Design Quality

Relying on testing to identify quality products is inefficient and wasteful. Modern quality systems are based on the tenet that quality should be designed in, not tested in. Philip Crosby summarized this well: “Quality has to be caused, not controlled” [Philip Crosby’s Reflections on Quality, 1996.

Foundational principles for designing-in quality include:


  • Customer Focus:
    • Customers define quality-incorporate that definition into designs upfront
    • Delighting customers requires insight into their motivations
  • Scientific Approach:
    • Good decisions are based on valid data and rigorous scrutiny
    • Sustainable solutions require a systemic approach
  • Teamwork:
    • Successful projects engage and respect all stakeholders
    • Disciplined team & project management yields results

Exponent specialists can guide an organization in making these principles operational. Methods and tools we can apply include:

  • Design for Six Sigma
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis: DFMEA, PFMEA
  • Failure Mode Avoidance
  • Robust Design
  • Design of Experiments
  • Structured Innovation

Professionals