In the near term, most software organizations can realize meaningful cycle time reductions by adopting Agile methods. In the longer term, it remains important to address and measure all of the factors that contribute to longer cycle times.
Most organizations have a strong bias toward planning, managing and executing a multitude of supposedly value-added activities hoping that these activities will yield significant results. Most do not. But there is another better way.
Two project scenarios demonstrate how Six Sigma can address common pain points in software implementation – defining customer requirements and making accurate estimates.
Royal Philips Electronics subsidiary Assembléon is cutting New Product Introduction (NPI) time on its A-Series pick & place equipment by 30 percent.
To prepare for a three-year IT overhaul, Australias Westpac bank is applying Lean Six Sigma methods to improve customer service.
Implementing technology requires stakeholder involvement and good requirement development. When there is a misalignment in those areas businesses and their customers both suffer. LURE and COPIS can clarify perspectives and help avoid misalignment.
For a software company to make a case for process improvement, reliable measurement data is needed. Unfortunately that data normally comes from an improvement project.
While the term business process management is not frequently encountered in software development organizations, it can be a powerful guide to identification and prioritization of opportunities for improvement in software companies.
PQ Systems releases updated version of gage calibration software GAGEpack
When facing an imminent layoff, what path should Six Sigma professionals with a technical background take to get into the information technology (IT) arena?
Cause-and-effect diagrams help identify factors (x's) that drive changes in the results variable (Y). But when that tool is not enough, causal loop diagrams can convey causal interconnections that better reflect the way things are.
CHARTrunner Solves Hospital’s Daunting Data Task
An organization is getting into process improvement. Should it look at the Software Engineering Institute's capability maturity model integration (CMMI) first? Six Sigma first? The answer seems to be Six Sigma first...at least a little bit first.
CMMI/PSP/TSP are among the several potential choices of software development process definition that can lead to improved software project performance. The full potential of the data produced by these processes cannot be fully leveraged without applying the more comprehensive Six Sigma for Software toolkit.
The IDEAL model and the Six Sigma DMAIC roadmap are examined for ways they are similar and ways that they might challenge and inform one another.
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.
While training traditional software services personnel it becomes imperative to give an experiential feeling in the classroom. Using case studies and sharing success stories will help develop conviction in practitioners.
Defect prevention in software development involves a structured problem-solving methodology to identify, analyze and prevent the occurrence of defects. This article outlines the five general activities of a defect prevention methodology.
When DOE is used for software testing, there is a large amount of savings in testing time and cost. Use of orthogonal array based testing has demonstrated to produce superior test plans that improve testing productivity by a factor of 2.
Agile changes the nature of planning and tracking. In agile, the available development capacity in resources and schedule is assessed and considered fixed at the outset. That assessment guides the scope of features promised for a delivery cycle.
By incorporating the DFSS methodology with service-oriented architecture initiatives, SOA can fulfill its promise of transforming the IT assets of a business.
Conflict seems likely, but with some flexibility in viewpoints, DFSS and Agile share enough to be worth looking for synergy and common ground.
In association with the launch of a new drug, DFSS was used to develop a new pharmacovigilance system to capture and analyze observed drug side effects.
While statistical approaches to software testing like DOE do hold promise, those who use them need to understand them in a balanced way looking for where they do and do not fit. Test designers also should understand some of risks involved.
In serious software discussions, some ideas about Six Sigma that are being accepted as truths are a bit out of step with the latest facts and experience.
In today's competitive manufacturing environment, it takes more than quick fixes, outsourcing and downsizing to consistently achieve growth and profit objectives. For companies to grow they need to master eight basics of Lean Six Sigma.
A survey sponsored by the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) finds that Six Sigma is feasible as an enabler of the adoption of software, systems and IT improvement models and practices.
By implementing Six Sigma to measure the performance of its IT products, ING Direct enabled its teams to improve the quality, throughput, speed and continuous improvement with which they deliver features and functionality to the customer.
Business software firm SuccessFactors announced the appointment of Black Belt Jeffrey Diana as chief people officer, effective Dec. 6, 2010.
Practitioners must carefully consider the potential gains from using Lean Six Sigma in an Agile software development environment. But first they need to understand what sets software design apart from other product development.
GE Medical Systems and eProject Announce Global Distribution Partnership.
For General Electric, agility is all about simplifying the software development process. Matt Merchant, CTO, GE Corporate, delivered a keynote at the Zendcon PHP developers conference explaining that, through agility and simplification, his goal is to produce better quality software at a faster pace.
This article describes a successful Green Belt project in information technology in which a software development team applied Six Sigma to reduce the resolution time of software defects and minimize rework, thereby increasing customer satisfaction.
The demand for business intelligence is increasing at a rapid pace across all industries in todays tough economic climate. As senior executives look to optimize existing business processes that can lead to bottom-line and top-line benefits, one option is to tap 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.
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.
The goal of poka-yoke is to design a process or mechanism that prevents an error from occurring. In the world of machine and industrial design, CAD systems are one of the best forms of poka-yoke available.
The emerging discipline of Business Execution will be examined in detail as part of a webinar planned by leader of on-demand business execution software, i-nexus.
Business Execution software specialist, i-nexus, celebrates 10 successful years in 2011, highlighting increased ROI from existing customers alongside the addition of global leaders such as Best Buy and 3M to its client portfolio.
From environmentalleader.com Businesses today generally understand they need to do as much as possible to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and minimize their environmental impact overall. Societal pressures from customers, increasing regulation and economics all…
Nexteer Automotive, a manufacturer of steering and driveline systems, has reported significant operational savings at its plant near Saginaw, Mich., USA, by using motion analysis software commonly used by figure skaters.
A variety of analyses can be done during the Analyze phase of a Six Sigma software project with data from Fagan-style inspections. These analyses suggest possible implications when considering Improve activities.
Increasing productivity can give a software-development company an edge over its competition. To accomplish this, the organization can use Lean principles to identify and eliminate wastes in the development process and encourage key drivers.
This article reviews some perspective on offshore outsourcing of software development work and provides some thoughts around how a Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) approach may help software organizations make better decisions about how, when and how much to deploy offshore.
Instantis Recruits Industry Veteran Don Redinius As Six Sigma Executive Advisor
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.
In manufacturing circles it is generally accepted that inspections are money wasted. But in the world of software that is definitely not the case. This brief case study uses scorecards to illustrate the value and payoff that can be realized by introducing software inspections.
One waste area, often found in organizations handling outsourced projects, is excessive and often redundant documentation. To overcome this waste, practitioners can organize it in one place by building and maintaining a master document.
Leap Technologies Announces Release of Three New Training Programs for Improving Six Sigma Results
From CIO to CFO, the writing is on the wall - lower the cost of ownership. This article discusses strategic choices IT organizations can make in lowering the cost of ownership for the entire software lifecycle in order to minimize overall costs and deliver return-on-investment. Reducing their budget in the short term can motivate IT organizations to create innovative approaches to systems development that will reduce costs.
A well-documented failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) with robust action plans and implementation can help an organization avoid rework in software projects. FMEA can isolate weak steps, where things may go wrong and where to focus improvements.
One approach to providing fast responses even with highly complex computations is distributed computing, or creating a shared compute farm. Making this work is a matter of integrating hardware, software and people resources. And DFLSS can help.
By exploring how Lean Six Sigma is used at best-practice companies and learning the answers to some common questions, software and IT organizations not already using Lean Six Sigma can gain a greater understanding of what they are missing.
Without a solid MSA, a software/IT manager could not tell with reasonable certainty if differences in completion times between projects were due to an inaccurate measurement system, or other, more meaningful factors that should be addressed.
Latest Version of Lean Six Sigma Data Analysis Tool Features New Lean Templates
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted patent rights to MoreSteam.com for inventions developed by MoreSteam’s President, Bill Hathaway.
It has been obvious from early on that software development could not be done in an ad hoc manner. It needed a methodology like Six Sigma to deliver attributes like robustness, correctness, adaptability, reusability and maintainability.
New Pegasystems Enterprise Application Provides Central Hub For Proactively Managing Operational Exceptions
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.
Implementation of a project-specific process map during software development can help practitioners improve their performance and meet project objectives.
Award-winning Six Sigma executives Bob Crescenzi and James Pearson to lead September 28 session
PowerSteering Software Announces Strategic Alliance with Six Sigma Academy
PowerSteering Software, the leader in on-demand enterprise project & portfolio management (PPM) solutions, today announced its achievement of Stage-Gate® Certification, solidifying its credentials in the New Product Development market.
PowerSteering Software Announces Unprecedented Growth
PowerSteering Software, the leading provider of on-demand Project & Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions for Six Sigma, will host a free webcast, “Diagnosis PPM: Curing Common Product Development Ailments with Project Portfolio Management,” on Tuesday, April 6 at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).
Session will focus on sustaining Lean Six Sigma value during economic recession
The goal of code inspection is to identify software faults early in the software development lifecycle, but it is not always known if those inspections are effective. A prediction model can be applied to evaluate this process and refine the achieved quality level.
An introduction to eight apps, designed to serve as resources for Lean Six Sigma practitioners, available on Apple’s iTunes App Store.
Tracking financial metrics, reporting on project status and sharing knowledge more easily are just a few of the benefits of project tracking software. This directory provides information about the capabilities and functionalities of several products.
This directory highlights the features, as well as format, language and price specifics, of several statistical analysis software programs.
Careful project selection is critical to the success of a Six Sigma initiative. Using a defined method of prioritizing and selecting the best projects ensures measurable business impact, alignment to organizational goals and optimal use of team leader resources.
Quality function deployment (QFD) is one of those tools that looks so nifty that many think there just has to be a place to use this." Experience shows, care must be taken to ensure that QFD is applied in places and in ways that it really fits.
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.
The call center handled technical problems and policy issues for a financial institution's branches, but complaints and cost overruns indicated problems.
Standard Bank Group one of the largest financial institutions in South Africa, with more than 1.33 trillion rand (R) (US$200 billion) recently released a case study about how it deployed Lean Six Sigma methods to reduce waste and errors, and also created a balanced scorecard system to track its progress.
Six Sigma Advantage Announces Agreement with Motorola
Many software organizations are beginning to use Six Sigma, and are finding that they need to rationalize its relationship to the standard software development life cycle (SDLC) process. A number of issues and alternatives arise when this need is addressed.
Six Sigma Enterprise Software Vendor Instantis Receives Over $5M in New Investment From JK&B Capital, Goldman Sachs
IEC Electronics Corp. announced that its Newark, N.J., USA, plant has been selected by IndustryWeek magazine as one of the top 20 plants in North America.
This article is intended to help the reader better understand the early attributes of how Six Sigma is typically and successfully deployed inside a Software organization.
Six Sigma for Software is rapidly emerging as the new wave of change in Six Sigma and no wonder. It actually addresses the tools AND the root causes of the lack of needed change, management accountability and organizational behavior.
While Six Sigma provides great tools for improving and developing products and services, some work is still needed for managing software projects.
Six Sigma Qualtec Introduces SixNet Version 2.7; Intelligence System Gives Users Unprecedented Flexibility In Tracking Progress, Results
Six Sigma Qualtec Supports Latest Version of Minitab Statistical Software, Updates Training Materials to Ensure Compatibility, Productivity Gains.
This article illustrates the Six Sigma DMAIC process using an organization that develops software packages as an example.
The Six Sigma DMAIC approach to process improvement provides a powerful mechanism for improving the software process.
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.
Effort accounting is essential in software/IT Six Sigma projects because labor usually is the most controllable cost. To know if a process improvement has the desired impact, a company must know how time was spent, before and after the improvement.
Customer Relationship Management today is about tracking and analyzing information on current customers as well as sales prospects. CRM software requires a significant cash and time investment and deployment requires a rigorous effort.
This article will present various tools and techniques for use in creating a Defect Prevention (DP) strategy that, when introduced at all stages of a Software life cycle, can reduce the time and resources necessary to develop high quality systems. Specifically, how implementing a model-based strategy to reduce Requirement Defects, Development Rework and Manual test development efforts will lead to significant achievements in cost reduction and total productivity.
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.
ome common messages are beginning to emerge from several software-relevant areas - Six Sigma for software, Agile software development and Lean thinking. The three methodologies appear to align with each other more than it appeared at first thought.
A recent ExecutiveBrief Software Development Trends Survey of more than 500 senior-level business leaders and software development professionals indicates a more optimistic outlook for business in 2010 as compared to 2009, with significant budget increases and a return to hiring.
Learning to reduce project duration can be critical, but it could be more important to reduce the predicted-to-actual project duration gap (the variation). That gap is a particularly familiar enemy in the software world, causing problems with project cost, disappointed customers, conflicts with management, development team morale, and more. This article identifies three ways to do so.
The QFD methodology can be utilized with common software quality considerations to create a hybrid software requirements elicitation model. This is consistent with Design for Six Sigma practices and can be applied in a high-reliability context compliant with ISO 9001, Capability Maturity Models, and other software industry standards.
In a recent biannual survey about software development project delivery, most developers who were contacted said they preferred to use the Agile model. However, the results showed that projects using measurement-based models, such as Six Sigma, ITIL or waterfall, were least likely to be discontinued.
A multibillion-dollar software manufacturer used Six Sigma, and a 5 day project saved more than $12 million.
Successful software testing requires five essential elements - test strategy, testing plan, test cases, test data and a test environment. If any element is missing or inadequate, the test effort will most likely fall far short of its objectives.
Software development environments have unique cultural dynamics and lower process maturity states that must be taken into account for successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma projects
Five essential elements are required for successful software testing: test strategy, testing plan, test cases, test data and a test environment. If any one of these five elements is missing or inadequate, your test effort will most likely fall far short of what you could otherwise achieve.
Because the underlying project management principles and team culture of agile projects vary considerably from conventional waterfall projects, developers in an agile setting may want to familiarize themselves with this simple Lean tool set.
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.
Software development teams may struggle to get SIPOC, used in its routine way, to fit their process types and to bring out new insights as well as expected. In those situations it can be helpful to have a few related approaches at the ready.
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.
What's different about applying Six Sigma to software? A good deal. This article frames how issues will be addressed for software, firmware, and other information technology topics.
By mapping the entire software application development life cycle, IT departments can see dramatic improvements in efficiency.
Swapping three systems and folders stuffed with paper forms for one laptop and a few forms was too good of an idea to pass up for LTC Patricia Ten Haaf, commander of the 452nd Combat Support Hospital (CSH). After all, leading an eight-bed medical treatment facility at Forward Operating Base Salerno in Afghanistan had enough challenges.
While software testing is challenging because certain properties present difficulties, one test approach, often called "usage-based," has statistical roots and connections that Lean Six Sigma Black Belts could effectively support and perhaps evolve.
As the functionality described by many use cases begs measurability, creating an early clear link with measures facilitates better understanding of requirements, measurement and test system planning, Y-to-x flowdown and performance prediction.
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.
Using Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is one way that software organizations can make better decisions about how, when and how much to deploy offshore.
Using fault tree analysis (FTA) is one good way to improve the effectiveness of software testing. It can help identify the potential causes of a problem, suggest suitable corrective action and offer insight into preparing test case scenarios.
Six Sigma offers a groundbreaking way of reducing defects in products – something that any software project can definitely use. Hence, it makes sense to at least evaluate the possibility of integrating it with Agile software development process.
Most of the common excuses for not engaging in Lean Six Sigma rely on traditional views and conventional wisdom, and are not fact-based. CIOs, CTOs and others can benefit from knowing the practical ways Lean Six Sigma really works.
Instantis, a leading provider of on-demand project portfolio management software used by business process and IT leaders to improve strategy execution and financial performance, announced today that WR Grace will lead an upcoming Webinar entitled: Optimizing the New Product Development Process at Grace.
Mobile applications firm Xora Inc., based in Egan, Minn., USA, has hired Black Belt Howard Latham to fill the newly created position of vice president of customers.