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Design Risk Assessment For Six Sigma

May 18, 2008
Any Six Sigma implementation has to usually go through numerous changes and alterations in order to ensure that the business process has improved efficiency. Six Sigma Black Belts and Master Black Belts usually carry out the desired changes that will prove to be beneficial for the company.

However, simply having experts on the implementation team does not guarantee success, as every business process is unique in nature. Further, there are several variable factors affecting every such process; these can be, at times, hard to define. Thus it is vital to carry out design risk assessment before actually implementing the process.

The Need for Design Risk Assessment

Carrying out design risk assessment is highly important when developing a totally new business process from scratch for either a new product to be manufactured or a new service to be rendered. In order to ensure success for such development, it is vital to carry out detailed assessment for all sub-parts and small details of the design. Many of these aspects may seem trivial for such meticulous detailing; however, a small flaw can have a big negative impact on the outcome of the process.

At times, a design is simply implemented based on certain assumptions without letting it pass through the design risk assessment. In such cases, it is highly likely that many unexpected problems will crop up upon implementation.

This will not only negatively affect the desired and timely results, but also the finances of the organization.

Tools and Methodologies

Preliminary Hazard Analysis, or PHA, is one of the most commonly used tools that can help with the quantitative assessment of any likely risks. Six Sigma professionals can avoid such potential risks by carrying out even small changes in the design of the system.

Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, or DFMEA, is one of the most popular design risk assessment methodology which is used to measure various criticality factors, like the Critical to Quality (CTQ), and the Critical to Customers (CTC). Such critical factors can have a big impact on the process, and even minor problems with the critical factors can derail the whole implementation process, leading it to come crashing down.

Results and various other data generated by way of carrying out design risk assessment are usually stored for future retrievals. Combined with the experience of the managers, these can be very useful even in the future. Thus, when a similar scenario crops up again, the solutions are readily available to be used.
These solutions can be used with small adjustments, according to the new environment resulting in substantial savings of both time and money.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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