Design for Six Sigma

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Design for Six Sigma

The success of the Six Sigma movement has generated enormous inter-
est in business world. By quoting one of our friends, Subir Chowdhury,
“people’s power ” and “process power ” are among the keys for the suc-
cess of Six Sigma. The people’s power means systematic organization
support led from the top, and rigorous training for Six Sigma team
members. The process power means the rigor of Six Sigma deployment
and project management processes, and a wide array of statistically
based methods. It is our belief that unlike other quality improvement
movements, where the focus is primarily on the quality of the product
or service to external customers, Six Sigma is focusing on the whole
quality of a business enterprise. The whole quality includes not only
the product or service quality to external customers, but also the oper-
ation quality of all internal business processes, such as accounting,
billing, and so on. The business enterprises that have high levels of
whole quality will not only provide high quality product or services, but
also they will have much lower cost and high efficiency because all their
business processes are optimized.

Compared with the “regular” Six Sigma that is featured by “DMAIC”
(define-measure-analysis-improve-control), the new wave of Six Sigma
is called Design for Six Sigma (DFSS). The regular Six Sigma is also
called Six Sigma improvement, that is to improve a process without
design or completely redesign the current system. Design for Six Sigma
puts a lot of focus on design and it tries to “do things right at the first
time.” In our understanding, the ultimate goal of DFSS is to make a
process or a product to: (1) Do the right things; and (2) Do things right
all the time.

Do the right things means achieving absolute excellence in design,
be it in designing a product, a manufacturing process, a service process
or a business process. Superior product design will deliver superior
products that deliver right product functions to generate great cus-
tomer excitement. Superior manufacturing process design will gener-
ate a process that delivers the product in a most efficient, economic,
and flexible manner. Superior service process design will generate a
process that fits customer desires and provides service with quality
and low cost. Superior business process design will generate the most
efficient, effective, and economical business process.

Do the right thing all the time means that not only should we have
superior design, but the actual product or process that we build according

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