DMAIC is an acronym for “Define”, “Measure”, “Analyze”, “Improve”, “Control”. It is generally associated with a quality improvement methodology called “Six Sigma” which was developed at Motorola and heavily promoted at General Electric.

These five words are the names for the phases of a quality improvement process similar to, but described differently from, the PDCA cycle.


Define the problem to be solved or issue to be addressed. Include a definition of the measurements to be used to quantify the problem, such as defect rate or specific process variables such as the dimensions of a part. Be as specific as possible.

The Six Sigma method emphasizes understanding the financial impact of the problem or issue has on the organization.


Collect data on the measures defined in the previous step, and anything else that may lead to an understanding of the cause.


Analyze the data collected, identify the root causes or causes of the problem, and develop proposed solutions.


Implement the solution(s) while monitoring the measures to ensure that the desired result is achieved.


Put in place systems and metrics to ensure that the solution(s) implemented remain effective over time.