DMAIC Measure Phase In Six Sigma

DMAIC Measure Phase In Six Sigma

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Measurement is something that happens all through the life of a project. However, the Measure Phase of DMAIC, which is a Six Sigma process, evaluates how the method performs in the present situation. This second phase also endeavors to find answers to the questions related to the magnitude of the issues spotted in the design phase and how bad the issues are. As a team begins to collect data, they pay attention to the process and also what customers look for. This means that the teams must decide whether to improve quality or reduce lead time.

During this phase of DMAIC, the team will refine the definitions of each measure. It also spots the present performance as mentioned earlier. In other words, the baseline of the project or process is measured at this phase of DMAIC.

Measure Phase in Six Sigma:

This phase holds the second position in the DMAIC process of Six Sigma, followed by the Define Phase. Now that you know the answer to your question about the measure phase of Six Sigma, you will be interested in its timeline.

The Measure Phase is a process that extends to around 2 to 3 weeks on the project inputs. This phase pays attention to collecting quality data, which becomes possible only with the involvement of the appropriate stakeholders.

In short, the Measure Phase is all about establishing the foundation of the present process, validating the measurement system, collecting data, and identifying process capability. 

Read More:Define Phase (DMAIC) in Six Sigma

Important Steps in the Measure Phase:

You know what is measure phase in Six Sigma. Before you know the outcomes to expect from this phase, it is better to know about the key steps involved in this phase of DMAIC:

1. Mapping of Process:

The Measure Phase begins with mapping the present process. The team lead then has to outline every step in detail. These steps should be completed to achieve the expected final outcome. For instance, in a business service application, the outcome can be anything from the invoicing process to the customer ordering procedure. It can even denote the entire production process in a computer production facility.

2. Measurement Plan:

In this second step, you must spot how to measure and gather dependable data on the present process. Your measurement plan should provide details like:

Who will be collecting the data?

What is the frequency of the data collection?

When will the process take place?

What method will be used to record the collected data?

How will the data be pulled into the central database?

Your organization will already have data collection structures in use. Nevertheless, you might need to set up new ones. For business services, this could formally be recording the time required for rework that goes into gathering additional details from clients. For production, it might be gathering machine temperature sensor data typically used by operators alone and feeding the same into the central database. Only then can it be analyzed later when needed.

3. Data Collection Over a Defined Period:

The amount of data required and the time required for gathering rely on different factors. For instance, some factors include project urgency, measurement frequency, and the cost required for the collection.

It is better to make sure that you do not rush in advance with data that is yet to be finished or has not had sufficient time to gather.

Gathering Data for Defect Rates: Step by Step 

In addition to following the steps above, you will also have to gather data on defect rates. To measure the rate of defects in a process, you can begin with data related to the reject rate. Thereafter, you can expand to look at other process parameters.

In this process, it is better to look at the whole process from different angles. Examples include the number of rejects in a particular lot, the number of rejects during a particular period, the characteristics of rejects, personnel who worked on the rejected items, etc.

Apart from gathering complete details about rejects, you should also ask yourself about the drivers that could lead to variation. 

At the end of these processes in the Measure Phase of Six Sigma, you would have a lot of data about defects. As a result, your team can move on to the next phase of analyzing the project to gain better insights.

Objectives of the Measure Phase:

When you are at the Measure Phase of the DMAIC approach, you will gather detailed data that explains the present performance of your process based on your customers' requirements. 

This data you gather will function as the foundation for further processes. From this data, you can clearly understand the issue you are trying to fix. Also, it will permit you to directly compare performance prior to and following the improvements you implement. The key objective of the Measure Phase is to get a complete understanding of how the process is performed presently.

Deliverables of Six Sigma Measure Phase:

DMAIC measure phase deliverables are nothing but the outcomes you can expect upon completing the Measure Phase of DMAIC. When you are in the Measure Phase, you will have to perform many tasks. Further, the tasks you perform at this phase will greatly impact the performance of the following phases. This is why it is crucial to comprehend and apply deliverables.

Your team's tasks in this phase will set the tone for how the remaining process will unfold. So, your team should give the utmost attention when engaging in any tasks in this phase. Here are the common deliverables of a successful Measure Phase in the DMAIC process:

Learn more about:  DMAIC process

Commonly Accepted Indicators:

Handling a number of variables is a key trait of a successful Six Sigma Project. These variables include parameters, processes, outputs and inputs. To make sure that these variables are maintained at the optimum level, the method of measuring them should be agreed upon. This involves splitting the inputs into the smallest possible units. It also encompasses the development of composite metrics, where more than a single variable generates the metric on the basis of the weighted average. The weighted averages and the decision variables should be carefully considered to make sure of the right action and reporting.

Operational Definition of Indicators:

The Six Sigma philosophy always depends on objective facts rather than tactical knowledge. For this reason, not only should the composite variables and variables be decided, but also the method to calculate them should be mentioned transparently in a document. If the definitions can be understood in more than one way, there is a chance of confusion and ambiguity at a later stage.

Data Collection Plan:

You should create a plan to collect data in the Measure Phase of Six Sigma. This plan should correspond to the variables chosen. The data collection plan necessitates assigning responsibilities explicitly about gathering data. In case, the data collection process has been automated, the person, who will be handling the perfection of the process should also be stated such that others can know.

Sampling Plan:

Gathering population data for the Six Sigma project is  a costly endeavor. Thanks to different sampling techniques available that work similarly to Population Data! From the Six Sigma methodology, you can know the right sampling technique based on your project requirements. Nevertheless, the decision must be arrived at and sampling information should be part of the Data Collection Plan for quick reference in case future doubts arise.

Validated Measurement System:

One of the key DMAIC measure phase deliverables is the Measurement System Analysis. Its purpose is to validate whether the data collected from the process is dependable and can be used for analysis in further phases.

A successful Measure Phase in DMAIC requires close work between different departments in your organization. Not only the members of the Six Sigma team but also statisticians should work together. Fitting software programs might be needed at this phase. So, the team should have people who know the best software programs available in the market.

Also, Check:Introduction to Measurement System Analysis in Six Sigma

The Best Tools for Measure Phase of Six Sigma:

The three major tollgates of the Measure Phase of Six Sigma include establishing the performance indicators, creating of a data collection plan, and developing a baseline performance measure.

Thanks to the different tools available to make the Measure Phase easy for Six Sigma Teams. These tools might not fit all teams as their requirements and purposes vary. Nevertheless, some tools might help Six Sigma teams with the Measure Phase effectively, irrespective of the purpose of the team and objective. The Pareto Chart, check sheets, and Capability Analysis are popular tools used by Six Sigma to achieve the objective of the Measure Phase with ease.  

Also, Check:


By the end of the Measure Phase of DMAIC, significant strides have been made in understanding the current state of a process or project. This pivotal phase sets the stage for subsequent improvements by meticulously gathering and analyzing data, refining measurement systems, and identifying key performance indicators. Through careful planning and execution, teams can pinpoint areas for enhancement, whether it's improving quality or reducing lead time, thus aligning with customer expectations and organizational objectives

Moreover, the Measure Phase isn't undertaken in isolation but as part of a broader Six Sigma approach, emphasizing collaboration across departments and leveraging the best tools and methodologies available

At Simpliaxis, we recognize the importance of the Measure Phase in achieving operational excellence. That's why we offer comprehensive training programs tailored to equip individuals and organizations with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in quality management. From Six Sigma certifications to Root Cause Analysis training, our courses provide practical insights and actionable strategies to drive continuous improvement and deliver superior outcomes.

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