How do you Define and Measure Something with Six Sigma?

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Practice Test
How do you Define and Measure Something with Six Sigma?

This Six Sigma lesson covers the Define and Measure sections of the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC) model:

  1. Define: develop your question or hypothesis
  2. Measure: collect meaningful data

The DMAIC model is a scientific approach and seeks to solve a problem. The Define part of the DMAIC model consists of the following steps and inquiries. You must define:

  1. What you are trying to solve
  2. The customer, their critical to quality (CTQ) issues and the core business process involved
  3. Who customers are, what their requirements are for products and services, and what their expectations are going forward
  4. Project boundaries (the scope of work), the start and stop of the process
  5. The process which needs improvement by mapping the process flow

Remember not to let data drive the solution. Instead, use data to inform. Key activities within the Define stage include:

  1. Who is your target customer?
  2. Develop a project charter
  3. Collect the Voice of the Customer (needs)
  4. Identify their Critical to Quality (CTQ) issues
  5. Historical data

The Measure part of the DMAIC model consists of the following.

  1. The performance of the core business process involved
  2. Developing a data collection plan for the process
  3. Collecting data from many sources to determine types of affects and metrics
  4. Comparison to customer survey results to determine potential or current shortfalls

Key activities within the Measure stage include:

  1. Select key critical to quality (CTQ) key performance parameters
  2. Prepare a collection plan
  3. Define performance standards
  4. Validate measurements and tools

Prior to collecting meaningful data, it is important to consider the following points:

  1. What data is/are needed?
  2. How is it best collected?
  3. Where does the data exist?
  4. How will it be measured?
  5. How will you know the data is accurate?
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