iSixSigma

Case Study: Fault Reduction in Cable Industry

In the cable industry, faults (or defects) are often measured by technician visits to a customer’s home to address a problem experienced by that customer. Each such visit typically costs the company in the range of $120 to $150 – not counting the cost of the harm to their brand. Cable Industry Basics Especially problematic…

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Software Defect Prevention – In a Nutshell

Organizations face many problems that impede rapid development of software systems critical to their operations and growth. The challenge in any software product development lies in minimizing the number of defects. Occurrence of defects is the greatest contributor to significant increases in product costs due to correction and rework time. Most defects are caused by…

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Six Sigma Opportunity Counting

Imagine the scenario. Herman and Gary both manage processes for your company. Herman’s process involves a simple matching of supplier invoices to purchase orders. Gary’s process is much more complex. This process involves compliance to government regulations and requires massive amounts of data to be taken, accurately summarized and reported in several different formats to…

Objective Defect Evaluation Leads Improvement Efforts

Many times it is imperative for a firm to improve the quality of its deliverables even though it is operating consistently at a high sigma level. Such continuous improvement is also necessary when addressing various levels of the capability maturity model integration (CMMI), a software process guide. CMMI Level 5 calls for a proactive reduction…

Attribute Agreement Analysis for Defect Databases

A defect database that tracks errors in processes (or even products) – a database that is so sophisticated that it actually tracks where the defect occurred in addition to the type of defect – can provide powerful information. It can be quite helpful in scoping and prioritizing potential improvement opportunities. But is the data trustworthy?…

Lean Six Sigma Can Benefit Drug Discovery/Development

As is true throughout virtually all areas of business across diverse industry sectors, Lean Six Sigma principles and practices applied to research and development (R&D) and product development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have a dramatic effect on reducing cycle times and the cost of developing new technologies, products, and protocols for research and…

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Exploring Defect Containment Metrics in Agile

While Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) and Agile software development seem to have different orientations, there is more linkage than meets the eye. On one hand, DFSS and Agile appear to be at odds: DFSS talks about “stages” and tollgates, which Agile eschews in favor of Lean “single piece” or small batch flow. DFSS talks…

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Defect Prevention: Reducing Costs and Enhancing Quality

“Prevention is better than cure” applies to defects in the software development life cycle as well as illnesses in medical science. Defects, as defined by software developers, are variances from a desired attribute. These attributes include complete and correct requirements and specifications as drawn from the desires of potential customers. Thus, defects cause software to…

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Cost of a Process with Poor Quality Can Be Very High

The definition of quality can differ depending on whether it is associated with products and services or with the processes used to generate them. The quality of a product or service is measured in terms of the satisfaction that the customer derives from using it. The quality of a process depends on its ability to…

Core Set of Effectiveness Metrics for Software and IT

Most software and IT organizations have great difficulty measuring organizational efficiency and effectiveness, despite a bewildering array of metrics that have been proposed and occasionally used. However, a basic-yet-powerful set of metrics that gets to the heart of these issues does exist, and at the same time facilitates the application of Six Sigma. It is…

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Measuring and Improving Service Processes with Six Sigma

Service processes play integral roles in almost every company – loan processing in the case of banks, mechanical services in an automobile dealership, recruitment or new employee orientation in a human resources department, accounts payable in an accounting department. Service processes can consume a large portion of a company’s operating margin. So it is not…

Automating Input Data to Improve On-Time DeliveriesAn iSixSigma Case Study

Liquid Controls, a manufacturer of high-quality flow meters and accessories for accurate liquid measurement, is a well-practiced user of Six Sigma methodologies. Having adopted Six Sigma in 1999 and made significant strides in improving manufacturing processes, the company more recently began to turn attention to transactional processes for serving customers. Liquid Controls identified several processes…