When you want to create an efficient process, you’ll usually go for DMAIC to improve the process. Sometimes though, you may have a process so bad that it needs tearing up and starting again, or you may even have no process at all. DFSS is for when you’re starting from a blank sheet of paper.
DFSS stands for ‘Design For Six Sigma’ and is used for creating new procedures in a Six Sigma methodology. DMADV stands for ‘Define Measure Analyze Design Verify’; DMADV is the main framework of Design For Six Sigma.
The standard project management structure in Six Sigma is DMAIC (Design, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) which is the procedure to greatly improve procedures, and remove waste and issues from them. What do you do though if you need a completely redesigned or even new process or product instead of just an improved one?
For that you need Design for Six Sigma, often known by the acronym DMADV, which like DMAIC has 5 standard steps to follow: Define Measure Analyze Design Verify.
The first three steps are essentially the same as in DMAIC. In Define you’re defining the project problem you’re trying to solve, who the team is, and what the process you’re working with is and who you’re doing it for.
This is data collection; what are you looking to measure, how are you going to measure them and carry out the measurements. You’re looking to collect all the data on how the system currently is, and what is the situation you’re looking for.
Analyze the data collected in the Measure stage, and match them up with the goals from the Define stage. You’re looking at how the various inputs into the system affect the outputs, and how variations in operation affect how the system works.
Design is the upgraded version of the ‘Improve’ section in DMAIC. Instead of working out how you can improve the current process, you’re creating a new process from scratch, using the data that you’ve put together in the Define, Measure and Analyze steps.
The final stage is to make sure that the new structure is in place how it was intended, and is working according to plan. You can test and do trials, to check you’re getting the outputs you wanted, and proceed into production.