Design For Six Sigma (DFSS)

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by StarAgile

August 04, 2020
Category Six Sigma


Introduction to Design for six sigma (DFSS) 

Design for six sigma is the design thinking for achieving the best possible products and services. The DFSS provides a process for developing the best product concepts, collecting and analyzing customer requirements, researching for designing in quality, product modeling for reducing the risk, and data-driven decision-making for continuous improvement in process design, product design, and service design.

DFSS achieves the following criteria’s,

  • To evaluate the design and functional performance of new product designs
  • Use quality methodologies and statistical analysis to analyze the requirements of the customer
  • Optimize the design parameters of the new product concepts
  • To do quantitative and qualitative analysis to effectively communicate the product concept
  • To check the system capability by quantitative methods for the new products
  • Analyze the results of previous products and make recommendations for the new product requirements that are desired as an output for customer satisfaction
  • To make the product design and concept meet the expectations of the customer by documenting it.
  • DFSS provides the case for evaluating critical design parameters, to ensure the reliability, usability, serviceability, and manufacture of the design. It also ensures that the production of the components, products, or services takes place to the expectation of the customer.

Origin of DFSS (History)

The DFSS took its root in the Motorola in the year 1980. It was first used to improve the quality of the products at Motorola. This statistical method is a quantitative method to reduce the defects in the products to less than 3.4 defects per million by controlling quality.

The traditional methods of six sigma were not good enough to fix the quality issues of all the products and services. At that time the DFSS that is a statistical method was introduced to solve this issue.

There are 5 phases of the DFSS, they are as follows,


  1. Define - To establish measurable goals. The project's schedule, plan, budgeting, and purpose are defined here.
  2. Measure - In this phase, the customer requirements are translated into measurable design parameters.
  3. Analyze - Multiple designs are made and evaluated to see whether the design meets the customer requirements
  4. Design - The most suitable design is selected and the production starts for the products or services. The materials, technologies, systems, resources, processes, locations, and packaging all are identified with the help of the computer simulation. In this phase, the final design is selected and a validation plan is made.
  5. Verify - The validation testing is done, to check whether the design meets the performance and the customer requirements. A prototype or pilot project is made, the project documentations are made to write the success or failure of the pilot project or prototype and the results are shared.  

Top 5 benefits of DFSS

  1. To identify the Critical to Quality (CTQ) parameters needed
  2. To enhance the process capability
  3. Minimize the defects or the variations
  4. To have stable operations such as to have reliable and predictable processes to improve customer satisfaction
  5. To design the best possible performance to meet the targets and process efficiency

Top 7 tools for DFSS

The 7 important tools for DFSS methodology is discussed below,

  1. Critical to Quality (CTQ) Trees – To identify the attributes that lead to customer satisfaction.
  2. Control Charts – These are statistical tools to analyze the defects and variations in the products or services of processes.
  3. Pareto Charts – Few changes that are required to achieve excellent results that are the Pareto 80-20 principle. That is 80% of the problems arise due to the result of just 20% of causes
  4. Kaizen Events – Also called "Kaizen Blitz". This is short term events required to improve an issue that is rectified within the 1 workweek.
  5. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis(FMEA) – The modes by which a process can go wrong and the effects to analyze the cause of the failures
  6. Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility (Gage R&R) – Measurement system to find out the variance and variance of the lowest number that is less than 10%
  7. Supplies, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers (SIPOC) diagrams – Used to understand the process by identifying the process building blocks such as vendors, inputs, outputs, customers, etc.

Design for six sigma types 

There are 3 types of DFSS six sigma,

  1. DMADV stands for Design, Measure, Analyze, Design, and verify.
  2. IDOV that stands for Identify, Design, Optimize and Validate
  3. DCCDI stands for Define, Customer, Concept, Design, and Implementation.

All these approaches to DFSS are more or less achieves the same results that are to design the product to the customer expectations minimizing the defects.

Need to Implement DFSS

This is an age when speed, quality, and performance of the products or services cannot be compromised. Usually, you get limited resources, limited budget, limited time, and more efforts in making the products or services, in this way you need to meet the customer expectations. There are chances that the project may go wrong or the customer expectations are not met. That is where the DFSS comes in to picture. Because redesigning the products or services are very expensive. You need to get the pilot or prototype with all the parameters required for manufacturing or production for the first time itself.  

It is observed that there is up to 40% reduction in time to market with high quality and meeting the customer requirements with the help of DFSS, this is because DFSS is a proactive design approach with quantifiable or measurable data and with proven design tools.

When to Implement 

  • DFSS is used when you are making new products or services. 
  • When the current product or process is not required then it is time for a new product and you need DFSS or design for six sigma. 
  • DFSS is used when you want the high-quality product without defects, faster time to market, optimize the design, meet customer expectations, and be successful for the first time.

Key aspect involved in implementing DFSS

Ask the following questions to implement the DFSS and these brainstorming questions will allow the entire development team in the organization to design a flawless product.  

  • What are the resources, required to make a successful project?
  • What are the design tools required for success?
  • What is the time frame required for the project?
  • What is the budget required for successful project completion?
  • What is the optimization required for the projects and the processes?
  • What are the design requirements needed for products or services to meet customer expectations?
  • What are the components required for making the products or services and what is the integration between the components required?

What are you waiting for? 

Now that you have understood what is DFSS and its fundamentals, we recommend you to go for the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification training with StarAgile. StarAgile provides online training in DFSS and DFSS six sigma courses. Enquire for the training on the StarAgile website and enroll for the training. Happy Learning!!!


Upcoming Lean Six Sigma Certification Training Workshops:

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Lean Six Sigma Green Belt28 May-11 Jun 2022,
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Lean Six Sigma Green Belt04 Jun-18 Jun 2022,
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Lean Six Sigma Green Belt18 Jun-02 Jul 2022,
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