Green Belt Project: Reduce Resolution Time and Rework in Software Development

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This article describes the successful implementation of a Six Sigma Green Belt project in information technology (IT) in which a software development team applied Six Sigma to reduce the resolution time of software defects and minimize rework, thereby increasing customer satisfaction. A software development team in a leading environmental services company wanted to reduce the […]

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Lean Implementation for IT Company

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An information technology (IT) services company was engaged by a European telecom service provider to provide end-to-end testing for its five lines of business. End-to-end testing is a methodology used to test whether the flow of a software application is functioning as expected from start to finish – for example, from receipt of customer order […]

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Abstraction Factor Analysis: A Nonlinear Way to Improve Product Development

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The Lean Six Sigma (LSS) toolbox can always be extended with new approaches that enable the harvesting of new opportunities for improvement. Philosophically, improvement in terms of velocity, cost, quality, performance, reliability and widespread customer acceptance remain relevant but also complex. One way of extending the use of these methodologies and tools is by developing […]

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Predicting Code Inspection Faults

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Inspections are one of the most common methods of review performed in software teams. The goal of code inspection is to identify software faults early in the software development lifecycle. Teams are faced with the challenge, however, of determining whether those inspections are effective. One way to quantify this is by predicting the total number […]

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Computacenter Returns to Best Places to Work List

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Computacenter AG & Co. oHG, an information technology (IT) services firm that first began its Six Sigma deployment 14 years ago, has made its second consecutive appearance on iSixSigma’s Best Places to Work list. Computacenter was ranked at No. 10 for this year’s list, the same position it was given in the 2010 list. The […]

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Lean and Information Technology

Lean Line Balancing in the IT Sector

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This step-by-step guide shows how Belts in the transactional sector can calculate the time needed to complete a process and utilize their resources efficiently.

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Use Scrum to Implement Solutions Quickly and Effectively

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What is Scrum and how can it help you in your Lean Six Sigma efforts? That was the topic of a breakout session presented by Brad Zylstra of Volt Information Services on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the iSixSigma Live! Summit & Awards in Miami. Zylstra, the Vice President of Strategic Business Services and Support at […]

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Top Lean Six Sigma IT Trends to Come in 2011

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As the calendar flips to 2011, several technology experts and software providers have made predictions about how Lean Six Sigma and other process improvement methodologies will shape IT departments in the coming year. Collected here are four of their forecasts for the next 12 months.

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Planning Ahead with Project-Specific Software Process Models

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Lean Six Sigma projects involving software development are an increasingly popular option for IT departments that are seeking to improve their efficiency. However, a number of research studies demonstrate that the average percentage of software projects that achieve all project objectives is significantly less than might be expected. For instance, a Standish Group survey conducted […]

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Integrating Lean Six Sigma with Agile and Scrum

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Scrum is an Agile project management methodology that can be used to control software and product development using iterative, incremental practices. Scrum generates the benefits of Agile development with the advantages of a simple implementation. This methodology can significantly increase productivity and reduce time to benefits while facilitating adaptive, empirical systems development.

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Illustration of two hands holding a process map

Trimming IT Fat with Lean Assessments

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By mapping the entire software application development life cycle, IT departments can see dramatic improvements in efficiency.

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Enhancing IT Quality Metrics with Six Sigma

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One of the initial challenges of enhancing IT quality metrics is to manage the mountain of data produced at a typical organization. Those organizations that have not learned how to mine their existing information to find solutions tend to track their data via spreadsheets and then generate high-level reports for executive management. Often, major gaps […]

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How Lean Can Be Applied to Software Development

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Software and IT experts discuss the best ways that methods such as business process managment and Agile can be applied to a Lean software development program.

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Career Advice for IT and Six Sigma Professionals

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When facing an imminent layoff, what path should Six Sigma professionals with a technical background take to get into the information technology (IT) arena? This topic was brought up in a recent online conversation on the iSixSigma Discussion Forums. The suggestions included getting familiar with the capability maturity model (CMM), joining an IT organization, becoming […]

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Finding a Value-added Fit with Agile Development

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The gains that Lean Six Sigma has brought in the areas of manufacturing, operations and physical product design speak for themselves. It is natural to want to replicate that success in software design. To do that most effectively, however, practitioners must meld Lean Six Sigma with Agile, a software development technique that is gaining traction […]

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Predictive Analytics

Harnessing the Power of Predictive Analytics

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The demand for business intelligence continually increases. Tapping into predictive analytics, a type of data mining that can be used to make reliable predictions of future events based on analysis of historical data, can help.

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Six Sigma Software Metrics, Part 3

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Parts one and two of this series surveyed the work connected with several goals shared by software organizations and Six Sigma (Goals 1-3 in Table 1). We saw that reaching those goals involved establishing systems to identify defects, classify them according to type and point of origin, predict their occurrence, and assess actual defect find […]

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Six Sigma Software Metrics, Part 4

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This article is the last of four parts. It presents a discussion of opportunities for defects (OFD), defects per million opportunities (DPMO) and Sigma levels. When comparing implementations across companies, using the common language of DPMO and Sigma levels will assist in understanding benchmarking data. Parts one, two and three followed a progression of goals […]

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Improving Offshore Outsourcing Efficiency with DFSS

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Two recent conferences on software focused on the topics of Six Sigma for the software industry and general conference for the software vertical market. There was, as one would imagine, a tremendous amount of discussion relating to the offshore outsourcing of software development work to achieve significant cost reductions. This has been an emerging trend […]

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Lowering the Cost of Ownership for Software Lifecycles

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How will we remember the past eighteen months? Many will remember it as a time of economic slump, with lay-offs, low spending and a war in Iraq. The economic situation is not likely to improve during the remainder of 2003, leading organizations to focus on delivering value to their customers while demonstrating hard return-on-investment. Any […]

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Six Sigma for Software – A Role Based System

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Part 1 in a series exploring Six Sigma Deployment for Software and IT Organizations Because the application of the Six Sigma methodology is relatively new to Software and IT, many of the readers of this web site may be unclear as to the methods of deploying Six Sigma into an organization successfully. From participation in […]

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Six Sigma Software Metrics, Part 1

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Six Sigma brings sharp focus to customer and business requirements and the defects connected with the failure to satisfy them. While the relevance of that view is clear enough to software professionals, their introduction to Six Sigma is often gets stopped short in questions about how the notions of yield, sigma level, or defects per […]

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Six Sigma Software Metrics, Part 2

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Part 1 in this series on software defect metrics discussed Goals 1 and 2, which focused on identifying and removing defects in the development process as close to the point of occurrence as possible (Table 1). This installment looks at predicting defect insertion and removal dynamics early in a project and measuring predicted versus actual […]

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Software Vendor Partnership Cost Reduction with Six Sigma

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Business Issue A multibillion-dollar software manufacturer needed to drive down the total $191 million annual cost of supplying its workers with continuously updated workstations. Both the software manufacturer and its primary vendor/supplier were in the midst of an aggressive cost cutting initiative that would lead to a new compensation model. The initial, first year targeted […]

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