DMAIC Phases

Halden Zimmermann's representation of the succession of phases in the DMAIC process
Phases of DMAIC

DMAIC: Define Phase

In this first phase, our objective is to develop a project charter and team mandate. The team is chosen, formalized and then launched. The key is having a focused scope, a data-driven charter and a well-balanced team with a sponsor dedicated to solving the issue.

Chart for Define Phase Deliverables
Define Phase Deliverables
  1. This diagram shows how all required Define Phase Deliverables fit together to create a complete picture of the work of the team and its goals.Define Phase Tools

    Project Charter

    Purpose: The most important step prior to a team getting started is the establishment of a Project Charter. After the project selection process is complete and a project has been identified as a priority, then the project sponsor will draft a Project Charter. This two-to-three-page document describes what the sponsor wants the team to accomplish. Alcan uses a standard form for this, and every LSS project must have one.

Application: This is initiated just before the project launch, but it is a deliverable of the Define Phase. Sponsor and Project Leader work together on it.

ALCAN Continuous Improvement — Project Charter


The Project Charter purpose is to establish a standardized “contract” between the project sponsor and the project team. The Project Charter defines the problem – it does not solve it. It is a living document that could change over the DMAIC phases and should normally not exceed 3 pages.

Admin Data

Project Name: Business Group:

Sector/Unit/Value Center:

Key area(s) to be improved:

EHS Customer Satisfaction Quality Process Speed

Sponsor telephone:

CID: please select CI Champion:

Black Belt:
BB telephone: Green Belt:

please select

Capital Employed

Business Impact *

Q1: Why should we do this project? • Click here to type in for Q1

Q2a: What is the quantified value
creation of the project according • Click here to type in for Q2a to ALCAN CI financial
guidelines expressed in EVA $? • Click here to type in for Q2b

Q2b: What is the range of CAPEX?

• Click here to type in for Q2c

• Click here to type in for Q3 is supported by this project? • Click here to type in for Q4

Q4: What is the risk that the project will not succeed?

Q2c: What is the EHS risk avoidance?

Q3: Which Operating Agenda item

Opportunity / Problem Statement *

  1. Q1:  What is happening (describe in detail)?
  2. Q2:  When did the problem start?
  3. Q3:  Where is the problem occurring?
  4. Q4:  What “Pain” are we or our customers experiencing? Or what is the magnitude of the problem?

• Click here to type in for Q1 • Click here to type in for Q2 • Click here to type in for Q3 • Click here to type in for Q4

*mandatory sections to be completed by Sponsor


Aligns the project team, determines scope, and proposes timeline, team members, financials and problems statement to coordinate efforts before the project starts.


2 thoughts on “DMAIC Phases

  1. Halden Zimmermann Continuous Improvement and DMAIC

    Six sigma does a nice job framing projects so that they are set up for the best chances of success. Just by following the model step by step problem areas become well scoped, manageable and implemented faster.

    The major down side to Six Sigma is the time it take to get to an answer and the sustainability of the project after it is complete…. many times the six sigma black belt does much of the work and naturally falls into the myth they are responsible not only for the project but for sustaining.. This is not supposed to happen, but in large organizations that are busy you can see how that path can be well traveled..

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