DMAIC vs. DMADV: Which Process is Right for Your Project?

DMAIC vs. DMADV: Which Process is Right for Your Project?

It’s easy to get lost in the world of Six Sigma. There are so many acronyms, terms, and different methodologies that it can sometimes be confusing. However, there is a good chance you’ll come across one or more methodologies in your career as a Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma leader. This article will compare two Six Sigma quality improvement techniques — DMAIC vs. DMADV.

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Process Improvement Frameworks in Six Sigma

DMAIC: Process for Improvement

The DMAIC process is a process improvement approach that aids businesses in their never-ending quest to better themselves. Businesses can utilize the DMAIC process to improve any process, whether it’s a production technique, a service delivery method, or other types of business processes. The DMAIC methodology aids organizations in spotting issues, keeping tabs on development, and making adjustments to optimize results.

The DMAIC process has five steps: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. It provides a structure for making decisions based on facts and statistics and aids in the systematic identification and resolution of issues.

Since it is a systematic and structured approach, Six Sigma practitioners can use the DMAIC process to improve any problem, making it a valuable tool for corporate improvement. As an added bonus, the DMAIC method is flexible and configurable to meet the requirements of virtually any organization or business model.

Finally, the DMAIC method has been extensively studied and is supported by many tools for companies looking to adopt it.

When to Use DMAICDMAIC Example
Use DMAIC when a product has already been released or a process already exists but there are problems that you want to improve.To boost customer satisfaction, a call center might implement DMAIC to define what factors, such as wait times and staff education, are causing problems for customers.

DMADV: Developing a New Product, Service, or Process

The DMADV approach, also known as the Design for Six Sigma (DFSS), is a quality improvement strategy used to create new products, services, or processes. Six Sigma practitioners can design any produce service, or business process using the DMADV method.

The DMADV procedure entails five phases: define, measure, analyze, design, and verify. Because it is systematic and structured, the framework can be applied to any problem, making it a useful tool for business improvement. On top of all that, the DMADV procedure is adaptable and can be modified to meet the requirements of every business.

An organization can define a new product, service, or process criteria using the DMADV process, which then helps organizations design it to satisfy those requirements.

When to Use DMADVDMADV Example
Use DMADV to design a new process, service, or project or when no established procedure exists for the present situation.DMADV can be used by a service provider planning to design a new customer care team in order to define the type of training needed and the optimal number of agents per shift.

Benefits of Using Six Sigma Quality Improvement Methods

The following are a few areas in which businesses can see benefits while using either Six Sigma method:

1. Quality

Businesses can benefit from implementing Six Sigma quality improvement techniques because of the positive effects it has on their products and services.

2. Customer Satisfaction

If a company improves its products and services using Six Sigma techniques, it is more likely to satisfy its customers.

3. Costs

The Six Sigma improvement methods can assist organizations in lowering their costs by increasing the efficiency of their processes and reducing the amount of waste they produce.

4. Competitiveness

By giving companies an advantage over their rivals, Six Sigma improvement techniques can assist companies in being more competitive in their respective markets.

5. Employee Satisfaction

Companies can boost employee morale with the help of Six Sigma by fostering a more positive work environment and providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow in their roles.

Drawbacks of Using Six Sigma Quality Improvement Methods

Some cons of using Six Sigma quality improvement methods include the following:

  • The need for specialized Six Sigma training and belt certification
  • The need for dedicated resources
  • The potential for project scope creep
  • The risk of not achieving desired results

Differences Between DMAIC and DMADV

The DMADV process is an extension of the DMAIC process and is used when creating a new product or service or making significant changes to an existing one. The primary distinction between the two processes is that the DMADV approach substitutes two stages for the Improve and Control phases: Design and Verify.

Along with the new phases, there is no current state process with DMADV, while DMAIC heavily involves reviewing and improving the current state of a process. Also, for DMADV, data collection, and analysis are focused more on developing a new process, while DMAIC analyzes data on the current process. Finally, there is no before and after performance analysis for a newly built process using DMADV, while an analysis is usually performed in the DMAIC Control Phase.

Similarities Between DMAIC and DMADV

DMAIC and DMADV focus on using iterative, collaborative, and adaptive processes to solve problems. Among the many tools and techniques used in both DMADV and DMAIC, here are a few that you will find used in both processes:

  • Voice of the Customer
  • Control Charts
  • Quality Function Deployment
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
  • Quality Function Deployments
  • Design of Experiments (DOE)
  • Control Charts
  • Histograms
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ)
  • Pareto Charts
  • Prioritization Matrix
  • Action / Improvement Plans


Regarding DMADV vs DMAIC, how do you know which methodology is right for your project? In most cases, the best choice will differ based on the individual project and organization.

If the primary objective of your project is to produce a new product or service, the DMADV process may be more beneficial to define the requirements. However, if you want to improve an existing product or process, DMAIC may be the better option since it addresses the current process.

Ultimately, the DMADV method and DMAIC method have proven to be effective and can improve quality when used properly. This means that you’ll need to weigh each of the options to determine which one best fits your specific situation.

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