Six Sigma Study Guide

Six Sigma Study Guide

Study notes and guides for Six Sigma certification tests

Ted Hessing

Define Phase (DMAIC)

Posted by Ted Hessing

The Define phase (DMAIC) is the first phase of Six Sigma improvement process, and it is critical to Six Sigma’s success. As the name indicates, Define is about describing the problem and setting the project goal.

Define Phase (DMAIC) Photo by Gisela Giardino

Six Sigma Phases

Six Sigma is a systematic problem-solving approach centered around  defect  elimination and  variation reduction , which leads to process improvement.

One of the principal tools in Six Sigma is the use of the  DMAIC methodology . (Also see  DMAIC Overview ). Particularly, DMAIC is a logical framework that helps you think through and plan improvements to a process to achieve a Six Sigma level of excellence. Five phases of DMAIC method.

define phase six sigma case study

Use the Define Phase of DMAIC to qualify a project to see if it is worth doing, if it is a good fit for the Six Sigma approach, and to set the stage for the project.

Like a good reporter, learn the background of what is being asked and focus on the 5Ws – Who, What, When, Where, and Why. This becomes evident when you use the tools below to identify scope, goals, and rationale.

Goals of Define Phase

DMAIC Define Phase Overview

The Define phase is approximately 2 to 3 weeks based on the project inputs and begins with the selection of the project champion.

The define phase is all about establishing the project; therefore many individual activities to complete. Multiple tools and concepts are available in the Define phase of Six Sigma.

Project Basics

What is Quality –The ASQ defines it like this:

A subjective term for which each person or sector has its own definition. In technical usage, quality can have two meanings: 1) the characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs; 2) a product or service free of deficiencies. According to Joseph Juran, quality means “fitness for use”; according to Philip Crosby, it means “conformance to requirements.” ASQ Quality Glossary

Cost of Poor Quality : Cost of Poor Quality (CoPQ) is defined as the cost associated with providing poor-quality products or services. It is basically a combination of preventive, appraisal, internal, and external failure costs.

CTQ requirements: Critical requirements on process outputs and other critical process performance measures are called CTQ. Critical quality requirements related to customer expectations and needs around the output quality.

Causal Theory y=f(x): Causal theory, in Six Sigma terms, means that you create an output (y) from an input (x) and a function (f)

Process performance metrics

We can use many process performance metrics to measure our processes’ current and future value.

Defects per Opportunity (DPO) : DPO stands for Defects per opportunity. This is a simple ratio. Take the number of defects you have in your process (usually found by sampling) and divide it by however many opportunities there are. 

Defects per Unit (DPU) : Defects per unit are a similar calculation to DPO, but instead of looking at opportunities, we’re looking at units. 

Defects per Million Opportunities (DPMO) : DPMO is based on DPO but in real-world manufacturing type numbers. This is an important metric because it’s used in Six Sigma to measure the performance of a process. If you’ve already worked out DPO for a sample, you can calculate DPMO by simply multiplying the decimal result (not the percentage) by one million.

First-Time Yield (FTY) : First-time yield is the most common way to calculate the process yield. It is the number of defect-free units coming out of a process compared to the number of units manufactured. In other words, it is the probability of a defect-free output from a process.

Rolled Throughput Yield (RTY) : RTY provides a probability that a process with no defects will generate a unit. In other words, it’s the probability that a multi-step process will produce a defect-free unit.

Lean Metrics

Lean metrics are the measures that can be used to control and monitor the manufacturing processes such that continuous quality can be facilitated by identifying opportunities for improvements and changes.

Cycle time : Cycle time is the  average  time taken to complete a process  per item . It is calculated as the reciprocal of the throughput rate. In other words:

Total Lead Time : Lead time is the total time taken for the work to process from one point to another in the manufacturing process. It is calculated as the time between two points, known as starting point and end point. 

Process Cycle Efficiency : The process cycle efficiency helps to detect how much of the process is actually adding value to the entire process.

Project Selection

Select a project with needs and criteria that are appropriate for using  DMAIC . The problem could be anything that impacts the Key Performance Indicator (KPI), like process output, customer satisfaction, production cost, defects, rework, cycle time, etc.

Project  Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA) : Cost/Benefits analysis involves looking at the project’s projected costs and returns. It gives us data that we need to decide whether a project is worth doing.

Project Charter : A process charter is a high-level document that provides purpose and motivation for the initiative, serves as a working document for the team, and is a reference for the rest of the company. The project charter is the most important document in the Define phase of six sigma, and that will be updated throughout the DMAIC process.

A Project Charter should contain the following elements

define phase six sigma case study

Organizations use various tools to make their goals achievable. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time Bound) is a technique that helps to attain and track project goals.

Current State Process Analysis

SIPOC : A SIPOC is a high-level  process mapping  tool to help visualize a process and its influences. In other words, it is a useful tool that depicts how a process serves the customer and summarizes the inputs and outputs of a process in a visual format. 

Flow chart: A process flowchart is a simple process map that visually represents the sequence of activities and their points of decision. These flowcharts provide the basic details of the process, which can later be augmented by adding different staff roles.

Swim Lane Flow Chart: These process maps provide the interactions between different departments and the roles performed by different people in the organization. Also termed ‘swim-lane’ charts, these process maps have vertical lines showing the movement of the process from person to person.

Input-Output (IPO) Model : The measurement of process inputs and outputs can be used to optimize the process being measured. Inputs may be raw materials, resources, etc, and outputs are the end products.

Identify Voice of Customer (VOC)

An understating of customer needs is critical for business success. It is necessary for businesses to be constantly in contact with customers. Collecting voice customers is a multi-level task. Below are the tools to get Voice of Client in an effective way:

Analyze VOC

Kano Diagrams : The Kano model is a framework to prioritize features based on the degree to which they will satisfy or delight the users. In other words, a model helps to prioritize the features based on how much that feature will delight the users.

CTQ requirements: Critical to Quality requirements related to customer expectations and needs around the quality of the output.

The  Pareto Chart  is a graphical tool to map and grade business process problems from the most recurrent to the least frequent. In other words, this helps to identify the most frequently occurring problems or separate the vital few from the trivial many.

Critical-to-Quality Tree : A Critical to Quality Tree (CTQ Tree) reflects what the consumers of your process cite as absolutely essential to success. This helps to clarify what is a  defect  in the process. It also helps to distinguish what your client’s needs vs. what their requirements are.

House of Quality : Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a planning process for products and services that starts with the voice of the customer. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a structured approach for defining  customer requirements  and translating design specifications or product control characteristics into the form of a planning matrix.

Project Management

In Six Sigma project management, senior managers take an active role. They create projects by choosing a business process that is in need of improvement. However, a project manager–often a  Six Sigma Black Belt  – will usually lead the project itself.

There are three basic stages in Six Sigma project management:

Project management tools act as an aid to an individual as well as a team for better project management, irrespective of the project size. The organization or project management team should have appropriate tools for effective project management . The project management tools help to standardize the work and make the project manager work efficiently. 

Six Sigma Teams

Team dynamics refers to the force that inspires or drives a group of people to work collectively for a common cause or objective. A good team is a team with different personalities and also a common identity.

We use Stakeholder Analysis to identify people who have a stake in our product. We use stakeholder analysis before we start planning a project. Why? Because we need to know who we need to be talking to and what we’ll need from them. Until we have that, we can’t create an effective plan. And we also need to plan our output. This affects what we’ll put into updates and when.

When you put together a Six Sigma team, you want to merge individuals into a cohesive team that will work together. Understanding team growth stages can help you fast-track that process and keep it from derailing.

Summary of the Stages of Team Growth

According to Bruce Tuckman, there are five basic stages in a team’s evolution:

Roles of Six Sigma Teams

There are a lot of potential roles in a Six Sigma team. Some of these are essential, full-time roles. Others will come and go at various stages in a project, as needed.

Also, see  Six Sigma Roles and Responsibilities .

The PDCA cycle , aka A Deming  wheel,  Shewhart  wheel, or Shewhart Cycle, is a continuous improvement practice of making a Plan, Performing an action, Checking your results, and then Acting upon what you have learned.

Project Planning Tools  

Project planning is one of the critical phases in project management; it comes after the project initiation phase. Project planning describes the objectives or outputs that are expected from the project to yield.

Work Breakdown Structure: A work breakdown structure is a critical deliverable that organizes the team’s work into a manageable section. In other words, it is a plan which expands the project or statement of work into a detailed listing of activities required to complete the project.

Program Evaluation and review technique (PERT) : PERT chart is a tool that shows the project as a network diagram. It represents events and activities in sequence in the network to determine the critical path. A critical path is the sequence of tasks that requires the greatest expected time.

Critical path method (CPM) : CPM is the longest duration through a project network diagram. Moreover, CPM  is very similar to  PERT ; both use overlapping methodologies.

Stakeholder Analysis: We use Stakeholder Analysis to identify people who have a stake in our product. Then we classify those stakeholders to figure out:

Communication Plan : A communication plan is to consciously direct the flow of information about a project. Use a communications plan to ensure that you’re talking to the right people at every stage of your project.

Project Tracking Tools

Organizations need strong project tracking tools to effectively execute Six Sigma projects. Project tracking tools are important because Six Sigma is based on projects. Find a problem, define it, measure it, analyze it, fix it, and then ensure the solution ‘sticks.’ If any single phase goes wrong, so does the whole project. Following are a few project tracking tools.

Gantt Chart : A Gantt chart is a  project tracking tool . A Gantt chart is a bar chart representing the task’s duration against the time progression.

RACI Matrix: The most common project responsibility matrix tool that clarifies roles and responsibilities during project execution. It describes the participation of various roles in completing tasks or deliverables. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.

Project priority matrix: A project priority matrix is a project planning tool that helps your team determine where to put their strongest efforts.

Analytical Tools

The seven quality tools, check sheets, scatter diagrams, histograms, flow charts, Pareto chart, fishbone diagrams, and stratification, were good for data collection analysis. However, the new analytical tools allow for identification, planning, and coordination in finding a problem solution.

Affinity Diagrams : An affinity diagram is a good technique for identifying & displaying potential  root causes  for unfamiliar problems. Affinity diagrams help you organize ideas into meaningful categories by recognizing common groupings. This method helps you reduce large amounts of data into a smaller set.

Tree Diagram : A tree diagram helps you break down big concepts into progressively greater detail. The idea here is to systematically break down a concept into its constituent pieces.

Matrix Diagram: A matrix diagram displays relationships within a single group or amongst two, three, or four groups (Ex. project objective, methods, results, causes, people, etc.). It also provides information like the strength of relationships amongst the group, the roles played by various groups, etc.

Prioritization matrix : A prioritization matrix can help you to work out and negotiate priorities for a project. It can also be used to prioritize projects themselves, although opinions are mixed on whether this usage is a good idea.

Activity Network Diagram: The primary intent of creating an Activity Network Diagram is to create a flow chart showing the necessary tasks for a project in sequence order (including parallel and serial paths).

Define Phase Deliverables

Important Videos of Define Phase (DMAIC)

Six Sigma Black Belt Certification Define Phase Questions:

Question: Which of the following tools is commonly used in the define phase of a project? (Taken from ASQ sample Black Belt exam .)

(A) Affinity diagram (B) Control chart (C) Failure mode and effects analysis (D) Data collection checklist

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Comments (2)

I think you have your proactive and reactive subheadings flipped under Voice of Client. As the examples listed under reactive are actually proactive.

You’re absolutely correct, Sami!

Updated. Thanks for the catch!!

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Home > Articles > Programming

Paper Organizers International: A Fictitious Six Sigma Green Belt Case Study

📄 Contents

This chapter is from the book

Six Sigma for Green Belts and Champions: Foundations, DMAIC, Tools, Cases, and Certification

This chapter is from the book 


16.1 Background of the Case Study

16.2 Define Phase

16.3 Measure Phase

16.4 Analyze Phase

16.5 Improve Phase

16.6 Control Phase


After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

The Company

Paper Organizers International ( POI ) offers a full range of filing, organizing, and paper shuffling services. To accomplish these tasks, POI purchases metallic securing devices [*] (MSDs), staplers, hole punchers, folders, three-ring binders, and a full range of related products to serve its customers' paper-handling needs. The employees, or internal customers, of Paper Organizers International use Metallic Securing Devices (MSDs) to organize piles of paper pending placement into folders or binders.

The Purchasing Department of POI has noticed an increase in complaints from employees in the Paper-Shuffling Department ( PSD ) about MSDs breaking and failing to keep papers together. This creates opportunities for client papers to be mixed together. The Purchasing Department would like to improve the process for purchasing MSDs to eliminate complaints from employees in the Paper Shuffling Department.

Origin of the MSD Six Sigma Project

POI's mission statement is "Put the R ight I nformation in the Right P lace," RIP it! To accomplish this mission, POI has established a cascading set of business objectives and business indicators, which ultimately result in potential Six Sigma projects, see Table 16.1 on page 491.

Table 16.1. POI's Business Objectives and Indicators with Potential Six Sigma Projects

The monthly production costs in the PSD are shown on the Individual and Moving Range chart in Figure 16.1 (see the next to last row in the fourth column in Table 16.1).


The four potential Six Sigma projects shown in the rightmost column of Table 16.1 are prioritized for attention in Table 16.2. Table 16.2 on page 493 is a Cause-and-Effect-type matrix (see Section 4.1) that weights the importance of each potential Six Sigma project to each of POI's business objectives.

Table 16.2. Prioritization of Potential Six Sigma Projects

The cell values are assigned by top management and are defined as follows: 0 = no relationship, 1 = weak relationship, 3 = moderate relationship, and 9 = strong relationship. The Finance Department developed the importance weights for each business objective to maximize the impact of Six Sigma projects on the bottom line of the organization. Consequently, the most critical project with respect to the business objectives is the MSD quality project; see 4.95 in the last row of Table 16.2. The champion and process owner of the MSD process prepared an initial project charter and presented it to the members of the MSD quality project team.

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define phase six sigma case study

Six Sigma DMAIC Process - Define Phase - Six Sigma Project Charter

define phase six sigma case study

define phase six sigma case study

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define phase six sigma case study


define phase six sigma case study


A Six Sigma Case Study – Tutorial for IT Call Center – Part 2 of 6

The important pre-project work was completed by a senior leadership of an IT services company and discovered the area of the business which needed the focus of a DMAIC project team. The team began the Six sigma case study by understanding and comprehending the goals, scope and business case of the project beginning with the Define phase. In the Define phase the focus is on defining, measuring, analyzing, improving and controlling the process and the problem. The DMAIC roadmap was prepared to highlight what needs to be done in the following areas during the Define phase: 1. In the project charter, the key elements are problem statement, business case and goal statement. For the project charter, the project team also set its initial set of tasks, targets, schedule, responsibilities, and plan of communication. After evaluating the project charter with their experts, team members began work on the next step customer requirements. 2. In a lot of processes, some customers pay for products or services or there are ones who sheerly depend on the company, like employees. An SIPOC table shows a detailed information of all the important customers, their requirements from the process, and the related step of the process and dependencies of supplier. Studying the SIPOC table, the team summarized the learning of what is important to customers in the categories of requirement statements and measures. 3. The process was mapped by the team at a high level. Doing so an initiating event moves into and through the process of resolution. During the Measure phase, the process map is of a great help. The define phase is very significant and undoubtedly inevitable. Therefore, all the steps must be conducted with absolute care to reach the desired goal.

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Six Sigma Daily

Case Study: Six Sigma for Small Business

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Six Sigma has proven to work for huge companies like Motorola and GE, which accumulate a lot of waste and redundancy because of their sheer size. But what about smaller organizations? What about local businesses?

What about your company?

Is Six Sigma worthwhile for smaller institutions who don’t have hundred-man teams, or thousand-step processes?

Well, in October 2017, three people asked that same question. They conducted a study, and they published their findings in the Advances of Mechanic Engineering section of  SAGE Journals .

Two of the authors – Murilo Riyuzo Vendrame Takao and Iris Bento da Silva – work in mechanical engineering at the University of São Paulo, in São Carlos Brazil. The other author, Jason Woldt, teaches management classes at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. They put their heads together to create a comprehensive study on the effects of Six Sigma, as it applied to one specific small-to-medium-sized enterprise…

A plumbing product distribution business.

Spoilers: Six Sigma works.

It has worked for huge businesses like General Electric, and it still works for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) like your neighborhood lemonade stand.

“This article uses a case study highlighting the implementation of Six Sigma methodology in a North American manufacturer of plumbing products (SME). Each step of the process is properly described, and the results are also presented,” the authors said.

“We conclude that it is possible to identify the improvements and benefits achieved by the implementation of the Six Sigma quality program in an SME environment.”

How did they reach this conclusion? What did they find?

The Six Sigma Difference

They discovered that Six Sigma is different from other quality management programs because of the structured application of its tools and procedures (and, specifically, how those tools integrate with the goals of an organization).

These tools are used to facilitate each step of DMAIC – a project development framework, and a tent-pole of Six Sigma. It stands for…

Define: Figure out the scope and importance of your project, identify the needs of your consumers, and then assemble the team responsible for the project’s execution.

Measure: Pinpoint the problem you’re trying to solve, gather all the data you need, determine priority problems, and establish goals.

Analyze: Discover the cause of the priority problems and figure out where the problems start.

Improve: Propose, evaluate, and implement solutions to priority problems.

Control: Maintain the scope of the long-term goal, monitor performance, and take corrective action to keep on track.

Video: What is Six Sigma?

Levels of Six Sigma

DMAIC works across all levels and scopes of Six Sigma projects and practitioners. And for your reference, Six Sigma features a hierarchy of six components:

White and Yellow Belts: those practitioners who are trained in the basic tools of Six Sigma.

Green Belts: those practitioners dedicated to improvements within a project.

Black Belts: those practitioners who lead projects and train staff.

Master Black Belts: those practitioners who connect the general management of Six Sigma projects to the people responsible for the improvement projects.

Champions: members of the executive committee.

Sponsors: those who promote and define the guidelines for Six Sigma implementation.

The Case Study

There are dozens of tools that can be used during DMAIC, and the research dives into their case study to show a few tools in action.

The case study covers a period of about 18 months, following (as previously mentioned) a plumbing product distributor. The company wasn’t being well-received by its customers, and it endeavored to find out why.

Enter the Define phase. One of the tools they used was called voice of the customer (VoC), which defines the needs and requirements of your customer base. It’s a very important tool for a company that’s not getting a lot of positive reviews. For the case study, VoC showed that customers expected prompt delivery, correct product selection, and a knowledgeable distribution team.

Six Sigma DMAIC

So, with their problem discovered, they ventured into the Analyze phase, where they worked to answer one question – why was their delivery so slow, compared to their competitors? They brainstormed causes, and came up with four potential causes: (1) the accuracy of the sales plans, (2) safety stock issues, (3) vendor delivery performance, and (4) falling behind the manufacturing schedule. They conducted regression analysis on all potential causes, to see which one would cause the most trouble. And they found it. After creating a Pareto diagram , they realized that 74% of their sales came from only 21% of their products – and there wasn’t enough safety stock to get those in-demand products to all the customers who wanted them.

That led to the Improve phase, where they aimed to solve the problem. They started by implementing a monthly demand review, to make sure the in-demand products stayed in-demand, and it wasn’t a one-time fluke. The second measure was to actually order and provide the customers with the products they wanted.

The Control phase was simple. They wanted to make sure their solutions worked for as long as possible, so they created plans to monitor sales on their bestselling 21% of products (to make sure they weren’t exceeding or under-supplying demand). And every year, they’d review how well those products sold; if a product started following out of high demand, they could replace it with a product that was coming into high demand.

The Results

After 18 months with the plumbing product distributor, the researchers came to a confident conclusion.

“This case study illustrates that quality management and its tools should be increasingly adopted regardless of whether they are SMEs or large companies. Thus, in order to achieve competitiveness, the Six Sigma methodology should be much more applied in the SMEs, due to the interrelationship with the stakeholders and limited use of consultancies.”

Using Six Sigma principles , the company in the case study increased their annual sales by $248,034. They reduced delivery time by more than four full days.

The Takeaway

This research is another point in favor of process improvement methodologies. It doesn’t matter how big your company is, how many employees you have, or how much revenue you gross every year.

All. Companies. Have. Processes.

Whether you’re distributing plumbing supplies, making billion-dollar acquisitions, or selling lemonade on the street corner, Six Sigma is absolutely worth looking into.

define phase six sigma case study

Home / Six Sigma / The 5 Deliverables of Six Sigma Define Phase

Six Sigma Define Phase

The 5 Deliverables of Six Sigma Define Phase

A Six Sigma project is divided into five phases: Define, Measure Phase, Analyze, Improve, and Control. As you will learn in a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt course , these five stages are abbreviated as DMAIC . In order to certify as a Six Sigma Green Belt , you have to have a solid understanding of Six Sigma principles and the whole Six Sigma approach . To do that, you have to understand each phase in detail. As also explained in the online free Six Sigma training a Six Sigma project cannot start without going through the Six Sigma Define stage.

Attend our 100% Online & Self-Paced Free Six Sigma Training .

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The problem statement is also called an Opportunity Statement . Let us try to understand the background of the word ‘Opportunity’. An opportunity refers to process improvement or process excellence opportunity to exceed stakeholders’ expectations. The need for a Six Sigma project can arise from a business problem or an improvement opportunity. An improvement opportunity may not necessarily be a business problem.

The second point indicates that the project team needs to identify the stakeholders served by the process. In the Six Sigma Define phase, the Six Sigma project team identifies the internal and external stakeholders being served by the process under consideration. The team studies and analyzes customer requirements too. The data and information regarding customer needs and expectations are called the Voice of the Customer (VoC) data. There are different methods and techniques of VoC data collection such as qualitative and/or quantitative, subjective and/or objective methods.

The third point is about writing a plan to complete the project . Once the business problem is found feasible to be undertaken in the form of a Six Sigma project, the project team comes up with the project charter or agreement which normally consists of an end-to-end plan to complete the Six Sigma project.

5 Key Deliverables

Let us have a look at the 5 key deliverables in the Lean Six Sigma Define phase. These deliverables are nothing but the objectives of the Define phase. Let’s discuss these one by one:

The 1st Lean Six Sigma Define Phase Key Deliverable: Process Map

The first key deliverable of the Six Sigma Define phase is to understand what the project is all about . In order to understand the project, we need to have sufficient know-how about the process as well. Once we understand the process, we will have insight into the causes of inefficiency and frustration so that improvements can be made. A Process Flowchart Process map or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document should be able to help you drill down into the process

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The 2nd Six Sigma Define Phase Key Deliverable: Project Scope

The second key deliverable of the Six Sigma Define phase is to determine the boundaries of the process area for improvement . In simple words, determining the process boundaries means understanding where the process begins and ends. The scoping study in a Six Sigma project normally consists of determining boundaries in terms of documenting a list of specific project goals, deliverables, tasks, costs, and timelines. In the Six Sigma Define phase, the project leaders are responsible for clarifying the purpose and scope of the project. They need to be well aware of the problem area and the kind of improvement that is required to be made.

The 3rd Six Sigma Define Phase Key Deliverable: Identify Stakeholders

The third deliverable of the Six Sigma Define Phase is to identify all the stakeholders (Internal and External) served by the process . A stakeholder is anyone impacted by the project. The impact could be positive or negative; of course. Every process will have internal and external stakeholders to whom it is catering to. Depending on the kind of organizational setup, the stakeholders and their expectations would certainly vary.

In the Six Sigma Define phase, the project manager needs to identify all key and non-key stakeholders required to support and sustain the project and its improvement. Internal key and non-key stakeholders are normally your colleagues, supervisors, managers, directors, etc. External key and non-key stakeholders are normally your vendors, customers, suppliers, creditors, etc.

Six Sigma Define

The 4th Six Sigma Define Phase Key Deliverable: Define Stakeholder Requirements

The fourth deliverable of the Six Sigma Define phase is to define stakeholders’ requirements. To add to what we previously discussed regarding identifying internal and external stakeholders, the project leader or manager, during the Six Sigma Define phase itself, has to define internal and external stakeholders’ needs, requirements and expectations . Just to give you a quick brief, defining customer expectations will have two steps:

The 5th Six Sigma Define Phase Key Deliverable: Create Project Plans

The fifth key deliverable of the Six Sigma Define phase is to create a plan to complete the Six Sigma project. A plan to complete the project is normally one of the components of the Project Agreement and can be as exhaustive as it needs to be complete and comprehensive. The project plan normally consists of Resource Plan, Stakeholder Management Plan, Communication Management Plan, Scope Management Plan, Cost/Benefit plan, etc.

Six Sigma Define

The first output of the Six Sigma Define phase is the Project Charter. By the end of the Six Sigma Define phase, the project team will be ready with a project charter or agreement; which is duly approved or signed off by the Six Sigma project champions or sponsors. The team will also have a list of feasible customer requirements or expectations that need to be fulfilled as a result of the implementation of the solutions by the Six Sigma projects. The documented flowchart or process map can also be published by the project team at the end of the Six Sigma Define phase. The process map or flowchart would belong to the process where the business problem occurs and recurs in due course.

This article gives an overview of the Six Sigma Define phase. There is much more information available on this topic such as how to create a burning platform and a business case, how to draw up a process map, the SIPOC principle, etc. The Six Sigma Define Phase is the foundation for the whole Six Sigma project. By following the steps of the Six Siga Define phase carefully and completely, you will have a solid foundation on which to build the rest of the Six Sigma stages.

Six Sigma Define phase

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