Combining Six Sigma and CMMI Can Accelerate Improvements

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Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a framework for business process improvement. Like any model, CMMI reflects one version of reality, and like most models, it may be more idealistic than realistic in some ways. Organizations can use the model as a jumping off point to create process improvement solutions that fit their unique development […]

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A Competitive Edge

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Using Six Sigma has proven highly successful in addressing internal issues where the focus is on reducing production defects and costs. One way to take the methodology to the next level is to integrate it with the marketing function. Marketing offers a portal to an organization’s external environment – the competitive marketplace – where the […]

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Ask the Expert: The Topic – Integrating Lean and Six Sigma

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Michael George, chairman and CEO of George Group, answers common questions about integrating the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies.

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Highlights from the 2009 Energy Forum

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At the iSixSigma Live! 2009 Energy Forum for Process Excellence, leaders from across the energy industry shared how they are implementing process improvement efforts at their organizations. Some common questions and lessons learned – about methodology, implementation and benefits – came up over the course of the three-day event. Here are a few highlights. Combining […]

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Merging Six Sigma and the Balanced Scorecard

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In an era of complexity and contradiction, many healthcare organizations are seeking bold strategies for leading and managing change. While concepts behind the balanced scorecard and core Six Sigma methodologies are not new, a powerful management tool can be crafted through the unification of these two proven strategies. An approach that combines the targeted performance […]

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Toward an Integrated Six Sigma Software Knowledge-Base

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I’m sure we are all happy to see the new iSixSigma channel dedicated to software. The growing knowledge base at this portal will take shape in the body of articles, discussion forum threads, links, and resources that are contributed. The most important factor in all this is, of course, you, the site participants. While the […]

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Is Six Sigma Enough?

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The next generation of Lean has arrived and it is an expansion of the traditional notion of improving velocity, flexibility, responsiveness, quality, and cost across a total value stream. The speed and effectiveness of each partner in the total value chain determines the success of the overall stream as it competes against other value chains. […]

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Integrating Lean and Six Sigma

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Both the Lean and the Six Sigma methodologies have proven over the last twenty years that it is possible to achieve dramatic improvements in cost, quality, and time by focusing on process performance. Whereas Six Sigma is focused on reducing variation and improving process yield by following a problem-solving approach using statistical tools, Lean is […]

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Six Sigma Leadership and Innovation Using TRIZ

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The fourth installment in a series of articles about the on-going research of advanced strategies and trends in deploying and team-training Six Sigma. Six Sigma Trends: Next Generation of Projects Six Sigma Trends: Upgrade for Supply Chains and Solution Providers Six Sigma Trends: Management of Six Sigma Deployments I am pleased to present another article […]

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Six Sigma – A Socio-Technical System

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Six Sigma, Total Quality Management (TQM) and its variants are now widespread in American business. Yet many executives raise serious questions about the their value. Fortune magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Business Week have all presented examples of serious failures. Several recognized Six Sigma companies have experienced financial troubles. On a more personal level, […]

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Six Sigma and Workout

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Ask successful Six Sigma deployment leaders, or experienced Black Belts, and they will usually report that change management is the most challenging aspect of deploying Six Sigma. For most practitioners, change management is the black art of Six Sigma deployment: What is change management? And how can you convert the volumes of change management theory […]

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5 Lean Tools and Principles to Integrate into Six Sigma

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Increasingly, organizations that use Six Sigma are making an effort to integrate Lean into their existing process-improvement framework. For many, combining Six Sigma’s focus on process quality and Lean’s emphasis on turn-around time results in more high-impact, quick-hit projects. To gain this advantage, however, organizations must face a difficult obstacle: integrating Lean without creating ripples […]

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Remove Obstacles for Six Sigma Within Agile Development

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It can be challenging at first to find the connections between Six Sigma and Agile; a number of obstacles stand in the way of reaching an integrated view. But there is some untapped leverage that, if explored, may ease the use of the two methods. It is often more interesting to find the intersections that […]

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10 Benchmarking Steps

Benchmarking: Ten Practical Steps with Review Points

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Want to compare your company’s process, products or services to best-in-class practices? Follow these 10 practical benchmarking steps, complete with review questions, to provide insight into the actions the company can take to improve its performance.

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Work Design and Six Sigma: Improve Jobs and Processes

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The business world keeps revisiting the concept of a high-performance organization, often coining some new phrase or slogan to describe it. Regardless of its newest label or the guru touting its latest incarnation, high performance has virtually always meant achieving a hard-to-sustain combination of six critical elements: High profitability World-class service Accountability Simple workflow Customer-centered […]

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Integrating Project Management into a Six Sigma System

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Manufacturers and transactional firms share a drive to lower costs, reduce cycle time and offer a diverse product mix as they pursue higher profits and an increased market share in a growing global environment. Consumers (those paying for the end product) want products or services that are cheaper, readily available and of a quality that […]

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Using Six Sigma Tools in an Agile Software Project

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It may be counter-intuitive to consider using Six Sigma tools in an Agile software project. Six Sigma’s genesis was in the manufacturing world where one of its primary goals has been to reduce process variation. On the other hand, Agile software development is built on the premise that complex software projects, unlike manufacturing, cannot be […]

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Problem Management: Coordinating ITIL and Six Sigma

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Information technology (IT) expenses are growing at a significantly faster rate than any other portion of most businesses, and IT has become a significant component in the cost of doing business. Increasingly, IT organizations are required to determine the cost of delivering and supporting particular services, as well as qualifying and quantifying the value that […]

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Six Sigma and Innovation: Natural Partners from the Start

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Innovation has broad appeal. Businesses see it as a key to survival, and most individuals enjoy being creative – at work or anywhere. At first it might seem that the discipline called for in the workplace would take all the fun out of being creative. But actually, innovation coupled with Six Sigma discipline and data […]

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Software Development Convergence: Six Sigma-Lean-Agile

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Some common messages are beginning to emerge from several software-relevant areas – Six Sigma for software, Agile development and Lean thinking. The links between Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) and Agile have been explored recently, but now a broader view yet can illustrate the way that Lean thinking, evolved from just-in-time manufacturing, aligns well with […]

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Lean and Creative Six Sigma to Solve Real-life Issues

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A strong possibility exists that some organizations using Six Sigma are failing to cash in on the true potential of the methodology. This can happen when proper care is not taken to understand what needs to be integrated with the Six Sigma methodology to make it effective, comprehensive and a focused approach to solve real-life […]

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Leverage Innovation and Six Sigma to Grow Revenue

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Six Sigma practitioners capture the voice of customer (VOC) in the process of designing or improving a product or service; however, practitioners often compromise while implementing the VOC in the actual design, citing reasons such as cost, cycle time and design constraints. As a result of these compromises, products or services can lose competitiveness in […]

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The DoD Roundup

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Editor’s note: A longer version of this article was previously published in the September/October 2009 issue of iSixSigma Magazine. When the U.S. Department of Defense opened a Continuous Process Improvement/Lean Six Sigma Program Office in October 2007, the office had no budget, no staff and, in fact, no office space. But it did have a […]

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Six Sigma Encourages Improvement Within CMMI Framework

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Six Sigma is a powerful improvement program that started in manufacturing but has subsequently proven to be useful in a multitude of industries, including software development. But many of the assumptions and approaches of using Six Sigma in traditional industries may not be relevant in information technology (IT) and software development. Traditional Six Sigma program […]

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