Six Sigma Quality-Based System Design Process Benefits
The use of six sigma quality-based system and product design processes can be beneficial to the general design process by making decisions that are based on sound quantitative analysis and not solely by the individual designers, experience or their “gut feeling.” Six sigma quality analysis can quantify the design’s ability to meet customer requirements by performing six sigma analysis at each level of system and module design. It can be used to analyze design alternatives and to focus the design team on what elements of the design need to be enhanced to meet the overall system or product specifications. It can also be used to establish a common language among design functions and engineering disciplines. It can also provide a common set of back- ground data for resource allocation, and add more information to other functions of project management such as cost trade-offs and risk assessment.
Six sigma quality-based product design can provide intangible benefits in project management. It requires and promotes teamwork, inherent in the two parts of the six sigma equation—product specifications and process variability—making systems, design, and manufacturing engineers work together. It can provide an objective basis for negotiations between customers or marketing and the design team, and between design and manufacturing engineers. It helps in focusing the entire organization on the common goal of six sigma, and it encourages sharing of information, decisions, and case studies of six sigma successes across organizational and discipline boundaries.
It is important to note that six sigma quality in design is not a method to achieve “zero defects” at any cost. It should focus on price—performance relationships. It is not a substitute or compensation for poor engineering or design. Nor should it be used to assign blame or point to poor performance. It should be used as a positive problem solving tool for achieving high-quality, low-cost products in design and manufacturing.