Improve Phase Success Criteria for the DMAIC Improvement Process

June 08th, 2013

Tags: DMAIC Improve Phase, Six Sigma DMAIC, DMAIC, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma

The DMAIC Improvement Process of Lean Six Sigma comprises five phases namely, Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. The Improve Phase is where the team applies creativity backed by hard facts to develop solutions to the issues that the improvement project is tackling. A key component is testing the potential solutions prior to full scale implementation assuring that the project goals are met. This article outlines the Improve Phase Objectives, the Tools to Apply, and the Deliverables to be achieved.


  • Develop Creative Solutions for the Verified Root Causes of the Process Problems
  • Evaluate and Select the Most Appropriate Solution(s) with the Lowest Risks and Best Rewards
  • Pilot Test the Selected Solution(s) to Validate that it Achieves the Project Goal from the Project Charter
  • Develop Plans for Full Scale Implementation

Tools to Use:

  • Brainstorming Creativity Techniques
    • Think Like a Kid
    • Get Rid of Excuses
    • Break the Rules
    • Slice and Dice
    • Idea Box
    • Brutethink
    • Edison
    • Musical Chairs
  • Data Collection Plans and Sampling Strategies
  • Detailed Future State Process Maps
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Design of Experiments
  • Implementation Project Planning
  • Analysis of Process Stakeholder commitment of support for project completion.

Deliverables that Signify Phase Completion:

  • List of Solutions Developed
  • Criteria used to Narrow the Field and Select the Best Solutions
    • Matrix showing  the ranking of Various Solutions versus the Selection Criteria
    • Types of Matrix Analysis that could be applied:
      • Simple Prioritization Matrix
      • Quality Function Deployment Matrix
      • Pugh Matrix                                  
      • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Results of Small Scale Tests and Pilots of Solutions
  • Full Scale Implementation Plan
  • Assessment of Interdependencies with Current Management Systems, Policies, and Procedures

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