Thank you Cornelius and Michael for your prompt response!
For the purpose of PMP exam, I believe having a general understanding of DMAIC cycle will be sufficient. However, I want to see how LEAN/Six Sigma principles can be applied in project management practices. As an engineer, this is an area of my interest to develop and to learn (after getting my PMP before the exam change date). Perhaps this is a topic reserved for Agile PM?
Lean Principles are NOT mentioned in the 2011 PMP exam content outline. This means that until January 10, 2016 you don't have to know these concepts for the PMP exam.
However, Lean Principles are mentioned in the 2015 PMP exam content outline which goes into effect on January 11, 2016. If you plan on taking the exam on/after this date then you should have a general understanding of lean principles.
You will probably never be asked what the acronym DMAIC stands for on the exam, but you should be able to to recognize lean approaches and be able to explain them on a high level. (Basically: Read the Wikipedia article on Lean Principles and Six Sigma and you are good to go).
David, I've used DMAIC in Lean Six Sigma to improve processes. I have not seen DMAIC used in project management like the kind we study in the PMBOK. Of course, if you have an organization with many projects and there are issues with running those projects, you can use DMAIC to solve those issues. But, as a means to an end, i.e. a Deliverable, I have not see DMAIC as a method for PMPs like we learn about in the PMBOK.
I come across this article from Kepner Tregoe (KT), a consulting training firm where I first learn about Project Management. This article debriefs the DMAIC cycle to tackle massive projects. And yes, I want to live by David's example by honoring his first name in project management
While I expect to see this as a tool/technique in the PMBOK guide, I have not come across an example on how to utilize the DMAIC in real projects. Are you familiar or have experience using this tool? If so, I appreciate if you may provide an example so the audience can understand it.