Lean Six Sigma Define Phase

Lean Six Sigma is the leading improvement methodology for businesses that brings improvement and minimizes waste. The prime aim of implementing these strategies of Six Sigma in companies is to reduce mistakes, errors, variations, and time management.

The Six Sigma strategies follow the methodology DMAIC, which refers to the process of defining, measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling. The five-phase processes help determine the framework for the business teams and allow them to streamline workflow.

In this blog, we’ll discuss DMAIC to discover the problems associated with manufacturing processes. The main goal for each of the Six Sigma phases is as follows:


The phrase helps define those problems that need to be solved.


This helps to assess the extent of quantifying the data and issues associated with data.


The analysis phase helps follow a data-driven approach to understand the root cause of the manufacturing problem and how to minimize them.


The stage involves changes implemented in the business manufacturing area to eliminate the problems.


It helps to maintain the fluidity of the businesses by making several changes.

Different Stages of Define Phase of Lean Six Sigma

The essential tools of the Lean Six Sigma explained in the Simplilearn green belt certification allow you to make necessary changes. Let’s read the details about the defined phase.

1. Identify the Key Problems

The key problems are the things that hurt the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), such as employee satisfaction, customer, production costs, output, process capability, revenue potential, and cycle time. The problems must be framed according to the customers’ demands. Quality and lead time are the two key processes related to customer concern.

2, Narrow Down The Associated Problem

Develop the problem statement, which helps to describe the main issues related to the production process and issues that impact your businesses and productivity. In addition, it helps to keep a track record of the things that are neglected and need to be pursued.

If things are not adding value to the customer’s demand, it can lead to big financial problems. This is helpful to pursue something in the right manner.

3. Find The Business Impact Problems

Let us take an example to illustrate it clearly. Suppose your business problem is quality. Your production unit has a defect of 20% in the process. Therefore, if the fault and repair cost you $150 per production defect and you are producing more than 35000 products annually, then the defect rate must be 20% which is associated with business and cost you around 1,050,000 dollars annually.

We won’t spend time and money looking into it because it charges us $200 a year. This is how you can target your problems and allow you to achieve business benefits by implementing the Six Sigma principle and methodology.

4. Project Charter

Create a project charter after determining the issue. This serves as a scoping declaration, outlining what you’re going to accomplish, the steps you’re going to take, who will be involved, how long it will take, and the aim. Here are some of the key things that you need to trigger.

  • Trigger Problem Statement

Make sure to ask a few questions such as, what’s wrong with the businesses? How, when, and where is the root cause of the problem? How do you meet customers’ requirements?

  • Business Case

Why is the business project worth it? Why and Where does it have to be done in the right direction? What is the significance of the project? What consequences are faced by the company?

  • Goal Statement

It defines where the business is now and the project’s current status. Moreover, it helps to understand in which direction you have to proceed with the project.

5. Set Business Goals

The phrase “increasing quality” can refer to various things, including more precision, product completion, or defect-free goods. Are you attempting to speed up the process or enhance the final product? Objectives should be realistic, but they shouldn’t restrict your ability to identify the underlying issue.

6. Mapping the Process

This process includes many Six Sigma tools that help move toward the production processes differently. For example, some tools help to understand the mapping process.


A process’s high-level overview is provided via a SIPOC diagram. It lists the providers, the resources, the method used to transform the inputs into the outputs; the produces an output themselves, and the recipients of the good or service—the consumers.

  • Value Stream Map

 It provides a step-by-step explanation of how a procedure and communications flow until the final good or service is delivered to the consumer. As a result, it can assist teams in determining what offers value to customers and what does not. In addition, teams may uncover obstacles and unnecessary stages and better understand problems like tasks, preparation time, throughput times, and change over time through value stream mapping a process.

Project managers may be better prepared to succeed throughout the Definition phase and beyond using these tools. Teams engage in deeper statistical analysis at the Evaluation stage, utilizing data to explain the process’s state at that time.

Final Thoughts

After defining, management and the planning committee should have established a high-level objective, detailed the organization’s high-level issues, and presented a strategic improvement plan. Here, recording the client’s requirements is one of the most important things to utilize. Several methods achieve this, including surveys, group discussions, and direct consumer input.

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