In DMAIC, the working methodology of Six Sigma, D stands for Define stage. Defining the goal of organization is the first and foremost requirement. Because until we know what we want, the whole purpose is defeated. Input for goals comes from customers. Every program is geared towards customers satisfaction.
The objectives of define step are:
- To prepare project teams
- To create charter
- To determine the needs of customers.
- To create a high-level map of the current process.
While preparing the project charter the following are included:
Mission statement: This defines why the project is being done.
The problem statement: This defines the problem very clearly and concisely.
Goals and scope of Project: What we want out of the project. What the team should strive for in the project.
Milestones: Where should the team be in DMAIC process and when. This helps to keep everyone on the track and toes.
Determining the needs of customers
All projects are based on customers. So, on the basis of input from customers also called Voice of Customers, process improvement targets are defined.
Creating High-Level Map of Current Process
The current process is mapped to a physical picture. This helps everyone understand the process in clear details.The process map includes:
- process name
- start and stop points
- customers of process
- inputs to process
- outputs of process
- suppliers of process etc.
Tools used during Define stage
Several tools are available in Six Sigma for use during define stage. Some of the tools are listed below:
- Check Sheets
- Pareto Analysis
- Cause and Effect Diagrams
- 7M Tools for Quality Management
- Data Mining
For those who want to learn more about Six Sigma for implementation, I have collected some books on Six Sigma, chosen from amazon. You can view the list for purchasing.