Design Quality Assurance Activities

In our last blog post, we referred to the APQP  (Advanced Product Quality Planning) activity of DFMEA.  The post was about the attempt to perform late in a project.  The point to the DFMEA in that instance was lost; at best, if we found a serious problem, would be to abort the launch.  The post was mostly about asking the stakeholder for more money and time when that effort would largely be wasted.

More Quality Activities

The DFMEA is not the only activity prescribed by APQP for the design and development effort.  That was but one example of the actions we take to secure the product quality. The entire list of quality assurance actions may look more like[1]:

  1. Design Failure Mode Effects Analysis
  2. Design for Manufacturability and Assembly
  3. Design Verification
  4. Other design reviews such as code reviews
  5. Prototype parts (iterations and control plan)
  6. Engineering and Material Specifications
  7. Demonstrated change control and control over engineering drawings
  8. Design Verification
  9. Test Equipment Identification
  10. Identification of key product characteristics

All throughout Product Development

None of these is last minute – cavalierly considered actions our product development team should undertake to produce a quality product.  We take these actions to facilitate learning throughout the product development. We learn, and adjust the product and perhaps our expectations as we progress through the product development processes and mature the product design.  We discuss this at length including when and how to deploy these activities in a project in our book Project Management of Complex and Embedded Systems from CRC Press.

[1]  Adapted from Product Design and Development. (1995). In Advanced Product Quality Planning and Control Plan (APQP). Southfield, MI: AIAG.


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