Six Sigma DMAIC Improve Phase Checklist

The DMAIC methodology should be used when a product or process is in existence at your company but is not meeting customer specification or is not performing adequately. For DMAIC milestone reviews, there are certain deliverables, checkpoints, questions and concerns that the Black Belt and improvement team should be aware of prior to a tollgate/milestone review.

How often should this be used?
When working through a DMAIC Improve tollgate review

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Six Sigma DMAIC Improve Phase

Generating (and Testing) Possible Solutions

Questions To Determine Appropriate Application:

  • How did the team generate the list of possible solutions?
  • What tools were used to tap into the creativity and encourage ‘outside the box’ thinking?
Possible solutions generated and tested.

Selecting The Best Solution(s)

Questions To Determine Appropriate Application:

  • What tools were used to evaluate the potential solutions?
  • Were any criteria developed to assist the team in testing and evaluating potential solutions?
  • What were the underlying assumptions on the cost-benefit analysis?
  • Are there any constraints (technical, political, cultural, or otherwise) that would inhibit certain solutions?
  • Was a pilot designed for the proposed solution(s)?
  • Describe the design of the pilot and what tests were conducted, if any?
  • What conclusions were drawn from the outcomes of the pilot?
  • What lessons, if any, from the pilot were incorporated into the design of the full-scale solution?
Optimal solution selected based on testing and analysis.
New and improved process (‘should be’) maps developed.
Cost/benefit analysis of optimal solution(s).
Small-scale pilot for proposed improvement(s).
Pilot data collected and analyzed.
Improved process (‘should be’) maps modified based on pilot data and analysis.
Project impact on utilizing the best solution(s).

Designing Implementation Plan

Questions To Determine Appropriate Application:

  • Is the improvement plan best served by using the DFSS approach?
  • What is the implementation plan?
  • What poka-yoke or error proofing will be done to address some of the discrepancies observed in the ‘as is’ process?
  • What does the ‘should be’ process map/design look like?
  • How does the solution remove the key sources of variation discovered in the analyze phase?
  • What attendant changes will need to be made to ensure that the solution is successful?
  • What communications are necessary to support the implementation of the solution?
  • How will the team or the process owner(s) monitor the implementation plan to see that it is working as intended?
  • What is the team’s contingency plan for potential problems occurring in implementation?
  • How will the organization know that the solution worked?
  • What tools were most useful during the improve phase?
Solution implementation plan established, including schedule/work breakdown structure, resources, risk management plan, cost/budget, and control plan.
Contingency plan established.

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