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Brainstorming project ideas

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  • #30539

    melvin
    Participant

    Does anyone know of a book or any other reference that tells how to lead brainstorming sessions with high level business leaders to identify the “pain” in their area, and develop projects opportunities from these issues?
    I am a new BB who does well with identified projects, getting a group of people to start the ball rolling is a problem for me – especially in the Information Services area. 

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    #79779

    Cyp
    Participant

    I might help you with your problem, because I conducted many brainstorming sessions. Please let me know more exactly what you are searching for. You can send me an e-mail at [email protected] is a link to a powerful software program that you could use:[Removed For iSixSigma Forum Promotion Policy Violation]

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    #79789

    jtucci
    Participant

    Bob,
    I can help as well, but difficult to describe in a short email.  email me or give me a call —  [email protected], 296 383 3400.  And in case you were wondering, no, I will not try and sell you something!

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    #79793

    Jararatnam
    Member

    Hi,ISix Sligma has some great information on brainstroming and even a free tutorial. Preparing for a successful brainstorming sessionThis page outlines the pre-session preparations, materials and organization needed to conduct a successful brainstorming session. (These pages are part of the free training on traditional brainstorming. Click here to go to table of contents for the training courses.)

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    #79795

    melvin
    Participant

    hanks for all you replies.
    I have received help from within my organization from a MBB – I will also visit the sites you provided.

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    #80118

    Jim Bailey
    Participant

    Start with listing the key business objectives of the group. Then, begin the CTQ flowdown process,using a tree diagram or equivalent.Example,total revenue will come what subsets of the group,in what proportion,etc. Then look at the process capability of each group opposite their ability to deliver on the revenue commitment.Now the “gaps” will be identified and you will be able to articulate their pain in the form of a problem statement and so a project is born!

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    #80120

    melvin
    Participant

    Thanks Jim. I will use this method

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    #80133

    Erik L
    Participant

    Bob,
    A technique that I would recommend is to perform affinity diagramming.  In this technique you ask the audience to place their issues, complaints, bitches, improvements on post-it notes.  You can either have everyone go at once, or roll call through the audience.  I prefer everyone at once because creativity and originality is potentially squashed when people seize upon a specific comment and begin to gain momentum from there.  So after a time window of 15-30 minutes you begin placing the post-its against a wall or poster paper.  Those that were improvements suggestions I’d suggest the following.  Ask what issue or risk does this improvement fix or mitigate and post that item to the board.  Once everything is up there, or in the process, you should start to see some common themes emerging in the responses.  Begin grouping what has a common theme and see how many things are out there.  Each of the major buckets could potentially be a lead-in to a project idea. 
    Here’s some other recommendations.  Once the major buckets are identified you could also look to another group technique to identify good projects.  This tool is called force field analysis. Basically you start with the item and then begin to call out the ‘drivers’ and pros for it and then list out the ‘restrainers’ and cons.  A project with significat restrainers may not be a winner or could be springboard into VOC to understand more reasons why there is hesitancy for the project idea. 
    To begin tying a ‘subjective’ cause and effect you could look at each of the major issues identified in the affinity diagramming as the center of a hub and the spectrum of issues that made that generalized category as spokes of a wheel and use Interrelationship digraph as a tool.  Those issues identified with cause and effect could be supported or refuted through the DMAIIC process and analytical create the Y=F(x) vs. subjective.
    Regards,
    Erik

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    #80138

    melvin
    Participant

    Another excellent suggestion
    Thanks Erik

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    #95351

    Neha
    Participant

    Dear Sir/Madam,
                 Hello!!! This is Neha Bhatt….I am working in a software company and am going to undergo training for Green Belt in March. Before that i have read a few things abt six sigma and would like to have some idea about how it can be put into use in a software company. I would like to do something….that not only helps me get a green belt, but actually is of some use to the company. I am searching for some ideas and some inputs so that i decide upon a project that would actually be beneficial for my company. I got your refrence through a website and woud honour your Valuable input.
     
    Hoping to hear from you soon,
    Regards,
    Neha Bhatt

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    #95355

    KPsharma
    Participant

    Hi Neha,
    I Am black belt in six sigma & belongs to your state only. I appreciate your learning desire.i think you should go through the green belt material & also take some some project to know application of six sigma methodology.
     
     

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    #95356

    KPsharma
    Participant

    Hi suri sahaib,
    Give some  your ideas on this.

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    #95365

    Hemant Gham
    Participant

    Hi Neha,
    I suggest using Software discussion forum on this site and with a different title.
    Would try to share a few things tomorrow.
    Best Regards,
    Hemant

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    #95366

    A_MAN
    Participant

    Hello Neha:
     
    You can look into effectiveness of software reviews and establish a project to improve iffectiveness of reviews.
    Other opportunity will be the number of software changes, and a project about reducing them.
    A_MAN

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    #95367

    Belkhede
    Participant

    Hey Bob,
                      Howdy?
    Well, I think you can refer to Six Sigma Way, there are few good ideas there. But I personally like the  Goal / QPC ‘s manuals ( Memory Jogger). As a matter of fact I think the tape on Affinity Diagrams actually discusses and shows how discussions and Brain storming should be handled.
     
    All the best
    Akash

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    #95368

    Belkhede
    Participant

    Hey Neha,
                          It would be a good start if you can tell us whar area of the Software development do you work in like Application programming ? ERP? CRM? and so on.
     
    -Akash

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    #95369

    Belkhede
    Participant

    Hey Neha,
                          It would be a good start if you can tell us whar area of the Software development do you work in like Application programming ? ERP? CRM? and so on.
     
    -Akash

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    #95404

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    Neha
    Development is rife with opportunities for Six Sigma projects.  The problem isn’t finding them it’s deciding where to start!
    For a Green Belt project, begin by looking at your process.  Every shop will be different.  Presumably you have some standard set of steps you go through in developing your software.  Try to identify those areas that don’t always go right.
    If you’re like most shops, there are hundreds of steps that don’t always go right.  So, the next cut is for places where you have data.  In a Green Belt project you really don’t have the time to put the measurement systems in place, so you would like to have a project in an area where the data collection already exists. There is a lot of variation from shop to shop here, but don’t forget that you probably have significant cost data in your accounting system that might be convertable to productivity data.  Look around at all the options, but cross off your list those areas where the measurement isn’t there and save them for later projects.
    Finally, look for projects that you can complete in a relatively short time.  You shouldn’t be looking for someplace where you already have the answer, rather, look to put a box around the project that makes it narrow enough that you can really get your hands around it in a short time.  Talk to other folks here.  Often our development processes that appear to be quite simple on the surface are really maddenligly complex.  Often there are all sorts of steps that aren’t really obvious, so talk to as many people as you can.
    As you go through the process, keep talking to your Black Belt, Champion, or whoever else you have access to.  They may well have access to information you don’t, and can help you find sources of data, or avoid areas where there are problems that you might not want to deal with.
    This process has probably take a few hundred opportunities down to maybe a half dozen.  Now, pick the one you can relate to — either because it’s something you are passionate about, or it’s one where you can see a big return.
    –McD

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    #95425

    Neha
    Participant

    x

    Hi Akash…..
     Hi Akash,
    Thanks for ur reply…… well…I’m working on embedded systems platform. Plz suggest a few projects that can be done in this.
    Regards,
    Neha.

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    #95434

    Hemant Gham
    Participant

    Neha,
    Just couple of curious questions to start with. Are you going to attend the training in-house or through consulting firm? This will greatly affect the direction you would get while picking up the projects for Six Sigma application.
    I must appreciate your interest in Six Sigma and eagerness in applying what you are going to learn on practical problems you may face. That will bring True  process change and will benefit both you and company.
    Coming back to your question, I understand that you would like to explore opportunities to start a Six Sigma project in Embedded platforms.
    Before proceeding I must admit that I am no expert in this field and can only suggest you some key opportunities that could go unseen by Six Sigma trained people. These as well as few in other software application areas is what I will attempt to list over here.
    Embedded software / firmware is not always an integral part of a hardware component. You may try to seek some opportunities if you are working with disk drives, which I believe is a good example of this category of software. Projects can be thought on these hardware components to improve their performance and behavior.
    Also, you can look at the environmental / physical considerations such as vibration, settling time, wear factors that impact the software and try to develop means to make it as robust as possible. Since in this case software deals with “physical” considerations the projects could be interesting and worth taking. Products I think are often complex but relatively small, with short product life cycles. What is more important is the Reliability. This is another exciting area and you can link your project to this if it is a new design.
    So, you see opportunities do exist in this field. I cannot go into details unless I have worked on such products (I haven’t so far), but all that I can say is that after working on a wide variety of projects and in various fields from manufacturing to software, I am pretty comfortable in using Six Sigma methodology and Statistical techniques anywhere I go. And I am sure it will give you the same application knowledge and flexible thinking, provided training is effective.
    Other areas we have/are working on in software:
    1. Improvement in Design and Code Review Effectiveness
    2. Reduction in Coding defects / Defect Insertion rate in Coding Phase
    3. Improvement in Test Case coverage accuracy
    4. Improvement in Development Productivity
    5. Other support functions in IT industry
    Above ones are just to name a few. These are flown down by using Critical to Quality (CTQ) life cycle method that starts from Customer Needs.
    As you must be knowing, most software failures are traceable to three areas –
    1. “Requirements Failures” – they reflect needs not captured in the beginning or incorrectly understood, which lead to significant rework cost late in the software development cycle.
    2. “Estimation Failures” – Overly conservative estimates or understimates of both effort and defects,  leading to long delays and cost overruns, project cancellation. You can initiate a project that studies historical data and develops a prediction model that closely follows patterns described by the processes followed.
    3. “Execution Failures” – they lead to poor software quality, high reworks at the back-end. Rework can almost cost 40% of the total project cost. So you can find how much is the current Rework/Fix cost and if it is highly impacting your Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) then pick up this opportunity as a project that targets reduction in Rework / Fix Cost by say 20%.
    I personally believe that these are just a few common yet non-negligible areas to focus on in the beginning using Six Sigma. As your company matures to higher capability levels in process areas you may discover some different opportunities. These are the “Unborn” opportunities of today.
    All the Best !
    Hemant
     

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