DMAIC vs. PDCA: Which is Better?

You have many choices if you want to find the best technique for continuous improvement. Today, we have access to a wide range of tools and techniques that can help us achieve positive change. It can be difficult to determine which technique is best. It can be confusing to compare Lean Six Sigma DMAIC vs Lean PDCA because the methods are similar.

So, which is better in six sigma, DMAIC or PDCA? We will attempt to describe both concepts in this post.

What is PDCA?

PDCA is used in many areas of business, including product and supply chain management; project and program management; and HR.

Each stage has four components:

  • The plan is the first step in the process. People who make decisions must take the initiative to identify the inefficiencies of the processes and the need for change. This phase includes asking questions such as “What is the best way to bring about a change?” and “What costs and benefits are there?”
  • Do is the stage where the improvements are implemented. It is important to support employees affected by a change. Inform them of the changes, and why you think they should be implemented. The changes can then be implemented according to plan. The decision-makers should take appropriate measures if there is still resistance among employees, even after advance communication.
  • Check is the stage in which the decision-makers evaluate the intended result. It is important to compare the outcome with what was expected.
  • Act – The phase that is based on the results of the Check stage. If the Check stage proves that process improvements have been achieved during the Do phase, the organization can continue to implement the new processes.

The Benefits of PDCA

This methodology is a simple, repeatable, and scalable method. This is a cyclical approach that identifies and solves one problem at a given time using live-tested solutions. This is a great way for new or small business leaders to make steady progress in the direction of more efficient and effective operations.

How to apply PDCA in six sigma?
How to apply PDCA in lean six sigma?

How to Create PDCA

The Plan Do Check Act requires a top-down approach, but it is greatly aided by employee participation and buy-in. It’s a good idea, to begin with a problem that is meaningful but also approachable for businesses who are adopting the Plan Do Check Act. Before tackling more complex problems, get comfortable with the method.

What is DMAIC?

DMAIC is an improvement cycle that uses data to improve and enhance business processes. DMAIC project management serves as the driving force behind Six Sigma initiatives. The five stages of the concept are: Define Measure Analyze Improve Control.

  • Define. The first step in the DMAIC process involves defining the problem and why it is necessary to improve. Here decision-makers specify clear goals.
  • Measure. In this phase, the problem identified in the prior stage is quantified. This stage is crucial because it can be difficult to determine the resources needed to fix the issue without measuring the issue.
  • Analyze focuses on understanding the root of the problem. Once the main contributor of the current problem has been identified, it is easy to identify the other factors that influence the problem.
  • Improve This is where improvements are implemented. At this stage, the decision-makers should show their skills in change management by clearly communicating with the employees affected by the changes to gain their support.
  • Control means continuously monitoring the changes to ensure that the implemented processes change continues and brings benefits.

DMAIC, as we have noted above is the basis of Six Sigma. This technique gives companies powerful Six Sigma Tools for improving the competence of business process. Six Sigma is a quality-driven approach that aims to increase performance and reduce process variations. Six Sigma aims to improve employee morale, increase profits and reduce defects.

Benefits and Uses of DMAIC

Adopting DMAIC as the core of six sigma is a serious undertaking. It can lead to major gains if implemented successfully. Leaders have a unique opportunity to collect hard data on their operations in the “Measure”, “Analyze”, and “Refine” stages. The data gathered in this stage can be extremely valuable.

There is plenty of room to refine and deliberate in the final stages of “Improve” or “Control”. Leaders must be open to different viewpoints, have real discussions, and welcome criticism. Lean management is a dynamic process that requires constant innovation and information.

How to Create DMAIC

It’s not difficult to implement Define Measure, Analyze, and Improve Control at work. But it takes some effort. The scope of the project should be limited enough to ensure that it is productive but not so much as to hinder data collection. You should also ensure that you have access to complete and accurate data about the departments, people, and processes involved.

What is the Difference Between PDCA and DMAIC?

Both methodologies are very similar and can be used as viable alternatives in any situation. Essentially, PDCA is a slightly different procedure for improving workplace operations in lean six sigma. It’s not necessary that they are mutually exclusive. However, it would be confusing and inefficient for a company to adopt both models at the same time.

Both methods begin by defining the problem and determining the scope of project objectives. Context and goals are almost limitless. They can range from improving the sanitation of the bathrooms in a store to achieving better customer reviews. PDCA is a tool that is used consistently to reach a state of continuous improvement. DMAIC, on the other hand, is about making deliberate and decisive changes to tackle big-picture issues.

How to compare dmaic vs pdca in lean six sigma?
How to compare dmaic vs pdca in lean six sigma?

How to Choose Between PDCA or DMAIC

If done correctly, any business can use either of these methods to get great results. The choice between PDCA vs DMAIC comes down to personal preference and comfort, rather than a comparison of practicality. PDCA is simpler to adopt, understand and use in smaller work environments. This is a great way to start and learn more about the management strategy.

DMAIC makes sense for companies who want to adopt six sigma because it is the same model. This is a slower process that relies more on data. It’s a good option for those who want to thoroughly study their options.

The Bottom Line

Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma have many great features. Many people admit that the statistical tools they use for problem-solving and analyzing are very useful.

The DMAIC cycle provides a systematic and thorough way to solve serious and complex problems. Six Sigma can be a powerful tool for many large and global companies to improve their processes. PDCA does not make PDCA inferior.

Six Sigma, for example, is a way to manage a program of process improvement, whereas Lean is a management system that can be used to run an entire business. You can choose either concept, but both are designed to help you succeed.

Which one do you prefer?

Tell us about it in the comments below!