The DMADV Methodology

The DMADV methodology can’t be better explained than by comparing it with DMAIC methodology despite their fundamental differences. Take for example, the case of a traveling salesman who convinces a customer to buy at the best price. After invoicing and collecting the shipping details, he discovers that there is a problem with the packaging department which is unable to reduce the shipping volume as desired by the customer. The salesman now remembers that nowadays, more and more customers are demanding that their shipments’ volumes be reduced when packaged.

Now, the packaging department has a problem on their hands which they are unable to resolve unless their rule books are rewritten. What should the project team evaluate now; DMAIC or DMADV methodology?


What is DMADV Methodology?

The acronym DMADV sounds pretty much similar to DMAIC. The similarity ends after the first three letters DMA.

1.     Define: You will define the goals of the project and that of the customers (both internal and external)

2.     Measure: Here you will quantify the customer needs as well as the goals of the management

3.     Analyze: Analyze the options, existing process to determine the cause of error origination and evaluate corrective measures

4.     Design: Design a new process or a corrective step to the existing one to eliminate the error origination that meets the target specification

5.     Verify: Verify, by simulation or otherwise, the performance of thus developed design and its ability to meet the target needs

There is a new viewpoint in  Six Sigma circles that DMADV is for designing new products and services and that it may not be successful on existing business processes and products. Although the argument is valid to some extent, you would do well to notice that the I of DMAIC is not far removed from the D of DMADV. You can easily say that design is an extended concept of improvement.


Difference Between DMADV And DMAIC

The difference, as one can see now, exists only in the way last two steps are handled. In DMADV, instead of the Improve and Control steps which focuses on readjusting and controlling by one way or other, deals with redesigning the process to fit customer needs.


Can You Use DMAIC In Place Of DMADV?

Let’s simply put it the other way around. You can implement DMADV when you don’t have an existing product, which you are aiming to create from scratch. The second occasion when you can think of using DMADV is when in actual practice, DMAIC hasn’t yielded the result you were looking for despite best efforts to make improvements. In a nutshell, the latter reason can be summarized as: use DMADV when process improvement either fails or doesn’t deliver to your expectations.

There are occasions when planned DMAIC has turned into DMADV ultimately. a  Six Sigma Black Belt must take credit for this, in my view, as this reflects their in-depth subject knowledge.