A flexible design methodology is developed to minimize the effect of uncontrolled variation by modeling potential design and manufacturing corrections in the product development process. Using this flexibility methodology, the different defect modes and the likelihood of these defects occurring is evaluated. For every defect mode, all design change options are investigated including the cost and probability of selection. The expected cost of the initial design including design changes is determined, thus allowing development of improved, more flexible designs. The theoretical method is demonstrated using an example. The results indicate that small changes in design variables may reduce the likelihood and cost of future design changes, yet provide opportunity for downstream cost minimization.