The Beginner's Journey on Process Improvement
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Process Improvement Cycle
DMAIC (an acronym for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) is an improvement cycle used for improving, optimizing, and stabilizing processes.
Define and scope the problem and why it has to be solved. Ask yourself: what does the client want? Use this as a reference point for assessing changes and impact before and after the process improvement. Process mapping, project charters, and other tools could be helpful to start a project.
Measure the current performance of the process. Ask yourself: How is our process currently working? What are the results?. To achieve this, you will need to have a data-gathering plan that will enable your organization to review all data collected.
Analyze the results of your data and assess the areas for improvement. During this phase of the project, you should be able to identify the causes that are creating undesirable effects on your process.
Improve the process by generating solutions and alternatives. Identify, implement, and validate process changes. Ask yourself: how can we improve? For this step, you will need to brainstorm and prioritize your ideas. Furthermore, you will need to involve subject matter experts who can give additional insights to improve your process.
Control the process and ensure that improvements are sustainable and benefits are delivered. Ask yourself: Are you following the new process? This step will need measuring the new process and the benefits that are resulting from it. During this phase, you’ll need to conduct pilot tests and review the results.