I rate this tool a 2/5, along with DPMO and DPO. The reason is that I like to keep things simple, and metrics like this tend to lose audiences during project reviews. People ask, “What does that calculation really mean?” I prefer readily-understandable metrics like cost, PPM defect rate, and yield percentage. Customers do not care about DPU, DPO, and DPMO.

These metrics were popular when Six Sigma was developed, but I haven’t seen them used much since that time.

The training slide below shows how to calculate DPU, which stands for Defects Per Unit (see example to the right as well).

DPU calculation

Here is a DPU metric example for an order processing center –

DPU Order Processing Example

DPU order processing page 2

DPU calculation example page 3