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DMAIC vs DMADV - A Guide on Differences and

Similarities for Six Sigma Tools


Blog   |    3rd February 2022   |   Rupali



DMAIC and DMADV are methodologies of Six Sigma practices that are used in businesses for efficient and effective workflow. Corporates use these strategies to produce quality products with minimal defects. When performed correctly, they are known to lessen the defects by almost 3.4 per 1 million units.

While both of these methodologies are designed to provide businesses with the most effective results, these are not interchangeable techniques and are optimized for various procedures.

Let us understand the similarities and differences between the two to determine which strategy is best for which business.


DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. It is used to find the root cause of a problem, then find the ways to solve it and improve the overall process simultaneously maintaining costs.

  • Define: Understanding a problem, or determining what requires to be improved, is considered under this head.
  • Measure: Here past project data is collected to measure the improvement required before any changes are done.
  • Analyze: Accumulated data is analyzed to gain insights for improving a business, and to establish the areas that need more improvement.
  • Improve: During this step changes needed are applied to improve the process, ensuring a continuous improvement of the organization.
  • Control: The process is re-analyzed by gaining new data sets, and checking how it has changed. Establish if further improvements are needed or not.


DMADV stands for Definition, Measurement Design Analysis Verification. It is inclined more towards the customer relations side, and includes the following stages:

  • Definition: Here a common understanding is developed to estimate how a design will be performed.
  • Measurement: In this stage, the data is collected that helps decide the guideline of a project.
  • Design: Further, all the information collected helps assist in making decisions to drive the project in the right direction.
  • Analysis: The outcomes from steps 2 and 3 are analyzed to establish how a project is running.
  • Verification: Finally, the required expectations are compared with the actual outcomes, and is verified that the proposed goals are achieved.


Similarities between DMAIC and DMADV

DMAIC and DMADV both are statistical tools and have many similarities between them. Both are used to find facts, and then ultimately generate solutions for quality-related problems. They both focus on effectively reaching the financial goals of a business and are used by Green Belts, Black Belts, and Master Black Belts. Both of these strategies propose data-intensive solutions that have been derived by gathering data facts of an organization.


Differences between DMAIC and DMADV

The primary difference between the two is the strategy these tools create to handle the final two steps. Under DMADV, the Design and Verify phase determines the redesigning required to meet the needs of customers. While in DMAIC, the Improve and Control are the steps that provide focus on controlling and adjusting a process.

In short, DMAIC is a useful tool for defining and improving business processes, and their relevance, while DMADV is the process to structure a business model that is more inclined towards customer needs, and helps meet their expectation levels.



  • DMAIC is a reactive process, while DMADV is proactive in nature
  • DMAIC includes techniques to solve a given problem, while DMADV is part of the designing process to solve the problem
  • DMAIC offers controls to maintain gains, while DMADV ensures that finished designs work well
  • DMAIC focuses on the current process, while DMADV takes care of the design process

What to Use When

Ultimate usage of these methodologies depends on the nature of your project. However, as per the industry experts, DMADV is good to use when a process does not meet expectation levels, and some improvements are required. It is usually helpful when a product is not built and is under the planning and designing process. On the other hand, DMAIC goes well with pre-existing processes or products that fail to meet customers’ expectations.

But, if a business house does not have Six Sigma expertise, it is advisable for them to seek the help of Six Sigma Black Belts and Master Black Belts to guide them while taking a decision to choose between DMADV and DMAIC.



For a long, Six Sigma was considered a great tool for manufacturing industries, as it was known to help minimize defects. But, DMADV and DMAIC variants have provided organizations the power to restructure at the places where needed and meet customer needs and expectations in an effective manner.

Even the businesses who have Six Sigma expertise, struggle to choose between DMAIC and DMADV. But when used in the right manner, these are the essential tools to ensure good business with a better customer experience.


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