Through out the evolution of quality there has always been on manufacturing industry (the production of hardware parts). In recent years, more application has focused on process in general; however, the application of a full suite of tools to nonmanufacturing industries is rare and still considered risky or challenging. Only companies that have mature Six Sigma deployment programs see the application of Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) to information technology (IT) applications and software development as an investment rather than as a needless expense. Even those companies that embark on DFSS seem to struggle with confusion over the DFSS "process" and the process being designed.

Multiple business processes can benefit from DFSS. Some of these are listed in Table 7.1

If properly measured, we would find that few if any of these processes perform at Six Sigma performance levels. The cost, timeliness, or quality (accuracy and completeness) are never where they should be and hardly world class from customer perspectives.

Customers may be internal or external; if it is external, the term "consumer" (or end user) will be used for clarification purposes. Six Sigma is process oriented, and a short review of process and transaction may be beneficial at this stage. Some processes (e.g., dry cleaning) consist of a single process, whereas many services consist of several processes linked together. At each process, transactions occur. A transaction is the ...

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