In the last several years, companies have had notable results using Lean Six Sigma in transactional and administrative processes. Recently Medtronic has successfully adapted Lean Six Sigma to apply to even a wholly automated electronic IT process.
Two project scenarios demonstrate how Six Sigma can address common pain points in software implementation – defining customer requirements and making accurate estimates.
To prepare for a three-year IT overhaul, Australias Westpac bank is applying Lean Six Sigma methods to improve customer service.
Using resource models to manage the utilization of human resources can lead to higher service levels, lower costs and other benefits. This case study within the field of information technology shows the mechanics of building such a model.
During a Six Sigma project at an information technology (IT) department, there are many good reasons why a process or a system needs to change. There also are a few bad reasons – bad, but unavoidable. It’s up to the…
The same methods (Lean Six Sigma) which transformed manufacturing and transactional processes into smooth, high efficiency processes also will work in software and IT, if adapted to recognize the differences in these processes.
A basic-yet-powerful set of metrics gets to the heart of measuring organizational efficiency and effectiveness in software and IT organizations. These metrics also facilitate effective application of Six Sigma in software and IT organizations.
Although IT reported values for application availability might be numerically correct, they may not be a true representation of the situation. For more accurate predictions, use outside-in and rolled-throughput approaches.
A leading environmental services company used DMAIC to improve the availability of an internal software system. The goal was to reduce system downtime and reduce defect resolution time, thereby increasing return on investment and user satisfaction.
While Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) and Agile software development seem to have different orientations, there is more linkage than meets the eye. Considering defect containment metrics, there is a positive tie between these two bodies of experience.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Framework is a set of best practices that facilitate delivery of high quality IT services. Combined with Six Sigma, ITIL serves as a model that prompts organizations to use maximum synergy.
In order to objectively analyze and take corrective action in instances where the best improvement project is not immediately visible, assigning severity, failure effect and end effect numbers to each option may help practitioners make the next move.
In software and IT projects most failures are related to the lack of an understanding of what the customer really expects the system to do (operational requirements) and why (business results). But a program like Six Sigma can resolve many issues.
Applying both the Information Technology Infrastructure Library and Six Sigma to the many requirements businesses are considering information technology (IT) functions can help IT units provide the best value to their companies and their customers.
Implementing the "virtuous cycle" can help a business ensure that its IT organization can best fulfill its challenge of driving most of the process improvements in throughout the business as well as improving its own processes.
Business leaders who want to enjoy the benefits of the combined methodologies and frameworks of ITIL, CMMI and Six Sigma need a clear implementation roadmap -- a roadmap that highlights the sequence of key tasks along the path of integration.
Six Sigma initiatives will increasingly focus their solutions on information systems. With a strong partnership between Six Sigma and IT, organizations can make more informed investment decisions about process improvement projects.
Recapping some of the successes that have been achieved with Six Sigma in IT and describing some of the IT activities to which Six Sigma can be applied, should clearly answer the question "Does Six Sigma apply to IT?" with a resounding "yes!"
There are multiple measures and metrics available for the Six Sigma development of software. This article discusses the Total Containment Effectiveness, Phase Containment Effectiveness and Defect Containment Effectiveness.
There are multiple measures and metrics available for the Six Sigma development of software. This article discusses how to predict defect find and fix rates during development and after release.
There are multiple measures and metrics available for the Six Sigma development of software. This article discusses how to compare implementations within the company.
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.
How does an organization start the process of driving change, without investing significant time in resource-intensive assessments to establish a quantitative baseline and measure subsequent performance progress? The answer may lie in web technology.
Online retailer ABC has a strong market research unit and a seamless feedback loop for enhancing the customer experience. Despite the company's seeming responsiveness to customer feedback, sales had dropped significantly in the last few years. An external Lean Six Sigma consultant was invited by the CEO to guide ABC in improving their declining sales.
IT firms often begin initiatives to measure and collect data for process metrics as part of improvement initiatives. Practitioners responsible for deployment will benefit from understanding the strategic, tactical and operational aspects of metrics.
A common challenge for an information technology department is how to prioritize projects for the biggest benefit. Follow these eight steps to build a criteria-based matrix that provides effective prioritization for any organization.
After making a case for using cost-of-quality metrics, combined with defect data, as overall measures of software and IT organizational effectiveness. The next logical step is to illustrate how these metrics might be used to drive improvement.