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DMAIC vs. DMADV: The Differences

dmaic dmcdv, six sigma,

A Quick Overview

Before we explore DMAIC vs. DMADV, we need to cover a bit of history. Six Sigma is a methodology intended to improve effectiveness and efficiency. Six Sigma began at Motorola in the 1980s, when engineer Dr. Mikel Harry began to study variations within the different processes in the company. He noticed that too many variations resulted in poor customer satisfaction, and customer needs were not being met.

The popularity of Six Sigma began to spread throughout major corporations in the following years. In 1995, General Electric had decided to make Six Sigma methodology a corporate-wide doctrine. Approximately two years after the implementation of Six Sigma, General Electric produced over $320 million in cost savings. This put Six Sigma on the map.

Defining DMAIC and DMADV

DMAIC is a one of the building blocks of the Six Sigma doctrine. It is the acronym for the steps involved in the Six Sigma methodology, used to improve efficacy and effectiveness. This tool is used when you have an existing process and you want to bring its current performance level up.

Define – Your purpose for the process
Measure – Know where you are now, use data, map it out to capture current state.
Analyze – Your process steps, see what you are doing.
Improve – Come up with different possible solutions.
Control – Make sure whatever solution you come up with can be sustained.

DMADV is another tool used when there is a brand new service or product, or when the existing process is not working or is substandard. The first 3 steps are the same, but since our scenario is different, the activity involved in obtaining that information would be different.

Define – Your purpose for the process
Measure – Know where you are now, use data, map it out to capture current state.
Analyze – Your process steps, see what you are doing.
Design – Here you want to either design or redesign the product, service or process to meet your customer’s needs. Use prototypes and predictive models to validate the design’s effectiveness.
Verify – Since this is for either a new product or service, or a complete redesign from scratch, you want to have pilot runs to see if your new process works in the real world.

Want to learn more about DMAIC and DMADV? Enroll in one of our Six Sigma training courses! Learn more information about’s Lean Six Sigma training coursework, available as classroom, onsite, or online options.

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