The A in DMAIC is about finding the top two or three causes of the problem we are attacking. When well executed, this phase starts with team input regarding potential causes, and uses statistical methods to isolate the top 2 or 3 causes.
Explore potential causes – listen to the team
Recruiting experts who are most familiar with the product and/or process will drastically improve the team’s likelihood of a successful outcome. Team members that work with the process on a daily basis can be extremely valuable as well.
There are a number of methods for exploring potential causes, including Fishbone Diagrams for organizing potential variation sources and 5-Why sessions for mapping top-level symptoms to underlying root causes. Team members can collect data between team meetings and help build pareto charts.