Why is the Measure Phase important in Lean Six Sigma DMAIC?

The DMAIC Improvement Process comprises five phases namely, Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control. The Measure phase is all about understanding the key performance measures associated with the process and setting the baseline for improvement measurement. The most important objective of this phase is to establish the current state so you know where you are before making any process changes. How often have changes been implemented with the belief that a problem was solved, but there was no way to validate the success or failure of those changes?

In this article, we are going to discuss the objectives of Measure, the deliverables to be achieved, and why this phase is important?

The overall objective of Phase is to collect enough pertinent information related to customer-facing metrics to establish the current state baseline of performance before any changes to the process are made. During the Define and Measure Phases of DMAIC, the project team often identifies issues where immediate corrective actions could be applied. The caution is to wait for the baseline to be established so the improvements can be measured and validated.


  1. Establish current baseline performance of the process.
  2. Finalize the business case and set the point to measure improvements from.
  3. Understand the existing process conditions, the sources of the problems, and the magnitude of the impact caused by the problems.
  4. Determine What to Measure, Where, When, and How much data and information to collect that will answer specific questions about process performance and customer requirements.

How often have improvements been implemented and their success or failure is not immediately determined because measurement capability hasn’t been established? Once the baseline of performance is known the implementation of corrective actions may begin. The improvement team doesn’t have to wait until the Analyse and Improve Phases are completed before improvements are implemented.

When Lean Six Sigma projects dragon waiting for the Improve phase of DMAIC to implement improvements the leadership team may lose patience. That is why it is always recommendable to encourage the improvement teams to implement the Kaizen Improvements that were identified early on in the projects as soon as the baseline performance has been established in the Measure phase.

After completion of the phase exit review, the improvement team can begin to implement corrective actions identified during the Define and Measure phases of the DMAIC Improvement Process. The tougher problems that don’t have clearly identifiable solutions will be tackled during the final three phases, namely Analyze, Improve, and Control. The measurement capability established provides the data required for sound business decisions during the remaining phases of DMAIC.

From this article, hope you have understood what are the objectives and goals of Measure Phase and why this phase plays an imperative role in the Six Sigma DMAIC process.