Discovering Design for Six Sigma

Many certification candidates are frustrated when it comes to Design for Six Sigma? What is it?

Design for Six Sigma can be best defined as a management methodology related to Six Sigma.

What's the difference?

While Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma are used for process improvement, Design for Six Sigma methodology primarily aims at product development that would ensure an issue-free process in the future.

Design for Six Sigma Tools

Design for Six Sigma is based on the use of statistical tools, like linear regression and is basically a empirical research tool and is similar to research as done in -for example- social science. This methodology is widely used in engineering and manufacturing. It is worth pointing out that while the tools and order used in Six Sigma require a process to be in place and functioning; Design for Six Sigma has the objective of determining the needs of customers and the business, and driving those needs into the product solution so created.

Unlike Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma is most applicable for relative simple items / systems. Design for Six Sigma is most frequently used for product or process design in contrast with process improvement. Measurement is the most important part of most Six Sigma or DFSS tools, but whereas in Six Sigma measurements are made from an existing process, DFSS focuses on gaining a deep insight into customer needs and using these to inform every design decision and trade-off.

Design for Six Sigma can be implemented in a number of ways. While Six Sigma is commonly driven via DMAIC (Define - Measure - Analyze - Improve - Control) projects, Design for Six Sigma relies on stepwise processes, which are different but still close to the DMAIC procedure.

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