Motivation: Needless to mention that most often than not, problem solving is rooted in poor design of product or process. Wonderful approaches are available for problem solving like DMAIC, Lean; but are limited to improve manufacturing processes or transactional processes or service provision processes. None of these services can adequately and competently add value to improve design and development processes though all problems solvers agree to the basic fact that poor design is the most frequent root cause for a problem. Hence the approach named `Design for Six Sigma’ is evolved in good logical inheritance to criticize design and development process. DFSS is no longer a new approach. It has been in the field of applications quite a few years now. However, DFSS has not yet been standardized and popularized like DMAIC. Literature search would reveal more than 20 approaches are available for DFSS. Hence confusion prevails on adopting a suitable approach for DFSS to create a new scenario in the form of new product or new service or new process or new system or new software or new competency so that downstream problems in the form of defects and waste are prevented from birth.

What are most prevailing approaches of DFSS and their pros and cons? Approaches which are available are CDOV, IDOV, I2DOV, DMADV, and DMADOV to name a few.

CDOV talks about Conceptualizing the design to meet the requirements of the customers and other stakeholders, Design the product or process to meet the requirements, optimize to fine tune the evolved design and then verify whether the optimized design meets the promised requirements or not. Basic premise of this approach believes that first design then optimize.

IDOV approach is just like CDOV excepting `I’ stands for Ideation instead of conceptualization. Creveling in his book titled ‘Design for Six Sigma’ refers this approach for classical design. He also mentioned one more approach named I2DOV for high-end design or technology development where in I2 referred as Invention and Innovation. However, this approach also believes in first design then optimize.

Entire Conceptualization or Ideation processes are decomposed in another approach named DMA- Define the stakeholders’ requirements of new design, Measure design requirements for new outfit to meet the requirements, Analyse to freeze conceptual design and then next three phases of D, O and V continues as abovementioned approaches.

Other approach which seems to suit the design and development process better is DMADV where in Design stage integrates optimization process. It is difficult to separate out optimization from design and development process at any stage and at any level.


What should occupy DFSS approach: Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is relevant for Design and Development process. First All the stakeholders including customers and governments (for legal requirements) who would be impacted by the products and processes should be identified in the form of product life cycle members and their concerns on the existing similar products and requirements in the form of new outfit have to be identified, consolidated, classified and benchmarked to comprehensively represent the requirements.