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Dial M for Measure

Previously, we described the Define phase of the Six Sigma methodology.  Once that phase is successfully completed and accepted by the business sponsor and process owner, the project team moves on to the Measure phase.

M – Measure

During the Measure phase the project team will begin collecting data and calculating the capability of the process at the heart of the project. It is often the case that we measure our performance incorrectly or incompletely. This is because it’s not always clear that we’re measuring what we think we’re measuring. The Six Sigma project team will spend the measure phase translating current state data into meaningful and reliable information. We will establish the basis for the project and define the measurement systems we’ll use to determine, monitor and improve the process.

During this phase, Finance validates the business case, we launch the team, the Champion approves the project definition and the timeline is set. We ask and answer the question “what counts as success?”

Some tools in use during the Measure phase are:

  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Data collection plan
  • Measurement System Analysis (validates the data collection plan)
  • Gage R & R (used to confirm that our data is reliable and reproducible)
  • Process Capability
  • Control charts

Stay tuned...next time we'll discuss the Analyze phase!

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