DMAIC: The 5 Stages of Lean Six Sigma

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Apr 15, 2024

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There are various project management methodologies and six sigma is one of them. Project management is the process required to control and manage the projects in a more efficient way to meet the expectations of the customer. The project manager has the responsibility to produce the products or services in such a way that it is faster to market, have a less lead time, less cost, fewer overheads and high performance without compromising on the quality. 

We have seen in one of the blogs that the cost, time, and scope or qualities are one of the constraints in the project. Quality is a factor that must be controlled and managed without much increase in other parameters such as a change in scope, an increase in time, and an increase in cost. 

The project manager must decide on a constant and consistent way throughout the project and there is a constant trade-off between all the parameters to deliver the goods or services optimally. Many companies are hiring people with project management certifications in six sigma, lean, XPM, Scrum, Agile, prince2 or PMP, etc. In one of the surveys, it was found that the project managers with one or more of the project management skills are preferred in all the top companies and do well than the project managers who do not have the certifications. 

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a methodology that removes variations in the project by eliminating the defects in the products or services. As per the six sigma principles, the defects can be reduced to less than 3.4 defects per million components. Six Sigma certifications come in various progressive belts such as white belt, yellow belt, green belt, black, master black belt and champion, etc.

Stages of Lean Six Sigma

There are 2 main processes in the six sigma they are as follows,


The DMAIC method is used for improving the existing business process.

  • Define the problem statement and the goals of the projects
  • Measure the critical parameters of the data-driven facts of the process
  • Analyze the data in each of the processes
  • Improve the processes
  • Control the processes to meet the expectations of the expected product

DMADV method is used for new processes or new products or services.

  • Define the goals and objectives of the project
  • Measure the critical components of the processes
  • Analyze the data in each of the processes
  • Design and test the processes and the products or services
  • Verify the products or services and the processes to meet the required objectives

A detailed discussion about the stages of six sigma 

The 5 stages of the six sigma are taken in the DMAIC cycle they are as follows,

Stages of Lean Six Sigma

1) Define -  

  • First is to define the problem statements
  • Then to define the objectives of the project
  • Next define the processes by making use of the process maps.
  • Finally, define the customers and their requirements.

2) Measure - 

  • Determine the performance of the current processes
  • Create a plan to collect the data for the processes
  • Make sure that the data is reliable
  • Collect the baseline data
  • Develop the project charter

3) Analyze -

  • Observe the processes
  • Use the graphical method to display the data
  • Find out the cause of the problem
  • Verification of the cause of the problem
  • Updating of the project charter

4) Improve - 

  • Find the right fix for the problems by collaborative efforts of the team members
  • Let the solutions be practical
  • Develop different processes based on the solutions arrived using process maps
  • Choose the best solution
  • Implement the solutions
  • Measure the improvement in the processes
  • 5) Control - 


  • Manage and control the processes.
  • Document the new or change in the processes
  • Deploy the improved processes
  • Do continuous improvement of the processes

Benefits of stages of six sigma 

Benefits of six sigma for the professionals

  • Career benefits - By acquiring six sigma skills you are not only recognized in your company but also the entire industry worldwide.
  • Leadership and managerial skills - You will be provided with managerial and leadership roles by which you are respected over the entire organization
  • Better salary - When compared to other managers who do not know six sigma the managers and leaders with six sigma qualifications are provided more salary
  • Growth opportunities - There are tremendous growth opportunities for professionals with six sigma skills, they are preferred for increased responsibility and growth such as promotions in their organization.
  • In demand across the industry - Six sigma professionals are respected and are in demand in almost any industry that is striving for the quality in the processes, products, and services.
  • Hands-on experience in six sigma – To obtain six sigma certification you need to do few projects using six sigma to be qualified for the six sigma green belts, black belts, master black belts, and champions. So you already have practical experience when you get the certifications.

Benefits of six sigma for the organization

  • Customer satisfaction - One of the benefits of six sigma is that it improves customer satisfaction and meets the customer expectations on the products or services requirements.
  • Improved profitability - The improved processes and the products give an edge in the competitive environment in terms of profitability.
  • Standardizations - The standardizations of the various processes provide improved bottom lines and are easy to manage the cost, time, scope, and quality.
  • Better returns - Provides better revenue generation when compared to other standards.
  • High in quality - One of the important benefits of six sigma is to control the variations in the processes and produce high-quality products.

The objective of six sigma implementation 

The six sigma implementations' main goal is to control the variations in the process and reduce the defects in such a way that it ensures that defects are reduced to 3.4 defects for million of the components or products produced. It ensures that no defects are produced for 99.99966% of all chance to produce the goods.

Stages of six sigma implementation

The stages of six sigma implementations are as follows,

1) Creating a burning desire to make use of the six sigma to reduce the defects in the products or services.

2) The resources are assigned with the constant ideas of improvement.

3) All the resources must be trained for the better improvement of the processes and thus the organization

4) Implementing six sigma lets you plan and prioritize the tasks in such a way that it produces maximum benefits.

5) Implementing six sigma brings in the responsibility to the entire team to own their respective tasks.

6) One of the salient features of the six sigma is to measure and analyze the data so that data-driven decisions can be taken

7) Implementing six sigma helps in program governance so that the entire program is controlled, handled and managed successfully

8) Implementation of Six sigma helps in recognizing the efforts made by the people by rightly rewarding them with factors such as rewards, salary hike, promotions, role change, etc.  


Six sigma has got recognition among the professionals as well as across the industry. Now that you have understood what is six sigma, its benefits, and its implementations, we recommend you to take up the course in six sigma with StarAgile. 

StarAgile started training for Six Sigma Green Belt  and Six Sigma Black Belt. Do enquire for the registrations and online training for six sigma certifications by clicking on the link provided. 


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