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Six Sigma Tools: Design for Six Sigma

published on February 27, 2012

6Sigma Tools: Design for Six Sigma (DFSS)

6Sigma can be so many things to your organization, but the most important thing to remember is that is has to relevant to your organization.  This requirement is what makes Design for Six Sigma or DFSS such an asset to any organization looking towards a lean strategy. Technically speaking DFSS is not 6Sigma but an alternative methodology, but I think the ability to integrate exists. DFSS if often used interchangeably with DMADV but the key difference is that DMADV is used to eliminate defects and variation, while DFSS is used to create new or replacement processes.

What is it?

DFSS stands for Design for Six Sigma and its main function is to assist in improvements by creating a new design or redesign of a product/service at base level. In essence it is the foundation on which process improvements can be built. It is a cross functional activity that relies on forecasting at its core. DFSS projects operate based on the IDOV methodology.

IDOV Methodology

Why should I use it?

DFSS provides many advantages to your organization such as:

  • Improved speed
  • Improved accuracy
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Decreased labor costs

What does it look like?


SixSigmaWorld Blogspot


The chart above is from sixsigmaworld.blogspot and it is the simplest version of DFSS that I have found.

What doesn’t it do?

DFSS is different from 6Sigma in the fact that it creates efficiency as the process is being built, whereas typical 6Sigma deals with improvements to variations and defects after a process has already been implemented. So if you are looking to correct an issue, DFSS is not going to help you much. If you are looking to scrap the current and begin again, then DFSS is a great fit.


As with all things on this blog, this is a technique best utilized with the guidance and expertise of your belt. I hoped I have demystified it a bit and helped you to start a dialogue with your belt.

published on February 27, 2012


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