Elements of Define (DMAIC)

The first phase is Define. During the Define phase, a team and its sponsors reach agreement on what the project is and what it should accomplish. Presuming that a draft of the Project Charter is already in place, the main work in the Define phase is for the project team to complete an analysis of what the project should accomplish and confirm understanding with the sponsor(s). They should agree on the problem, which customers are affected, and how the current process or outcomes fail to meet their customers’ needs through “Voice of the Customer or Critical-To-Quality (CTQ).”

The outcome of the Define phase is:

– A clear statement of the intended improvement (Project Charter)

– A high-level map of the Processes (SIPOC)

– A list of what is important to the customer (CTQ)

– An understanding of the project’s link to corporate strategy and its contribution to ROIC

The tools most commonly used in the Define phase are:

– Project Charter

– Stakeholder analysis

– Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Output, and Customers (SIPOC) process map

– Voice of the Customer

– Affinity Diagram

– Kano Model

– Critical-To-Quality (CTQ) tree

Project Charter: The charter is a contract between the organization’s leadership and the project team created at the outset of the project.

Its purpose is:

– To clarify what is expected of the team

– To keep the team focused

– To keep the project and team aligned with organizational priorities

– To transfer the project from the champion to the team