The 1st phase of a DMAIC Project.

DEFINE phase

The DEFINE phase will add more definition to the contract. It is important to evaluate team synergy as the GB/BB team leader as well as begin the technical journey. Attention must be devoted to assembling the optimal team and analyzing each members' stake to get best cross functional input and results. This includes choosing a qualified Project Manager, such as a GB/BB.

This phase should engage the Champion frequently to ensure the team is off to the right start. The Champion should act as an observer to ensure progression is acceptable. The Champion should refrain from providing specific direction or preconceived solutions.

A generic roadmap is shown of this phase. In general these are some of the tools that will be used and their outputs.

Click on the links to learn more about the tools typically used within this phase:

Project Management:

Project Contract

Project Management

Project Management Team Tools

Project Acceleration Ideas

Holding Effective Meetings

Gantt Chart

Activity Network Diagram

Affinity Diagram

Gathering Customer Specifications:

Voice of the Customer (VOC)

Kano Model

Critical To Qualilty Linkage (CTQ)




Quality Gurus

Financial Savings Review

Stakeholder Analysis

Pareto Diagram

Spaghetti Diagram

Process Maps

Data Collection

Data Classification

Data Sampling - Population vs. Sample

Health and Safety

Normality Assumption

Venn Diagrams


You may not use all the tools shown. Each project will have its own path. Don't force the path or shoehorn the use of the tools for the sake of adding material.

The team's time is valuable, get the most of it and apply only tools that are necessary, do your part to minimize waste in the project path.

In general terms this phase is to solidify the baseline measurement of which several can be used and set a realistic goal for the Six Sigma leader and the team. 

Quiz yourself on the DEFINE phase

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Most of the questions have explanations and links for additional research. 

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Proceed to the 2nd phase of a DMAIC project: MEASURE


Templates, Statistics Tables, and Calculators

Test your knowledge with these sample certification problems

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