This first phase of a DMAIC Project is all about clearly defining the project. The main deliverable of the Define phase is a clear problem statement including metrics – how do you measure the success of your project? Also, it is helpful to develop a business case and an initial project plan.

Practitioner’s Tip: Since we define the problem here but don’t yet know the root cause, hence a solution, the business case should be stated as an expected gain – not a cost/benefit analysis or a ROI calculation. The project plan is also not cast in stone but will change as you learn more about the problem.


  • Clear problem statement including metrics
  • Business value of the project
  • Project plan (incl. milestones, team members)


  • Project Charter
  • High-Level Process Map (SIPOC)
  • Voice of the Customer (VOC)
  • Business Case
  • Stakeholder Planning (Communication Planning)

Learn more about this topic in our Lean Six Sigma Basics Online Course (Demo currently not available for Internet Explorer).