Welcome to the 4th phase of a DMAIC Project


The IMPROVE phase requires understanding the KPIV's that are causing the effect. This phase helps determine the relationships of these key variables to the project "Y" and lead to improvement ideas. All the hard work done previously lacks merit unless there is implementation.

This is the phase of the project where all the team's work gets put into action and the rubber meets the road for hard driving. The solutions have been identified and the implementations to reduce variation and improve target performance are executed. Without making the improvements, all the hard work and invested time amounts nothing. This is a good time for an Elevator Speech!

It may be necessary to once again conduct a Stakeholder Analysis to ensure the team is ready to promote the change, drive the change, and walk the talk. A portion of implementations may "shock" the workplace culture. Be prepared for employees resistance to a cultural change. Getting past this is every bit as important as technical execution.

Remove as much waste as possible, accept no alternative! Solid education and analysis has identified these areas of opportunity in earlier phases.

A relentless drive to not only remove waste to increase the value-added time but to increase the value of the value-added processes. As improvements are made, more will come to the surface. The team will need a timeline, such as a Gantt Chart, to track assignments and timeliness of there completion.

Pilot runs will be taken at the end of the IMPROVE phase and data collecting to begin the BEFORE and AFTER performance will start.

The outputs of the IMPROVE phase are needed to begin the CONTROL phase.

Some of the tools commonly used in the IMPROVE phase are shown below.

Stakeholder Analysis

Mistake Proofing (Poka-Yoke)

Total Productive Maintenance



Predictive Maintenance


7 Wastes

Takt Time

Line Balancing

SPC Charts

Designing Workcells / Cellular Flow

Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)

SMED: Single Minute Exchange of Dies

Health and Safety

Gantt Chart


Design of Experiments (DOE) - overview

Factorial Experiments

Taguchi Robustness

Response Surface Methodology

Evolutionary Operations (EVOP)

Proceed to final DMAIC Phase: CONTROL

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