Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control

What Does Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control Mean?

Define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) is a five-step guide used for changing business processes or other kinds of processes. It is a part of the Six Sigma techniques developed by Motorola in the 1980s, but DMAIC can be used with any kind of project as a general framework, and is not specific to Six Sigma-certified processes.


Techopedia Explains Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control

The five steps of DMAIC are define, measure, analyze, improve and control. The first three steps have to do with identifying problems and benchmarking, while analyzing how improvements might work. The fourth step, improvement, is the actual change process. The last step, control, has to do with maintaining the changes or improvements that are made and controlling the outcomes accordingly.

As an example of using DMAIC, this process might apply to health-care administration, where administrators look at doing various things like preventing medical mistakes, lowering infection and re-admission rates, or improving the quality of patient care. Administrators may use metrics like service costs, customer satisfaction and clinical achievement to drive process changes that create measurable value within the business context. These same principles work in other industries, but are often applied to health care and other fields that are otherwise hard to implement improvements in.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…