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The DMAIC Process; What are the 5 phases of DMAIC?

Updated: May 18

A Simple Guide to DMAIC phases, meaning and useful examples


What does DMAIC stand for?

DMAIC (pronounced “duh-may-ick”) is a process that focuses on structured problem solving. It is an integral part of Six Sigma, a method of continuous business improvement. The 5 phases of DMAIC are

  1. Define

  2. Measure

  3. Analyze

  4. Improve

  5. Control

What is DMAIC used for?

Put in the simplest of terms, DMAIC is structured problem solving. In Business, DMAIC is used for continuous improvement, that is, ongoing structured actions taken to improve processes. To improve quality, speed, efficiency, safety, customer experience, employee engagement, whatever we prioritize as most important to our customer, employees and business.


The DMAIC structure is a critical foundation to the success of improvement efforts mainly because of the discipline it instills; before we begin solving a problem, we need to understand it, to DEFINE the process, the customer and the problem. We then understand and measure the problem or opportunity, and so on.