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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Basics of Lean and Six Sigma for the Laboratory. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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DMAIC Process

DMAIC is an acronym for define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. This is the Six Sigma problem-solving approach that was devised by Motorola for improving business processes. When addressing a problem, these steps should be followed in this order.
Define In the "Define" phase an organization reviews the high level processes, identifies customer requirements (VOC - voices of customers), documents the problem and goals of the project, and selects team members
Measure The "Measure" phase is when the team observes, reviews, and measures the current process to establish a baseline.
Analyze After the team has collected enough data, the next step would be to use appropriate tools to analyze the data in order to identify and verify the root causes of the problem.
Improve The team now understands the root causes of the problem. The "Improve" phase is about creating and implementing solutions to eliminate root causes.
Control The "Control" phase of Six Sigma is similar to the Lean 5S "Sustain" phase. The goal of control is to ensure implemented changes are being maintained. Without control the process may revert to the former problem-prone process.