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Improve Phase

Posted by 6sigmastudy® on July 12, 2021 | DMAIC & DMADV

Keywords: Six Sigma 6sigmastudy Six Sigma Yellow Belt (SSYB™) Six Sigma Green Belt (SSGB™) Six Sigma Black Belt (SSBB™) Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB™) Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB™) Free Articles Free Six Sigma Articles TQM Six sigma improve dmaic dmadv

Improve Phase

The fourth phase in the DMAIC cycle is the ‘Improve’ phase. It is in this phase where the team starts finding solutions to the root causes of the problem discovered in the first three phases. It is said to be the most creative stage of the cycle since it does not involve much statistical analysis instead people try to come up with creative ideas in order to find solutions. Its main focus is to remove variations in the process by applying feasible solutions to the root causes of the problem. After the solutions are identified and are implemented to reduce variations improve target performance are executed.

The activities in the ‘Improve’ phase include:

  • Identifying specific inputs that are affecting the outputs of the process. 

  • Creating solutions to eliminate the main causes of the problem.

  • Verifying the solutions and critical inputs.

  • Optimizing critical inputs and assessing the implemented solutions.

After the ‘Define’, ‘Measure’, and ‘Analyze’ phases of the DMAIC cycle, the team has a clear understanding of how the outputs are expressed in terms of inputs. In simple terms, after the first three phases of the cycle, it is clearly established that the output of any process is entirely the result of the processes’ inputs. Now, after knowing how the outputs vary with the inputs, one can easily adjust the inputs accordingly by understanding the process. And this is what the ‘Improve’ phase of the DMAIC cycle is all about.

It is to be noted that the ‘Improve’ phase usually involves generating data-driven solutions, i.e. all the solutions that the team comes up with are based on accurate data rather than assumptions. The team has to select a solution that matches the criteria developed by the business, by observing the feasibility of the solution and its ease of implementation.

Some common tools used in the ‘Improve’ phase are as follows:

  • Design of Experiment (DOE)

  • Poka-Yoke (Mistake Proofing)

  • 5S

  • Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)

  • Continuous Flow Manufacturing

  • Kaizen

  • Kanban

  • Theory of Constraints

  • Risk Analysis and Mitigation

The ‘Improve’ phase relies mostly on the measurements and analysis gathered in the first three phases of the cycle. Thus, it can be said that this phase will be successful only if the analyses done in the first three phases are accurate. The process eventually improves in this phase and it is verified by comparing the current state of the process to the benchmark set in the ‘Measure’ phase.



To know more on the last phase of the DMAIC Cycle, please visit here

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