DEFINE: Parts 1 and 2

  • Reiner Hutwelker
Part of the Management for Professionals book series (MANAGPROF)


Of course, we start with the DEFINE phase. The purpose of the DEFINE phase is to define a critical output, identify the important unfulfilled requirements, describe its problems (Y), evaluate their monetary business relevance and define the targets, the scope and the team for the project.

When I started my Six Sigma training in the 1990s, nobody really cared about the suitability of project topics. We received a topic from the management and often enough had to realize that it was not suitable for Six Sigma. Of course, you can almost always use one or the other DMAIC tool, but a Six Sigma project requires at least the use of the basic Six Sigma tools in their logical order, as we will do here. I wasted a lot of time on unsuitable projects and I have the impression that I am an expert on Six Sigma dead ends and project abysses. Therefore, I developed the tools Project-Topic and Project-Definition. They allow to involve every employee of a company in the identification of suitable project topics (Fig. 4.1).


  1. Rother, M., & Shook, J. (2003). Learning to see—Value-stream mapping to create value and eliminate Muda. Cambridge: The Lean Enterprise Institute.Google Scholar


  1. Costs of littering: Federal Office for the Environment/Bundesamt für Umwelt BAFU. (2011). (contains English Translation).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reiner Hutwelker
    • 1
  1. 1.SigmaLogicAichAustria

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