LeanCoach. Introduction and DMAIC

Peter Matthijssen & Jan-Jaap Elskamp
Posted by Peter Matthijssen & Jan-Jaap Elskamp on Oct 10, 2013

Lean Management

Welcome to our blog. This is an archived post, most of our knowledge and advice remain valid but some material or links may be outdated. Click here to see our most recent posts.

BiZZdesign LeanCoach is a tool for running successful Lean improvement projects. An important feature of LeanCoach is the virtual Lean coach that is embedded in the tool. For every Lean-technique this coach is available for help, tips and best practices. In this blog series the virtual Lean Coach will present himself by introducing numerous Lean techniques:

  • What is it
  • Getting started
  • Tips and best practices

The techniques that will be explained in the coming weeks include: Stakeholders analysis, Fishbone diagram, Process mapping, Waste scan, Value stream map, Solutions brainstorm and Process control. 

All techniques have a specific place in the DMAIC improvement cycle. DMAIC has its roots in the Six Sigma method, but is now widely used and valued to support continuous improvement. Below, the DMAIC improvement phases are briefly clarified with goals and results.

Logo of the BiZZdesign LeanCoach


In the Define phase, the project is set into motion. To do this, the problem has to be defined; why do we run this improvement project? We also assemble the project team and run a stakeholders analysis.


In order to direct the fundamentals of the project we need information. We will take a more extensive look than just at the obvious causes. Several brainstorm techniques allow us to look further. Measure techniques focus on collecting facts and recording the process. The Measure phase produces so-called ‘yellow sticky notes’; potential causes. In order to investigate these yellow sticky notes more closely, we select analytical techniques.


In this phase, specific analytical techniques are used to get from potential causes (yellow sticky notes) to fundamental causes. Techniques like Value Stream Map, Waste-scan and Context analysis support the Analytical phase. The causes that are unveiled in the analysis are presented as ‘red sticky notes’. Through a root cause analysis, a selection of root causes is made, which we will then tackle.


In the Improve phase, we move from cause to solution. Solutions can be focused on process design, but can also relate to a wider context. Improvement techniques support the step from cause to solution; the step from ‘red sticky notes’ to ‘green sticky notes’. A selection of green sticky notes is implemented through a planning.


The last phase, the Control phase, entails assurance and evaluation. Agreements are made for process control. Subsequently, we record best practices for future trajectories. Then the project is closed.


Do you want to get started with Lean? Try using BiZZdesign LeanCoach. It’s free until 31 January 2014! More information and downloads: www.bizzdesign.com/lean

Define, Measure, Analyze, Implement, Control

Next week in this LeanCoach blog series: Define - Project start.

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