Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow.

The principles of Six Sigma can be applied to everyday life. In fact, you probably use some of them without ever even knowing it. Six Sigma is a set of management techniques intended to improve business operations by trying to reduce the chance of an error occurring. Continue reading, as we will discuss a core aspect of Six Sigma—DMAIC.

Here are the data-driven steps you can take to better improve, optimize, and stabilize your business processes.

  1. Define: First, define who customers are, what their requirements are for products and services, and what their expectations are. Define boundaries (the stop and start of a process) and define the process to be improved by mapping the process flow.
  2. Measure: Develop a data collection plan for the process. Collect data from many sources to determine types of defects and metrics. Compare customer survey results to determine shortfall.
  3. Analyze: Look at the data collected and process map to determine root causes of defects and opportunities for improvement. Identify gaps between current performance and goal performance. Prioritize opportunities to improve and identify sources of variation.
  4. Improve: Design a creative solution to fix and prevent problems. Develop and deploy implementation plan.
  5. Control: Prevent reverting back to the “old way.” Require the development, documentation, and implementation of an ongoing monitoring plan. Institutionalize the improvements through the modification of systems and structures.

Here is a basic life example that many people can relate to: losing weight
Define: “I want to lose 20 pounds.”
Measure: “My base weight is X pounds, and my target weight is X pounds. The error in my measurement system (scale) is acceptable.”
Analyze: “I found that 24% of my daily calories are evening snacks and another 19% is from the vending machine.”
Improve: “A few slip-ups, but overall, I follow my routine for 3 months, and achieve my goal of X pounds.”
Control: “I will weigh in once per week and track the results in a notebook. I will stop brining money to work for the vending machine and keep those tempting evening snacks out of the house.”

So, there you have it. The DMAIC method can even be applied to an everyday challenge, not just for business. DMAIC, a core aspect of Six Sigma, is used to help solve problems and improve processes. We all have our own problems in life and processes that could use some improvement. Luckily, Six Sigma is here to help. If you have any current challenges in your life, whether that be business or personal, try to solve your problem using the DMAIC tool. Guaranteed to improve your life!