GEC Scenario #75: DOE Dilemma

This sample scenario is from a collection of 70+ Global Engineering Competency (GEC) scenarios developed for instructional and assessment purposes. For more information, including links to usage tips and other supporting resources, visit our About page.

As part of a Six Sigma team, you recently conducted a DOE (Design of Experiment) that validated a cost reduction opportunity for a fabricated assembly and its supporting tooling at one of your company’s plants in Germany. The manufacturing and maintenance of this tooling is the responsibility of your German counterpart, Gretta Meiher. When you contact her to share the news of a significant cost saving opportunity on the horizon for the tools, she interrupts you professionally but abruptly, asking “why would you consider making a change to a tool that has a history of operating without fail?”  When you begin to explain how the redesigned tooling inserts will generate fewer machine cycles, Gretta says in a stern tone: “es kann nicht getan werden - it cannot be done.” What would you do? 

  1. Defer to Gretta and abandon the proposed tooling change.
  2. Meet with Gretta in person to share the DOE data and results, as well as examples of previous successes. 
  3. Bring the proposed tooling change to Gretta’s manager. 
  4. Propose working with Gretta to perform another round of validation for the proposed tooling change. 
  5. Ask your manager to apply further pressure on Gretta.
  6. E-mail Gretta the DOE documentation and ask her to report back to you after reviewing the data and findings.
  7. Try to generate support for the tooling change among other members of Gretta’s team.

Recommended Uses: INSTRUCTION/TRAINING (see our GEC Resource Guide for additional guidance)

Citation: Jesiek, B. K. and Woo, S. E. (Eds.). (2018). GEC Scenario #75: DOE Dilemma. Retrieved from

License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1160455 and 1254323. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. We also acknowledge support for this work from Purdue's Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR).