Design for Six Sigma (DFSS)

Design for Six Sigma is used to perfect product and processes before use or release. When a new product design or new process design is needed and expected to perform at a six sigma level from the start or level considered to be "perfect" for the company or industry.

DMADV is another acronym sometimes used in place of DFSS, consisting of the following five steps:

DEFINE: design goals that satisfy customer demands, company and end-user.

MEASURE: Identify characteristics that are Critical to Quality, product capabilities, production process capability, and risks.

ANALYZE: Efficient product, process, or system design. Design alternatives, evaluate designs capability, reliability, ability to manufacture, to select the best design.

DESIGN: Using tools such as Axiomatic Design, refine and optimize the software, hardware, and system design.

VERIFY: Validate and quantify the design performance. Implement the production process. Six Sigma GB/BB to hold final gate review and close the project, hand-off to the process owner.


The tools used in traditional DMAIC Six Sigma projects require a process or service that already exist with past performance. DFSS focuses on gathering the customer requirements and desires and designing them into a new product, process, or service. There isn't always a baseline to compare past, current, and future results.

It is often the most expensive up-front and requires the highest level of effort but should deliver the most satisfying product, process, or service upon initiation. It will include most of the mistake proofing and will have attempted to reduce or eliminate all known risks before initiation.

Ultimately, the time, effort, and money devoted up-front will be more than offset with the long-term implementation of the new product, process, or service. There will be fewer failures, more satisfied customers, higher loyalty levels, and less reaction due to the proactivity of the DFSS team.

Some of the tools are also used in the DMAIC process. Some are unique to DFSS since they assist in new development instead of continual improvement.

Critical To Qualilty Linkage (CTQ)

Voice of the Customer

Affinity Diagram

Kano Model

Axiomatic Design

Quality Function Deployment (QFD)

TRIZ

Response Surface Methodolgy (RSM)



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