Course Description

The need for a Six Sigma project comes from a business problem or an opportunity. This one-day course is based on the Define Phase of the DMAIC framework and is the second of six courses designed to prepare individuals to conduct continuous improvement work in their organizations. The purpose of this course is to help students familiarize themselves with the expectations, tools, concepts, and deliverables of the Six Sigma Define Phase. Within this phase, students will understand the importance of the business problem or opportunity as it relates to process improvement and Six Sigma. Students will also explore other aspects of the Define Phase such as stakeholder identification, customer requirements gathering and analysis, and required elements to create a Six Sigma project plan.

Course Details

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Describe factors considered when organizations decide to use the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology or another problem-solving process
  • List the DMAIC activities in the Define Phase and explain the critical role played by the Define Phase in the beginning of the DMAIC process
  • Outline process elements and articulate a current state picture of flow complexity and waste in a process
  • Articulate where process requirements originate, and identify and prioritize customers or requirements within the process
  • Articulate the difference between business and process metrics and discuss challenges that result from process improvement efforts
  • Understand various types of benchmarking including competitive, collaborative, and best practices
  • Summarize process input and output variables and evaluate their relationships using the supplier, input, process, output and customer model (SIPOC)
  • Articulate and describe project management elements and develop a problem statement that includes baseline data and the project’s goals
  • Identify different stakeholders required to start and complete a typical Six Sigma project
  • Examine the different management and planning tools used in Six Sigma projects
  • Identify team dynamics, stages, roles and responsibilities, and select tools for enhancing team performance
  • Support the development of an effective project charter for different projects
  • Develop a voice of customer (VOC) plan.


Students are strongly encouraged to take these courses in an order based on the DMAIC framework starting with PDS 243 Business Execution Systems; however, this is not required.



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