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An External Failure is any defective item, unit, or output that passes through an entire process and is received by the customer.

External Failures lead directly to customer dissatisfaction. External Failures are very costly, as they must not only be fixed, but customer perceptions must be repaired by addressing the Voice of the Customer. Non-value added activities are usually involved, if not a cause of External Failures.

For a better understanding of External Failure and an overview of Lean Six Sigma,check out our Free Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Training, Green Belt Training or Lean Training.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Master Black Belt at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. For over 30 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Marriott International, Inc. build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.
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