Earlier this year Elizabeth M. Ferrarini at Enterprise Leadership interviewed Gerald Shields, CIO for AFLAC.

EL: What best practices do you use for IT?

GS: We have a couple of people who are Black-Belt certified in Six Sigma, and we use Six Sigma for some projects. Our primary best practice is the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), which came out of the Carnegie Mellon Institute and the Software Engineering Institute about 20 years ago. CMM assesses the probable success of your application and support levels. We’re one of two insurance companies in the world with Level 3 CMM certification. That’s the highest rating you can get.

At AFLAC, Six Sigma takes the back seat to CMM, which is the primary process improvement approach for IT. But still AFLAC finds Six Sigma useful for certain projects.

There has been quite a bit written about how Six Sigma and CM can work together. For anyone interested in reading about these synergies, here are a couple of nice resources:

Connecting Six Sigma to CMMI Measurement and Analysis

CMMI and Six Sigma Synerg

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