from the current process to transform it into a more efficient process.
In future articles I will explain the stages of the DMAIC cycle in detail,how we work in IKOR with it, and how to approach each one of them to have guaranteed success in the improvement of a production process.