Design For Six Sigma

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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In the Six Sigma methodology, occasionally defects will be traced back to a design problem, and an asset or system will have to undergo a redesign for Six Sigma success. As part of the first phase of Six Sigma implementation, not do only trouble spots in a process have to be identified, but the myriad causes of each trouble spot must also be pinpointed. Some of these root causes may indeed be design problems.

Physical assets, management systems, and operational systems can all suffer from design problems. In the realm of physical assets, design for Six Sigma most effectively occurs during the initial stages of product development for that asset. It may be the designer or engineer's responsibility to undergo six sigma-based analyses, and troubleshoot the asset before it is even produced. This can help insure successful product use, sales, and reliability.

More often, design for Six Sigma must be applied to the internal methodologies of companies. One way to visualize its application is to visualize the equation y=f (x), where Y is the output and is stated as a function of X, the input. If a plan for controlling X can be successfully designed, then the effects Y will by synonymous with the desired output of the business. In other words, Y can only be monitored and reacted to; the outcome of a process cannot be directly controlled. Instead, using design for Six Sigma techniques to develop a control plan for the appropriate Xs, you can increase productivity, cost-effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and capacity of your business.

Learning to Design for Six Sigma

Many companies offer Six Sigma courses, with a variety of focuses. Most Six Sigma training companies offer courses for developing critical Six Sigma skills for Champion, Green Belt, and Black Belt levels. Courses for senior executives and other higher-level management are also available, as are courses for anyone who needs orientation to the general attitude and practices of Six Sigma.

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