ASQ - Electronics and Communications Division

Effective Oversight

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Design failure mode and effects analysis (DFMEA) is part of any Design for Reliability (DfR) effort to design, develop, and build a large, technologically-challenging product. As there may be many cross-functional teams working on DFMEA at any point in time, management must provide effective oversight and project management skills to ensure that the final product will not only be on time, but also provide the end user with high quality and reliability. The use of DFMEA methodology is as much an art as a science. Accordingly, management must provide guidelines for DFMEA formats, conventions, and team decision-making. The author shares his insight in this regard, as often times it is difficult to simply, strictly adhere to the automotive DFMEA standards [1,2]. This is particularly true when working on large scale complex systems, where the needs of the organization far exceed the guidelines provided by the standard. Often, there are features of the older and obsolete standard, MIL-STD-1629a [3], which are desirable to use, particularly if they are upgraded to meet DfR approaches. With so many teams working on DFMEA, management has an obligation to manage this effort to ensure that phase gated design review deadlines are met. To meet this goal, the author shares an empirical technique for tracking DFMEA statistics that can be used to assess project completion goals.

Keywords: RAMS 2011 Proceedings - Product Reliability - Design Review

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