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The DMAIC methodology is the road map of a 6 Sigma project. It provides a simple and structured approach in 5 steps to solve problems.


The DMAIC methodology proposes 5 steps to solve problems whose causes are not yet identified. It is based on 4 principles of implementation1 :

  • A rigorous methodology based on the logical interweaving of several statistical tools.
  • A decision-making based on real facts and measured and not on opinions, feeling, felt…
  • Une involvement a team coached by a methodology expert.
  • Centered customer satisfaction.

DMAIC now meets a standard, ISO 13053-1. It provides recommendations and best practices on roles and responsibilities for each in DMAIC 2 . It also offers 5 levels of maturity of the DMAIC processes that are:


  1. Starting point: no description of processes
  2. Management: responsiveness only on customer request
  3. Precision: all processes in the organization are described
  4. Quantitative management: Level 3 processes are managed with indicators
  5. Optimization: processes are optimized with the use of indicators

The principle

Through these 5 steps, the principle is to gradually reduce the possible causes of the problem to identify the source cause. At each stage, the group must validate the actions to move on to the next step.

Phase 1 : Define

The Define phase of the DMAIC consists in precisely defining the project and has the purpose of Validating the project request </ b>. For this, we complete a “ project charter ” which summarizes a whole set of data and allows to launch the project in the best conditions.

Phase 2 : Measure

The Measure phase consists of measuring the current situation. It consists of a set of tools allowing a pragmatic and real measure of the problem encountered.

Phase 3 : Analyse

The analysis phase is a “ mathematical ” phase. We set up statistical tools to identify the real cause of the problem.

Phase 4 : Improve

We will identify solutions and put them in place to eradicate the root cause of the problem. For this, we use a whole range of mathematical tools to choose and test the solution.

Phase 5 : Control

The last phase of the DMAIC is close to the Act of PDCA. The challenge is to perpetuate actions and ensure that performance does not degrade. We put in place the principles of statistical control.


1 – C. T. Caroll (2013) – Six Sigma Powerful Improvement

2 – T. Vanzant-Stern (2012) – Lean Six Sigma : international standards and guidelines

J.N. Gillot (2012) – La gestion des processus métier

C. Frechet (2011) – Mettre en œuvre le Six Sigma

W. Fox (1999) – Statistiques sociales

N. Volck (2011) – Déployer et exploiter Lean Six Sigma

R. Basu (2011) – Fit Six Sigma : A Lean approach to building sustainable quality beyond Six Sigma

T. Burton, J. L. Sams (2005) – Six Sigma for small and midsized organizations

M. Pillet (2013) – Six Sigma : comment l’appliquer

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