Six Sigma and DMAIC are key factors in quality management. Having the right tools for quality management is essential. Learn about Six Sigma, DMAIC, and how to apply seven quality management tools to the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology.
There are seven basic quality tools that organizations can utilize for quality management as per the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), 6th Edition. The same tools are applicable to the Six Sigma Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control processes commonly referred to as DMAIC. Below is a description of each of the seven basic quality tools and how they are applicable to the DMAIC methodology.
Cause and effect diagram
Also commonly referred to as the Ishikawa or Fishbone diagram, the tool is used to help identify the possible causes of a specific problem and can also be used hand-in-hand with brainstorming. It shows the relationship between the problems and the influencing factors, thus it is essential for root cause analyses.
Analyze – The Ishikawa diagram can be used during the Analyze phase to classify root causes in order to simplify prioritization and to better assess them.
A flow chart provides a view of how a company’s workflows can be used to initiate process improvement activities. A flow chart is created using standard symbols and shows the sequence of tasks performed and their relationship in a graphical format.
Define – This phase can be used to understand the process and provide insight into the causes of inefficiency and frustration so that improvements can be made.
Measure – Flow charts created during the Define phase are reviewed and additional information can be added to make them more comprehensive.
Analyze – An analysis of the process map can reveal some fairly obvious sources of inefficiency and delays in the process.
Improve – A flowchart can be created for the new process that will be followed as a result of the improvements being implemented.
Control – The process map, created during the Improve phase, must be fully analyzed and updated in order to reflect any changes resulting from a roll out.
A Pareto chart is based on the Pareto principle, also known as the 80-20 rule or rule of the vital few, which states that a small number of causes (20%) are responsible for a large percentage (80%) of the effects. The graphical display in a Pareto chart is used to display the types of problems that affect a process and their relative significance.
Tapera Mangezi, PMP, PMI-PBA, SMC, is the founder and director of Proximate Academy, a project management training and consultancy company. He is also a certified senior SAP plant maintenance consultant and project management consultant with many years of experience in working on various projects within the utilities, energy, and public sectors, and the manufacturing, logistics, facilities, and mining industries. Tapera has a strong engineering background and also holds various other certifications. He is currently working towards his MSc in Business Management with a specialization in Project Management at the Edinburgh Napier University. Tapera writes about business analysis and business processes.