Quality Management

Strategic Difference between DMAIC and DMADV

The two most commonly used Six Sigma methodologies are DMAIC and DMADV. Both methods are designed to make the business process more efficient and effective. Although both methodologies share some important features, they are not interchangeable and are designed for use in different business processes. Unless your teammates understand the purpose of using Six Sigma strategies, Six Sigma Principles implementing those into their team’s efforts would not be possible. Before comparing these two approaches in more detail, let’s review the meaning of the acronyms.

*             dmaic full form: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control

*             dmadv full form: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify


DMAIC and DMADV have several similarities that are worth noting. Both use statistical tools and facts to find solutions to common quality issues and focus on achieving an organization’s financial and business goals. Dmaic and Dmadv in six sigma are implemented by Six Sigma Green Belts, Black Belts, and Master Black Belts and are used to reduce defects to less than 3.4 per million available opportunities, or Six Sigma.

Difference between dmaic and dmadv

Despite the first three shared letters of their names, there are some notable differences between them.  DMAIC typically defines a business process and how it applies; DMADV defines customer needs as they relate to a service or product.

With regard to measurement, DMAIC measures the current performance of a process, while DMADV measures customer specifications and needs.

DMAIC focuses on making improvements to a business process to reduce or eliminate defects. DMADV develop an appropriate business model to meet customer requirements.

When should DMAIC and DMADV be used?

In general, DMADV is associated with new product services and projects; may not always work with existing products and processes. Another way to see this would be to use DMADV when a process improvement does not meet expectations or simply fails.

DMAIC is used in an existing product or process but no longer meets customer needs and/or specifications. Companies with no prior experience in Six Sigma may want help from professionals like Six Sigma Black Belts and Master Black Belts, Green belt professionals who can help you make the best choice between DMAIC and DMADV.

What are the benefits of DMAIC?

DMAIC is a common technique in Six Sigma, a process improvement methodology that focuses on improving quality and reducing defects in any process. Dmaic model is a systematic five-step approach that enables you to effectively manage process improvement projects. The acronym DMAIC stands for defining, measuring, analyzing, improving and controlling the steps of this Six Sigma technique.

Phases Explained

In the “define” phase, you try to understand the problem by determining existing performance against expectations. In the “measure” step, you build a detailed process map, collect specific data, and determine the method to execute the process. The goal of the “analyze” phase is to find out the real causes of the process performance problem. In the “improve” step, you test and implement solutions that address the root causes. Through the “control” phase, you ensure that the gains made in the “improve” phase continue.

Six Sigma Benefits

Six Sigma is not so different from most other process improvement methodologies. According to “Process Improvement Using Six Sigma: A DMAIC Guide”, while Six Sigma has a broad set of tools associated with it, the Six Sigma process has a proven framework that delivers results. Six Sigma also comes with a very effective process improvement technique, the DMAIC methodology.

Light structure

The dmadv six sigma technique offers several specific benefits. First, DMAIC is a very structured approach. This means that he carefully analyzes a process before attempting or implementing improvements. One of the most common reasons why companies do not implement improvements is that the company does not perform analysis prior to implementing the improvement. This can result in a failure to properly deliver improvements and, in many cases, aggravate the existing system.

Other DMAIC Benefits

As a structured approach, DMAIC provides a business with a roadmap for solutions. This helps the company solve problems from start to finish while producing end results. In addition, DMAIC supports an analytical approach, allowing the company to use the collected data. This helps the company ensure accurate baselines. In addition, DMAIC enables a company to quantify improvements and find answers to complex problems.

What does DMADV mean?

We have seen that DMAIC means Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. Another improvement framework is DMADV and the first three letters of this framework are the same as in DMAIC and represent Define, Measure and Analyze respectively. However, the last two letters mean Design and Verify.

The DMADV Framework

*             Measure and match performance with customer requirements;

*             Analyze and evaluate the design for the process, product or service;

*             Design and implement the matrix of new processes required for the new process, product or service;

*             Check results and maintain performance.

The basic difference between the DMAIC and DMADV frameworks is that DMAIC will be used when you are trying to improve or develop an existing process.

However, the DMADV (Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify) method aims to redraw a problematic process or product. The approach initially follows the first three steps of DMAIC and then deviates into the last two steps, introducing the Design / Re-design and Verify or Validate steps for the necessary improvements. This approach prevents problems from happening through quality concepts and robust design.

DMAIC and DMADV: What are the similarities and differences?

To get a better idea of the differentiations between them, it is worth looking at a quick comparison according to some criteria:

Usage situations

DMAIC is best applied in situations where the product or process is present but not delivering the desired performance. DMADV, in turn, is recommended in contexts where elements are not present and have already been optimized, but still lack performance improvement.

Practical relationship with strategies

While dmaic six sigma is designed to enhance a service, product, or process that the corporation intends to continue selling, DMADV works best for launching new projects or enhancements.

Thus, it is necessary to align with business planning and use the data consciously, so that they can actually assist in achieving more satisfactory results.

Imagine the following situation: The customer base is already large and the company – a food brand, for example – has to meet consumer demand for new solutions.

In this case, it is valid to resort to DMADV, because it has the proposal to optimize this process. It is conceptually associated with the vision of the future.

Nitin Shende

Mr. Nitin Shende is a Subject matter expert in Project Management with more than 31 years of global experience. He is a member of Standard & PMBOK guide Sixth edition content and SME member for PMBOK guide Fifth edition.