Design for Six Sigma (DFSS): the Keys to the Power of Six Sigma Design

Lorenzo Del Marmol

July 15, 2014


Design for Six Sigma (DFSS):  the Keys to the Power of Six Sigma Design

We think that every company has the potential to benefit from the Design for Six Sigma methodology . The applicability of this quality enhancement strategy is universal but requires expertise, dedication and passion. We want the whole corporate world to adhere to Six Sigma and we are here to help.

According to our consultants, Six Sigma is a system that balances and optimizes the people in your company with the production process to give the best product quality, sales and customer service. You can think of it as an alternative to innovation, wherein you and your team produce the best services and products thanks to customer feedback and input. You’re not so much into innovation as to creating something that works like a well-oiled machine. We think it’s about setting up a system that work efficiently with the least errors to product top-quality goods and services that can keep customers coming back.

The six sigma design always emphasizes that success means a win-win situation for both businesses and customers. Clients get the best products and services and the companies get a good profit. Contrary to popular belief, passable goods and services aren’t going to generate the revenue a company needs. A good example is a football team. Lesser practices may be cheaper in the long run but it results in passable plays and poorly-coordinated teams.

But just like a football team and better practices, your six sigma design needs support from higher management. Your coach certainly can’t institute more sessions if the school principal prohibits the use of the field. With Six Sigma, the higher-ups need to know what they’re doing or are at least committed to seeing the change process finish. Although the idea of a good six sigma design is exciting, CEOs and COOs need to know that its implementation requires a lot of resources, effort and change. We think that only those who are really prepared for the change can benefit from Six Sigma.

Quote - Improvement usually means doing something that we have never done before. Shigeo Shingo

This is why we think that implementing your six sigma design has to happen in one area of a company at a time. Following the football team example, it’s important that you focus on this step by step process. You can’t ask your team to work on receiving a ball when you need to learn how to hide the ball first. Six Sigma isn’t designed to be fast, but it’s guaranteed to be effective when done right.

But how do you know which area you should start with? Hard data and good observation on your processes is the best way to determine areas for improvement. Look at numbers and reports on your processes. Another way to determine your starting point is to “pick the low-hanging fruit”. This means that you use your first six sigma design implementation to motivate your team into participating by choosing the easiest area with the largest return. Although it may not reflect on your profits or reports early on, it can get a lot of people on board and participating in your initiative.

So what does Design for Six Sigma look like?


Take also a look at DMAIC:

Lean Six Sigma Belgium_DMAIC

  1. Define challenges. The first stage is always problem identification. What you should focus on are the processes instead of the end results. If you have too many reports or needless data, try to figure out what steps in the process create the extra paperwork.
  2. Measure the costs of the problem. Once you’ve determined which part of the process is hampering your business, determine the costs and compare them to a benchmark that your competitors have. Using our football analogy, now is the time to study the other team’s plays and see how they perform it in relation to yours.
  3. Analyse your numbers. Good problem-solving skills are needed when employing the Six Sigma Design. Sometimes, even if you’ve seen the problem and already know how to tackle it, the rewards aren’t great enough (even motivation-wise).
  4. Control the process. If you do have enough statistical data and reason to continue with your Six Sigma Design, then do so. What’s important is that you lock in on the key variables that influence the costs and the problems.

In the end, a Six Sigma project can possibly save you lot of money and make your customers happy.


Please share this insight to inspire operational excellence and customer satisfaction in every organisation. It’s free like this ad free article. Thank you :-)

Partager sur

Article associé

Technology and Lean Management

In the modern global economy, data rules supreme. In many cases data is more valuable than money, because, like the fable of the goose that

Scroll to Top