Six Sigma: DMADV Methodology
Some Six Sigma methodologies are aimed at reducing the errors in a product line by looking at all the processes contributing to the completion and delivery of an item or service. Improving the effectiveness of these processes and omitting redundancies are ways to make the entire manufacturing process more efficient. This leads to shortened lead times, improvements in gross margin and more reliable production lines.
Coupling improvements in the manufacturing processes with those that govern customer service can help to deliver a more complete and profitable product or service. The Six Sigma processes that look at the customer service aspects of a business are outlined in the acronym “DMADV” which refers to Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify.
An Overview of Six Sigma’s DMADV processes:
The application of DMADV is used when a client or customer requires product improvement, adjustment, or the creation of an entirely new product or service. The application of these methods is aimed at creating a high-quality product keeping in mind customer requirements at every stage of the game. In general, the process can be outlined as:
Project leaders identify wants and needs believed to be considered most important to customers. Wants and needs are identified through historical information, customer feedback and other information sources.
- Teams are assembled to drive the process.
- Metrics and other tests are developed in alignment with customer information.
The second part of the process is to use the defined metrics to collect data and record specifications in a way that can be utilized to help drive the rest of the process.
- All the processes needed to successfuly manufacture the product or service are assigned metrics for later evaluation.
- Technology teams test the metrics and then apply them.
The result of the manufacturing process (i.e. finished product or service) is tested by internal teams to create a baseline for improvement.
- Leaders use data to identify areas of adjustment within the processes that will deliver improvement to either the quality or manufacturing process of a finished product or service.
- Teams set final processes in place and make adjustments as needed.
The results of internal tests are compared with customer wants and needs. Any additional adjustments needed are made.
- The improved manufacturing process is tested and test groups of customers provide feedback before the final product or service is widely released.
The last stage in the methodology is ongoing. While the product or service is being released and customer reviews are coming in, the processes may be adjusted.
- Metrics are further developed to keep track of on-going customer feedback on the product or service.
- New data may lead to other changes that need to be addressed so the initial process may lead to new applications of DMADV in subsequent areas.
The applications of these methodologies are generally rolled out over the course of many months, or even years. The end result is a product or service that is completely aligned with customer expectations, wants and needs.
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