Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar iconNot recorded
Adobe PDF icon

DMAIC And Project Planning

~ By Tony Jacowski

DMAIC (define, measure, analyse, improve, control) on a blueprint pattern

Although it is accepted that extraordinary levels of quality improvement are possible only by a radical change in management philosophy, leading to change in organisational culture, the fact remains that the exercise of undertaking process improvement projects cannot be overlooked for actual change to occur. Projects are the bridge between two parts, comprising of planning and doing. Although apparently similar, project and planning are different in scope.

Project and Planning

The dictionary definitions of the word "project" describe it as being a scheme, plan, proposal or an enterprise requiring determined effort. As far as "planning" is concerned, it refers to the systematic execution of actions, aimed at attaining a particular objective. Therefore, while the project is a description of what is supposed to be done, the plan details how it is proposed to be accomplished.

It is possible to integrate both by using DMAIC. A comprehensive DMAIC approach comprises integration of the project schedule development and financial analysis along with Six Sigma tools, all of which are vital to accomplish success.

Success in Six Sigma is not based on complicated and high-tech procedures. It relies wholly on tried and tested systems, which have been in use for a long time. It simplifies things by reducing the many complexities that are the hallmarks of TQM (Total Quality Management). It takes just a handful from the plethora of tools and techniques that characterise TQM, and concentrates on inculcating high levels of proficiency in their application in a few technical leaders selected in-house, to turn professionals into sharp Six Sigma Black Belts.

Even when using the latest methods in computer technology, Black Belts use the simple define-measure-analyse-improve-control framework of DMAIC for the application of the tools. Anyone with exposure to the plan-do-study-act model of TQM would find DMAIC to be similar. The DMAIC framework can be portrayed as follows:

Define: Define targets for improvement at various levels. These may consist of strategic objectives of greater ROI (Return On Investment) or market share at the highest level. Improvement goals at the production level may comprise of increased output in some particular department, whereas the goal at the project level may be an increase in the yield for some process or machine, or a reduction in defects. In order to identify improvement opportunities, the application of data mining methods are desirable.

Measure: Determine the current baseline by measuring the existing system, followed by establishing reliable and valid metrics, which would help to monitor progress towards established targets.

Analyse: Use system analysis to identify techniques of gap elimination between current performance and desired target levels, for the process or system. Guide the analysis by the application of statistical tools.

Improve: Find creative methods for system improvement that would result in cheaper, better, safer and faster ways of doing things. The new approach should be implemented through project management, and the application of other planning and management tools. Improvements should be validated using statistical methods.

Control: Exercise control over the new improved system through institutionalisation. Modify incentive and compensation systems, budgets, policies and procedures, operating instructions, maximum retail price and other systems of management. Correct documentation can be ensured through utilisation of ISO 9000.

The DMAIC framework is an essential guide to process improvement projects used by Six Sigma Black Belts. The ease of implementation and high rate of success has made it find favour with management experts, as compared to other process improvement models.


Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
1500
Enter the last letter of the word satellite.
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

10 Golden Rules of Project Risk Management

Three red dice reading: Manage your risk

The benefits of risk management in projects are huge. You can gain a lot of money if you deal with uncertain project events in a proactive manner.

Work Breakdown Structure 101

Hierarchy icons on a white background

Work Breakdown Structure is a tool project managers use to break projects down into manageable pieces. Here's why you need one and how to create your own.

How to Build a High-Performance Project Team

Business people and bar graph going upwards

What makes a winning project team? Why do some teams achieve greatness while others struggle? Let's look at the factors present on winning project teams.

Top 10 Steps to Successful Goals

Businessman sprinter winning a track race

Help avoid the great 'Rinse and Repeat Trap' by following these 10 steps to setting successful goals. You may have to work for it, however!

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Duncan commented on…
10 Rules of Highly Successful Project Management
- Mon 26 September 7:50am

John Corbett commented on…
10 Rules of Highly Successful Project Management
- Mon 19 September 1:36pm

London Management Centre commented on…
Get Maximum Benefits of Merging Top-down and Bottom-up Project Management
- Mon 19 September 11:29am

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Re: Software Product Delivery Plan for an Agile project https://t.co/qlwUTdDgAa #pm #projectsmart about 1 day ago

General Project Management • Re: Best/cheapest online PRINCE2 Foundation course with exam included https://t.co/qRvyY1ZXVj #pm #projectsmart about 1 day ago

Here are some basic rules of reporting status that you can use to further your reputation https://t.co/eOfIohem8R #projectsmart #pmot about 1 day ago