The DMAIC Improvement Process of Lean Six Sigma comprises five phases namely, Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. Define is critical to the successful outcome of an improvement project. This phase either makes it or breaks it. The phase exit review by the leadership team determines if the project will add value to the organization and continue to completion or be cancelled. This article outlines the Define Phase Objectives, the Tools to Apply, and the Deliverables to be achieved.
The primary objective of Define is to establish the business need for the improvement project to be conducted. Resources, time, and effort are expended to complete the project so the value proposition must be clearly stated. The first phase exit review in DMAIC allows the leadership team to make an informed, data driven evaluation of the project to determine its viability. A decision is then made to allow the project to continue or to kill it and commission a different project.
The supporting objectives are the following:
Tools to Use:
The most efficient way to manage a project is to focus on accomplishing the required deliverables. Yes tasks are required, but how many projects get completed and still have tasks on a task by task plan that were never finished? Focus on the deliverables and the tasks will take care of themselves.
Deliverables that Signify Phase Completion:
The leadership team decides based upon the phase exit review of the Define Phase to either continue going forward with the improvement project or to kill it and assign another project to the DMAIC team.