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What is the most important phase of a Six Sigma project?

I have heard this question and debated it many times with individuals. I stand firm on my answer – the Define phase. Regardless of how well you Measure, Analyze, Improve, or Control, if you are not working on the right project, the results don’t matter. I have seen far too many projects that do not really create value. The Define phase should ensure that the projects support the strategic initiatives of the company and are the best use of company resources. Companies that solely focus their Six Sigma efforts on cost often move forward with projects that, if completed, will save money but because they often are not the best ROI, they fail due to lack of support.