The DMAIC Method
Organizations face the challenge of improving their output. To achieve this, they should take certain steps that consider their business processes correctly. This enables them to improve their processes to make them have better results. Prior to improving their output it is vital for managers of organizations to acknowledge the fact that processes can be broken down into three basic elements. These include inputs to the processes, the processes under investigation, and the output of the processes. To improve the outputs of the processes, organizations should basically that they improve the inputs and the processes themselves. It is vital for organizations to ensure that they identify, measure, and improve the inputs and metrics of the processes to enable them improve the output, which is also referred to as the ‘key measure.’ Use of the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control) steps would enable an organization to improve its output. Therefore, the radiator and heat exchange company should ensure that it uses the DMAIC method to improve its output. DMAIC would provide the company with structure and guidance to improve its processes and productivity. It would enable the company to improve its key metrics. This would make the company achieve improved performance, reduce errors, and improve its efficiency and productivity.
As such, the DMAIC steps would act as the backbone of the output improvement initiative. Use of the steps would enable the company to scope its problem adequately, measure its present performance, critically analyze the root cause of the problem it faces, test and determine how various recommendations would improve its output, and finally implement the changes that would be sustainable in the long-term. The importance of the DMAIC steps necessitate managers of any contemporary organizations such as the radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company to be skilled in the art of using the steps to improve the output of the organization.
Understanding and Measuring the Process
The steps involved in DMAIC help in improving the output of an organization since they are easy to understand and they make sense. They are applicable to an organization in any industry or business process. However, prior to the implementation of the organization, it is vital for the managers of the managers of the radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company to ensure that they determine the scope of the problem. They may use the supplier, input, process, output, customer (SIPOC) method to determine the scope of the problem. Use of the SIPOC tool would enable the managers of the company to scope the problem the company faces, think in terms of the business processes, and enable major players in the output improvement process to determine what and where to measure to improve the output of the company. Use of SIPOC would enable the company to link metrics and inputs, processes, and outputs. Use of the DMAIC steps would enable the radiator and heat exchange company use the SIPOC tool.
The aim of this step is to set up of the project of the output improvement for success. The project manager should ensure that they undertake the basic steps involved when starting a project. These include determine the appropriate scope of the project, determining the stakeholders and team members of the project, and planning and undertaking a success meeting to kick off the project. In addition to the above steps, it is vital for the managers of the radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company to ensure that project team members know how to determine the ‘As-Is’ process map. This would enable the project team members to have good knowledge of the process and determine the problematic steps in the company’s processes. Process maps play a critical role in determining the non-value added steps. They may also be vital in determine the process maps. It is vital for the project manager of the radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company to ensure that the project team members receive basic knowledge of the DMAIC process. This would enable all the team members know what and when should undertake a certain activity (Persse, 2006).
Despite the fact that this step is vital in the success in the output improvement project, it is usually ignored by most project managers. Making decisions based on the ‘gut’ feeling is one of the major mistakes that any organization may make. It is vital of organizations to ensure that they make decisions based on facts and data. In this step, the radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company should ensure that it identifies and defines its key metrics, develop charts and graphs that would enable the project team members to understand what the current processes of the organizations are delivering, create a data collection plan, and undertake a measurement system analyze to authenticate the accuracy of the data (Shankar, 2009).
The major aim of this process to determine the root cause of the problem the company is facing. In most instances, organizations focus on the symptoms of problems instead of focusing on the root cause of the problems. The radiator and heat exchange company should ensure that it uses tools and techniques that would help it determine clues for improvement and the root causes of the problem it faces. The tools and techniques should enable the company determine the most important drivers of the problems. The company may use value added analysis, statistical analysis, or a fishbone chart to determine the root causes of the problems it faces. The radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company should then ensure that it gathers data on the root causes of problems to determine if the problems have a cause and effect relationships. Determine the cause and effect relationship is one of the most important steps in the analyze step. Unfortunately, most organizations usually skip or negate the importance of this step (Andersen, 2007).
After undertaking the above steps, the radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company would be ready to use what it has learned on its processes and develop innovative solutions to the problems it faces. During this step, the company would develop and test creative solutions to the problems it faces. The company should ensure that it uses various experimenting and piloting techniques to develop innovative solutions. During this step the radiator and heat exchange company should ensure that it develops innovative solutions that can be verified through experiment. The radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company should test the best ideas learned from the previous steps to test to determine if they have statistically verifiable improvement. A control chart would show the results of the ideas on the improvement of the processes of the company. If the stakeholders see the proof of the performance improvement of the ideas, they are more likely to accept and implement them based on the recommendations of the project team members. It is vital for the radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company to ensure that it does not use emotions when making decisions on the output improvement initiatives. This step would help in validating and verifying various recommendations. In most instances, organizations assume they know will or will not work. This makes them to blindly implement certain ideas without testing them properly. This ultimately leads to no measurable or sustainable improvement in the output of the organizations (Shankar, 2009). Therefore, it is vital for the radiator and heat exchange manufacturing to ensure that it does not fall on this trap.
Control is the major strength of the DMAIC steps. In most instances, organizations improve processes and results but fail to implement the processes effectively. The organizations may fail to acknowledge the importance of having a smooth transition. In addition, the relevant stakeholders may not want the full implementation of the recommendations. The above conditions makes it difficult for an organization to undertake the improve step. Therefore, it is vital for the radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company to ensure that it uses the control step to guarantee successful implementation of the recommendations of the output improvement project team. The radiator and heat exchange manufacturing company should flow chart the new processes and ensure that the processes become the new standard operating procedures, which would help in improving output of the company. It should also ensure that it continuously tracks the results of the new processes to ensure that there is no drift back to the previous results of the previous processes. If there is any drift the company should tackle the results proactively. This step would enable the company to transfer responsibilities and develop plans that would ensure the long-term sustainability of new processes (Evans & Lindsay, 2014).
After understanding the DMAIC steps, it would become easy for the heat exchange and manufacturing company to manage the process of improving its output. This is dues to the fact that the DMAIC steps have been proven to improve the output any organization. Since it involves only five steps it easy to remember. The DMAIC process would provide the heat exchange and manufacturing company with a structured approach of how to solve problems and improve its output. It would necessitate the company to answer certain questions in each step to ensure the effectiveness of the ultimate recommendations.