As evolution in Six Sigma has taken place, the original definition of 3.4 defects per million has moved into the background and the focus has been to use Six Sigma as a methodology or a process for improvement. The biggest focus area of Six Sigma has been to assess customer requirements perfectly. After this analysis, the business processes are aligned to meet those requirements. Data analysis techniques such as Statistical Process Control (SPC) are used to minimize and control variation in these processes. Six Sigma is a process that enables a firm to achieve sustainable improvement in its business processes in a quite short duration (Motorola University).
The use of Six Sigma as a process for improvement has led to the evolution of DMAIC concept where DMAIC is an acronym for the various stages of the Six Sigma process. These stages are Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. The acronym has been modified to DMADV later by some organizations which implies Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify (Hurley, L).
DMAIC or DMADV is one of the 3 methodologies being used in the Six Sigma process. The other two are Process management and Design for Six Sigma (DFSS). DFSS is used when a process has to be designed from scratch to ensure quality.
Six Sigma is a way or a philosophy of running the business. Six Sigma aims for near perfection by reducing defects and variations to an extremely small number. Six Sigma is a management philosophy which recognizes the fact that defects prove to be very expensive for an organization. Six Sigma helps in increasing customer satisfaction, productivity and profitability of a firm and results in a distinct competitive advantage (Jacowski, Tony). Six Sigma philosophy does not believe in measuring and controlling defects. Rather it believes in eliminating them and measurement is just a means to reach the end.