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What Is DMADV?

DMADV is a Six Sigma framework that supports the development of new products, services, or processes. The process includes the following phases: define, measure, analyze, design, and verify.

DMADV is a Six Sigma framework that focuses on the development of a new product, service, or process. It is an acronym for the five phases of DMADV: define, measure, analyze, design, and verify. The DMADV approach is useful when implementing new strategies because of its early identification of success, basis in data, and thorough analysis.

The aim of the DMADV framework is to ensure the optimum balance between three perspectives, namely the customer's needs, the process or procedure to fulfill these needs, and the goal or objective of the company. It is a general strategic-level approach that tries to help in solving problems related to the development of a new product, service, or process, and its implementation and control. The DMADV model has been in use for over three decades in various industries, including manufacturing, service industries, transportation industry, etc., with significant success.

One of the main disadvantages of the DMADV method is that its implementation takes precedence over creativity and innovation. The DMADV development is linear, but in reality, it needs to be iterative due to the complexity of most projects. DMADV needs to be agile and flexible in order to produce better projects.

Further, DMADV is a popular Design for Six Sigma methodology, which was invented at Motorola in the 1980s. Bill Smith and Mikel Harry developed Six Sigma to make improvements on the manufacturing floor.

What Is DMADV Used for?

DMADV is an important Design for Six Sigma methodology used for developing a new product, service, or process. There’s a modified version called DFSS, or Design for Six Sigma, and the process most often used in DFSS is called DMADV.

The DMADV methodology is implemented for inventing and innovating a completely new product, service, or process, or for inventing and innovating major new features of an existing product, service, or process. The DMADV focuses on resolving issues of tomorrow. The DMADV approach is very critical to problem-solving within any enterprise using Six Sigma in their product and service development processes.

What does DMADV Stand for?

DMADV is an acronym for define, measure, analyze, design, and verify.

1. Define

Define the first phase of the DMADV methodology, where the project goals and customer deliverables are identified. The purpose of this step is to clearly identify the business problem, goal, project scope, available resources, and high-level project timeline. A clear definition of the project must be established during this step, and every strategy and goal needs to be aligned with the expectations of the company and the customers.

2. Measure

The purpose of the Measure phase is to clearly understand the customer’s requirements and develop the critical to quality (CTQs) to address those requirements. This is achieved by dividing the market into different segments and then developing CTQs for each segment. For each identified CTQ, measurement and metrics systems must be created. These systems will then help to capture the performance of the Critical to Quality attributes (CTQs).

3. Analysis

Analysis is the third phase of the DMADV methodology. In this phase, the best design concepts that will address the voice of the customer demands (CTQ) are developed. The purpose of the Analyze phase is to generate alternative design concepts for each CTQ, evaluate the alternative design concepts for each CTQ, combine the best parts of the design concepts to create the final design.

4. Design

Design is the fourth phase of the DMADV methodology. In this phase, the best design concept that developed in the Analyze Phase must be converted into a prototype. The purpose of the Design phase is to create a prototype of the design model that will be studied in the Verify phase.

5. Verify

Verify is the fifth and the last phase of the DMADV methodology. In this phase, the prototype of the best design is validated for its intended functions by testing the design. This is done to make sure that the design meets the customer’s requirements, like no damage being induced to packaging during distribution and product protection. The purpose of the Verify phase is to test the prototype of the detailed design, inspect the samples after testing, decide whether or not to scale up the design, and close the DMADV project.

When should DMADV be Used?

DMADV is used to design a new process or product or to completely redesign an existing product or process, and it should be used by incorporating the following phases consequently. First, you have to define the process and its design goals. Second, you have to identify and measure CTQs characteristics of the service, product, or process. Third, you have to analyze the data to find the best possible design. In the fourth phase, design, you have to create and test the prototype of the product, service, or process. And in the final fifth phase, you have to verify that the design output meets the design input requirements and that the designed product performs satisfactorily under real conditions.

What Are the Advantages of Using the DMADV Process?

The main advantages of using the DMADV process can be characterized by the following features. 

  • The DMADV process is customer-driven.
  • The DMADV process helps to achieve maximum customer satisfaction while increasing profits.
  • The DMADV process helps to reduce defects.
  • The DMADV process focuses on the entire production and planning process.
  • The DMADV process helps to establish areas for improvement before encountering defects.

What Are the Examples of DMADV Usage?

The DMADV process is used in many industries. Examples of DMADV usage in industries is listed below.

  • In packaging, to design a new package for a product or to improve an existing package.
  • In health care, to design high-quality products, where defects in healthcare products may lead to death.
  • In manufacturing, to eliminate defects in any process, from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.
  • In different fields of service providers. For example, a service provider who wants to introduce a new customer service team may use DMADV to design how many staff are required to be present in each shift or what would be the turn-around time that the team can respond to its customers.

What Is the Difference between DMADV and DMAIC?

Both DMADV and DMAIC are part of the philosophy of Lean Six Sigma. The main difference between DMADV and DMAIC is that DMADV focuses on the development of new processes, services, or products, while DMAIC is used to improve an existing process. DMADV measures customer specifications and needs, while DMAIC measures the performance of a process. While DMAIC focuses on improving a business process to reduce and eliminate defects, DMADV develops business models to meet customers’ requirements. 

Further, as DMADV is associated with new projects and product services, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work with existing processes and products. For example, if a process improvement doesn’t meet what’s expected or it fails, it might be time to use the DMADV framework. Similarly, when an existing process or product no longer meets customers’ specifications or needs, the DMAIC method must be used. The best way to remember their difference is that DMADV works best for launching new features, products, or projects, while DMAIC is designed to enhance a process, product, or service that the organization will keep selling.

In Summary

Key benefits of the DMADV framework include:

  • DMADV is customer-driven.
  • DMADV helps to improve customer satisfaction
  • DMADV supports increased profits.
  • DMADV helps to reduce defects.

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