Reliability Engineering during Design, with Adam Bahret (A Chat with Cross-Functional Experts)

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Dianna Deeney interviews Adam Bahret about reliability engineering during design: how product design engineers and product development leadership can incorporate reliability engineering.

This interview is part of our series, “A Chat with Cross Functional Experts". Our focus is speaking with people that are typically part of a cross-functional team within engineering projects. We discuss their viewpoints and perspectives regarding new products, the values they bring to new product development, and how they're involved and work with product design engineering teammates.

About Adam

Adam Bahret is the founder of Apex Ridge Consulting and a leading reliability expert who writes, speaks and coaches executive teams on reliability as a competitive edge. His reliability-culture change program has delivered millions in savings for clients while mitigating risk and forming a foundation for reliability-fueled growth and brand dominance. His clients range across multiple industry segments, including medical devices, robotics, semiconductor, aerospace, consumer, and automotive.

Adam works with technical teams to improve the design while mentoring leadership teams in adopting the processes, language, and behaviors to build a reliability culture. He also introduces key reliability metrics such as “time-to-reliability” that guide organizational thinking and build a robust reliability culture that’s the hallmark of dominant top-performing technology companies.

Adam is the author of two books on reliability engineering, with a third on the way. His two published books are "Reliability Culture, How Leaders Build Organizations that Create Reliable Products" (Wiley 2021) and "How Reliable is Your Product, 50 Ways to Improve Product Reliability" (2nd Ed 2016). Adam’s third book, "Devastate the Competition", will be published in late 2023. This book covers how the business objectives and reliability program can be connected to create an unbeatable formula to dominate your product’s market.

Adam has deep technical expertise and over 25 years of experience in product development and reliability engineering. He has an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University, is an ASQ nationally certified reliability engineer, and an international speaker on technology, leadership, and product development. More information on Adam and Apex Ridge can be found at

Adam and Dianna talk about:

  • What "time to reliability" is, and how it can be used to measure the completeness of a project instead of other metrics, like date of prototype release.
  • How naming problems helps others identify with it and provides an avenue to solve and measure results.
  • The trap of not incentivizing reliability leadership metrics.
  • The mindset shift needed by product design engineers to design for reliability.
  • How Reliability Engineers can be an advisor, not opposition.
  • Things teams can do to avoid being traumatized by FMEA.

What can you do today?

Switch your mindset to "failures exist and over time will be discovered". You may need to step out of your typical product designer mentality and purposefully make the shift.

Start dialogues and have conversations.

Adam's Books

Bahret, Adam, and Silverman, Mike. How Reliable is Your Product? (Second Edition): 50 Ways to Improve Product Reliability. United States, Super Star Press, 2016.

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Bahret, Adam P. Reliability Culture: How Leaders Build Organizations that Create Reliable Products. United Kingdom, Wiley, 2021.

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Bahret, Adam. Devastate the Competition: How to Take Market Share through Robust Design. Apex Ridge Publishing, 2023.

Get this book