The process improvement phases of Six Sigma are Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. This blog post is a quick overview of the Define phase.
The Define phase is critical in that you use this phase to identify and scope the problem and the process you are trying to improve. The key to this phase centers on understanding the customer, the customer’s needs/requirements, and how those needs relate to the performance measures you are tracking.
Define Phase Quick Definition:
- Define the problem and customer requirements
Define Phase Outputs:
- Develop a project charter that will include all the information you need to define the opportunity in terms of the project goal, business case, team member, stakeholders, and timeline to name a few.
- Identify customers and customer needs/requirements using available customer data or through customer surveys.
- Define the process to improve by developing high level process maps.
Some Define Phase Process Improvement Tools:
- Pareto Chart – tool to provide a visual representation of all your problems and help you focus on the ones that offer the greatest opportunity for improvement
- Kano Analysis – tool to help prioritize customer requirements
- QFD – Quality Function Deployment (House of Quality) is a matrix tool to refine customer requirements
- Process Mapping – visual tool to help document the process
- SIPOC Analysis – high level mapping tool that can be used to define your process starting with the suppliers ending with the customers
- Stakeholder Analysis – tool to identify individuals who are impacted by the process improvement changes
Branner Consulting, LLC can help you at any stage along your journey from process documentation to implementing process improvement projects. We also provide coaching and training in Six Sigma and Lean methodologies.
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