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    I am very new to both these topics SIX SIGMS & CMM. As a beginer where do I start to learning about this ?
    Can somebody give me a brief introduction to both these topics so that I can start learning both the topics?
    Best Regards



    Hi Shobha,
    I really appreciate your interest in these extremely exciting areas of quality. CMM is fading away. Focus is now on CMMI.
    Here’s the first hand information I have. In addition to these you can also find huge amount of information on CMM/CMMi on the site :
    Little history
    The late Bill Smith, a reliability engineer at Motorola, is widely credited with originating Six Sigma and selling it to Motorola’s legendary CEO, Robert Galvin.
    Six Sigma is not actually a recent trend. In the 1980s, Motorola Inc., based in Schaumburg, Illinois, US, and Robert W. Galvin, then Chief Executive Officer, pioneered the concept of Six Sigma hoping to improve the quality of their pagers and cellular telephones. Motorola employed the techniques of Six Sigma in their internal training. In 1981, one of Motorola’s top 10 goals was the improvement of quality by 10 times before 1986. To this end, Bill Smith of Motorola’s Land Mobile Products Sector first identified the key to company-wide defect reduction, and that was called “Defects per Opportunities”, popularly known in Six Sigma circle as DPO. This technique allowed Motorola to measure defects uniformly in all business sectors. In 1988, using the philosophies of Six Sigma, Motorola was among the first recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
    The Six Sigma program sparked the interest of many organizations that approached Motorola in the hopes of imitating this customer-focused, bottom-line approach. IBM, hoping to emulate Motorola’s success, was one of the first companies to implement the Six Sigma techniques. It was later followed by MNCs like Allied Signal, GE, and others. Prior to GE’s Six Sigma program another person caught the eye of the Six Sigma watchers in the automotive industry. In 1994 Chief Executive Officer of Allied-Signal, Inc. (former Chief Executive Officer of General Electric Company) Larry Bossidy began to implement the techniques of Six Sigma. Within four years, Allied-Signal had made 2,400 process improvements, and reduced defects by sixty-one percent-yielding $350 million in annualized cost savings. Larry Bossidy’s success and initiatives were critical factors in influencing GE to undertake Six Sigma implementation. Real Six Sigma evolution took place in GE.
    Six Sigma definition
    Six Sigma is a stringent quality level and a specific defect rate.
    Sigma, also known as standard deviation from the mean, measures the variability in a process. Six Sigma uses Defects per Opportunities (DPOs) as measurement tool. (Six Sigma uses the term “opportunities” rather than “units” because units tend to vary in complexity.) Defects per Opportunities is a good measure of the quality of a process or product. It correlates to defects, cost, and time. The sigma value indicates how often defects are likely to occur. The higher the sigma value, the lower the likelihood of defects. A defect is anything that results in customer dissatisfaction. Therefore, as sigma increases, cost and cycle time decrease while customer satisfaction increases. Most organizations currently operate at a three to four sigma quality levels (66,800 to 6, 210 defects per million), which is 99.73% performance, losing up to 25% of their total revenue due to defects.
    Statistics is a foundation for Six Sigma. While there exists at least hundreds of statistical tools and techniques, which had been in use for years through Quality initiatives like TQM, ISO, Kaizen, and others, Six Sigma picks up only handful of these tools and integrate them into the methodology. These tools in turn when applied logically to practical problems deliver most effective, optimized solutions and consistent performance of product and processes.
    The Six Sigma process focuses on three main areas:
    •  Cycle time reduction
    •  Defect reduction
    •  Customer satisfaction
    The Six Sigma methodology entails the measurement and analysis of all of the organization’s business processes. The automotive industry is very experienced in measurement and analysis, having been through QS-9000, which requires statistical process control (SPC), failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), measurement system analysis (MSA), advanced product quality planning (APQP), and production part approval process (PPAP), to name a few tools.
    The true challenge of Six Sigma is not the statistics; rather it is in five crucial steps of its methodologies-
    DMAIC – Define- Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control
    DMADV – Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify
    The former is used to improve the quality of the existing products or processes. The latter is used in planning and designing new product or processes.
    You can find a lot of information on these two on iSixSigma site itself.
    Six Sigma is potentially a new concept for software companies, but is picking up very well.
    SEI Capability Maturity Model (CMM)
    It is a staged process improvement, based on assessment of Key Process Areas (KPAs), until you reach a level 5.
    Goal is to achieve continuous process improvement via defect prevention, technology innovation, and process change management.
    SEI CMM includes 5 levels of process maturity.
    è    Level 1: INITIAL
    Chaotic – Unpredictable cost, schedule, and quality performance is observed in software companies.
    è    Level 2: REPEATABLE
    Intuitive – Cost & quality highly variable, reasonable schedule control can be expected in the companies operating at this level.
    è    Level 3: DEFINED
    Qualitative – Reliable costs and schedules, improving but unpredictable quality performance exists in the company.
    è    Level 4: MANAGED
    Quantitative – Reasonable statistical control over product quality is present in the company
    è    Level 5: OPTIMIZING
    Quantitative basis for continued capital investment in process automation and improvement
     According the data available till 2000, following were the percent of organizations at various CMM levels:
    Level 1 = 39.3 %
    Level 2 = 36.3 %
    Level 3 = 17.7 %
    Level 4 = 4.8 %
    Level 5 = 1.8 %
    Remember, SEI CMM assessment framework applies to the organization or project level.
    At the individual level or team level, we have PSP and TSP (check what’s this at the SEI CMU site given above).
    SEI Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)
    Was developed by integrating practices from 4 CMMs: SW Engineering, Systems Engineering, IPPD, and Acquisition.
    There are two representations of CMMI – Staged and Continuous.
    Staged provides 5 levels of process maturity
    è    Level 1: INITIAL – Ad hoc and chaotic processes
    è    Level 2: MANAGED – Basic project management
    è    Level 3: DEFINED – Process Standardization
    è    Level 4: QUANTITATIVELY MANAGED – Quantitative management
    è    Level 5: OPTIMIZING – Continuous process improvement
    Continuous representation of CMMI has capability levels to be satisfied for any area you choose for improvement.
    è    Capability level 0: INCOMPLETE
    è    Capability level 1: PERFORMED
    è    Capability level 2: MANAGED
    è    Capability level 3: DEFINED
    è    Capability level 4: QUANTITATIVELY MANAGED
    è    Capability level 5: OPTIMIZING
    Staged Representation focuses on the organization as a whole and provides a roadmap to understand and improve processes through successive stages.
    Continuous Representation focuses on individual processes only.
    Hope this very brief and initial information is helpful to you.
    Incase you need to ask anything offline, my e-mail: [email protected]



    Wow, Hemant! That is a very comprehesive summary. Thank you.

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