Design for Six Sigma (DFSS)


Realizing that decisions made during the design process has a profound impact on the cost, quality, and delivery of a product, Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) has been developed to incorporate Six Sigma principles within the design process.

Through DFSS, zero-defect or 3ppm defect levels are being achieved through the design process, not, as with most Six Sigma methodologies, through an improvement process. This requires that customer expectations and needs are fully understood prior to manufacturing.

Unlike many other Six Sigma methodologies, DFSS can be modified to suit a company’s culture and processes. This makes DFSS appear as much an approach as a defined methodology, but with the expectation to design a product with a minimum of a 4.5 process level, DFSS focuses on gaining a deep insight as to the customer’s needs, and uses those to inform every design decision and trade-off.

Utilizing a process with the acronym of IDOV (Identify, Design, Optimize, Value), DFSS uses the four IDOV elements to identify those measurable and controllable factors which are crucial for shareholder and customer satisfaction, then systemically deploy these factors to organizationally-lower levels of design and build activities.

By establishing cost-benefit analysis and capability studies early in the design phase, DFSS is extremely strong in transferring design parameters and functions downstream.

As a subset of Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma focuses your team on preventing problems rather than merely responding and fixing them. DFSS shows that early investments of time and effort to get the product correct the first time results in significant savings in the manufacturing process.

Please speak to one of our Operational Excellence coaches in order to begin your journey.


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