A common belief of the SDI staff is that variation exists in all systems, subsystems, components, and processes. Problems result when the effects of variation are not identified, understood, and forecasted in future events. With this understanding of the problem, they identified the required skills to overcome the barriers found in day-to-day product development activities.
They also found that many 'process-focused' practitioners will tell engineers "what" needs to be done to prevent problems from occurring in product development, but few actually reveal "how" to achieve the results in design and development phases of a program. The staff has overcome this barrier and applied the "hows" in the form of technical training and easy-to-use, cost effective software tools. The background and qualifications of the SDI engineers who have developed this DFSS approach and support the training activities are summarized below.