DMAIC Tollgate Reviews

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The Tollgate Review is an excellent tool for organizing and managing your Six Sigma project. Toll gates help keep Six Sigma projects organized by providing guidelines and tools to ensure they're staying on course.

Like any milestone review, a Tollgate Review helps ensure that the goals set for the project are met. In Lean Six Sigma projects, a toll gate is a point at which the project leaders, sponsors, and stakeholders gather to discuss the completion of one stage of the project.

In the tollgate, the team reviews the key planned deliverables and project outcomes. Then they might talk through any potential issues that may arise during execution. Finally, you identify any risks associated with completing the project successfully. 

Who Performs the Tollgate Review?

Participants of tollgate review include managers, sponsors, champions, project team leader, Master Black Belt and other stakeholders.

As part of preparing for the review, the project lead should prepare to briefly describe the results and key deliverables at the end of the specific stage of the project.

For the project sponsor or stakeholders, this is an important time to give input into the direction of the project and ensure that the project is aligned with the business objectives. Typically it isn't meant to be a "pass"/"fail" scenario. If the project is not moving as intended, this could be the time to take corrective actions, such as:

- allocating additional resources

- altering the project scope

However, as a worst-case scenario, the project might be terminated as a result of the tollgate review. 

DMAIC Tollgate

The DMAIC model is used in most of the Six Sigma projects.

A typical DMAIC process looks like this:

1. Define - What are we trying to achieve? How will we know if we've achieved our goal?

2. Measure - How do we measure success?

3. Analyze - Why did we fail? Where did we go wrong?

4. Improve - What changes need to be made to improve our chances of succeeding next time?

5. Control - How can we make sure everything goes smoothly from here on out?

 Typically tollgate review is conducted at the end of each of these five phases on the Six Sigma project. Specific documents and outcomes are associated with each of these stages, which are planned and agreed upon during the planning stage of the Six Sigma project. These are used to review the status of the project during each tollgate review.

It is also possible to have multiple tollgate reviews for a stage. 


The Tollgate Review provides an excellent opportunity to get feedback from the project team. It's also a good way to get buy-in from the various stakeholders involved in the project. The best thing about a tollgate review is that it gives everyone a chance to provide input and suggestions regarding how to move forward.

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