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Integrating Six Sigma with Scrum

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  • #26169

    “Ken”
    Participant

    I am interested in obtaining any written information about the integration of Six Sigma with Scrum.  Any suggestions?

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    #63635

    “Ken”
    Participant

    Scrum is an agile, lightweight software development methodology that can be used to manage and 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.Scrum brings together cross-functional teams that are held accountable for completing projects that fulfill dynamic customer expectations. A team is comprised of members from Account Development, Product Development, Project Management, IT Development and QA. RolesProduct Owner – the Product Owner establishes, nurtures, and communicates the product vision. He or she creates initial the release plans and the initial product backlog. The Product Owner monitors the project against its ROI goals and prioritizes the Product Backlog to ensure that the most valuable functionality is produced first and built upon. The Product Owner also makes decisions about when to create an official release, in a manner consistent with the goals of the project.Scrum Master – the Scrum Master is responsible for setting the team up for success. The Scrum Master organizes the Sprint Planning Meeting, the Sprint Review Meeting, shielding the team from outside disturbances, holding brief Daily Scrum meetings, and removing obstacles to progress.Scrum Team – During each iteration, the team selects and develops the highest-priority features on the Product Backlog. Collectively, the team expands the Product Backlog items into more explicit tasks on a Sprint Backlog and then manages its own work and self-organizes around how it desires to complete the iteration. The team manages itself to its commitments.EventsBeing in a Scrum team involves participation in five main events, which repeat cyclically. These events are1. Product Planning Meeting2. Sprint Planning Meeting3. Daily Scrum Meeting4. Sprint Review Meeting5. Sprint RetrospectiveEach of these meetings is repeated every Sprint cycle and they are each designed to facilitate agile development that meets and exceeds customer expectations.Product Planning MeetingThe purpose of the Product Planning Meeting is to determine what the customer wants, at this point in the process. At this meeting, the customer sits down with the Scrum team to lay out the requirements for what is to be developed during the next Sprint cycle. It is possible and probable that the customer’s requirements will have changed since they originally signed a contract, but cyclical meetings with the customer can ensure that the final release will meet the customer’s dynamic requirements. Developers at the table can assess the feasibility of new requests, QA can immediately adjust their testing plans to new requirements, and the team can discuss the effects of any changes with the customer.Sprint Planning MeetingAt the Sprint Planning Meeting, the Scrum Team reviews the Product Backlog, assesses the team’s capabilities, and sets the next Sprint Goal. This process also involves creating the next Sprint Backlog. The Sprint Planning Meeting will take up to 8 hours, as the current business conditions and the current incremental product release must be taken into account. The first four hours should involve the team selecting the Product Backlog and setting its Sprint Goal with the Product Owner. During the second four hours, the team defines its Sprint Backlog to build functionality.Daily Scrum MeetingThe Scrum Team will meet daily at a regular time and location for 15 minutes and each team member will answer these three questions:1. What have you done since yesterday’s meeting?2. What will you do before tomorrow’s meeting?3. What obstacles are in your way?Chickens and pigs will also be identified at this meeting and any decisions regarding the Sprint will be made with the team.Sprint Review MeetingDuring the Sprint Review Meeting, the functional, incremental release developed during the Sprint will be demonstrated to the Product Owner and the customer. The Sprint Review Meeting can last up to four hours, and a maximum of one hour can be spent on preparing for the meeting. The release being demonstrated must represent a potentially shippable increment of the product functionality, as the results of this meeting form the basis for planning the next Sprint.Sprint RetrospectiveThe Sprint Retrospective is when the Scrum team evaluates the performance of the incremental release that was produced in the ending Sprint cycle. This meeting can last up to 3 hours in order to determine what adjustments need to be made before the next Sprint cycle.DocumentsThree documents are managed by the SCRUM Team:The Product Backlog is a prioritized list of features required by the customer. Note that as customer requirements change, so does the Product Backlog.The Sprint Backlog lists the features to be included in the incremental release resulting from the current Sprint. The features are expanded into smaller tasks to be completed by the team. No changes are allowed to Sprint Backlog during the Sprint cycle. Any changes in requirements must be made between Sprint cycles.The Sprint Burndown Chart is linked to the Sprint Backlog and graphically represents the remaining effort in hours involved in a Sprint.

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    #63718

    mthumma
    Participant

    Just wondering if you found the information on how to integrate Sig Sigma with Scrum. Our company use six sigma and is also recenlty adopting the scrum methodology.  Please let me know if you have more information.

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    #64721

    drjones013
    Participant

    There actually may be a way to combine LSS with Scrum– it’s something I’m researching for my corporation right now. Essentially the model created out of Scrum may be assessed with Lean Six Sigma methodology. I find that Six Sigma in its pure sense is too much like Waterfall (DMADV, you know) to actually accomplish a measurement task in the timeframes necessary for Sprints to function and still be Agile.

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    #64727

    daveh
    Participant

    What I’ve seen, in a number of companies working to answer this question, is:
    1. The ‘essence’ of DMADV can be very useful to Agile/Scrum – but there are things ingrained in Six Sigma history that need to seen past and evolved to fit Agile practice.
    Building a Product Backlog, a dynamic list of prioritized user stories/prospective features, is one example. DMADV VOC skills and insights about language data, discovering stated and latent requirements, understanding how performance will be measured or tested, and prioritizing user stories – can directly support the Agile goals of getting closer to customers and delivering what’s truly valuable to them.
    The challenge in helping Agile practitioners to see those potential benefits is the DMADV (for physical products) history that talks about ‘getting all the requirements up front’… tollgate reviews…and other structures that, on their face, go against the Agile grain. In the development of physical products, there’s more rationale for requirements up front, as expensive, irreversible decisions about capital equipment, tooling, etc, are in the balance. DMADV grew up in that world, but it isn’t, in my experience, ,married to that one form of managing value and risk. DMADV tools, at their essence, offer insight about understanding customers and their environments, results drivers, solution alternatives and fact based ways to select the best, delivering working features under closed loop control, and verifying delivered results. Those are all things that are important in an Agile world. I suggest it’s worth a fresh look at the ‘scaled down’ realtime, version of some of DMADV tools and thinking.2. As drjones13 indicated – LSS can help us understand and continuously lean the design/development/support processes. DMADV helps get ‘the product’ right – and LSS applied to the Scrum model, say, helps get ‘the process’ right. Every software development model tries to deliver working features and measurable customer value, while ‘burning up’ effort ($$) and time. LSS helps us see the flow, the constraints, the cost and time drains, etc.In short – I think there are more DMADV and LSS links and support points for Agile than meets the eye. If we are ever going to help the Agile community to see those links, though, we have to appreciate the way Six Sigma manufacturing and waterfall process history can get in the way — and provide some fresh views and examples of how the essence can be re-cast in agile-useful ways.Through a number of iSixSigma articles, conference presentations, and ongoing work in lean software development I’m trying to help that fresh view to happen.Interested in lots of other thoughts and builds in this thread.

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    #64740

    KEL
    Participant

    What has to be avoided is xenophobic behavior on behalf of both the scrum and lean six sigma cultures. You and I both know people who will consider only one approach to solving a problem or designing a new offering. Use of multiple tools where appropriate is the key. Too many efforts have been compromised by people trying to make one shoe fit all.

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    #65240

    Jeff
    Participant

    Successful companies will ultimately develop an Agile process that works for them. Working in a company that has traditioned itself on Six Sigma and Digital Six Sigma, one really finds Scrum works with the engineering management of the software developers. What Agile does help accomplish and Scrum the best of all is to put focus on high priority items and low priority items. Furthermore, another benefit is Agile encourages teams to take ownership and passion for the software they create.
    As software engineering professionals, the major problem is explaining to upper management how Scrum/Agile really does work and how this will ultimately benefit them in the long run.
    Tools like VersionOne are extremely helpful in aligning managment and engineers to execute the scrum plan successfully.
    Any comments?? 

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    #65273

    Marcelo Udo
    Participant

    Where I work we have been using Lean Six Sigma with Scrum.
    As a matter of fact, for project management we implemented Scrum. For product development (IT Systems) we implemented Lean Software Development. For boosting both, we have been implementing Lean Six Sigma for process improvement always when necessary.
    The gains are tremendous and they justified because there is an alignment too strong between business and IT.
    Scrum is based on Lean, Iterative Development, and the work of Nonaka & Takeuchi. All of them too close to Six Sigma.
    Powerful combination!!!

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    #65274

    Marcelo Udo
    Participant

    Hi Ken,
    Where I work we are glad to working with Six Sigma, Lean, and Scrum.
    From the point of view of Lean Software Development created by Mary & Tom Poppendieck, we implemented a kind of knowledge engineering in the knowledge acquisition tasks. After we put Knowledge Management to work together with Project Management. We continued implementing some Lean Tools like Value Stream Mapping, Kanban Pull System, Set-based development, Lean Metrics, 5S, OEE, Queuing Theory, and so on. For bottlenecks we implemented Theory of Constraints (TOC).
    Our Project Management was fragile and it needed to be agile. We listened to Scrum and Critical Chain. So we implemented Scrun for Project Planning and Project Monitoring & Control. In the part of schedule we implemented Critical Chain to simulate multi-projects.
    To give support to any conflict, innovation, and process improvement, we alignned all IT needs to Business to Customer Satisfaction (VOC) by implementing Lean Six Sigma DMAIC or DMADV methodologies to better define Goals and Gains.
    Therefore we believe most of all that Lean Six Sigma with Scrum give to software development organizations what is necessary to achieve incredible results.
    I expect I have written something useful to you!

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    #65283

    Hemanth
    Participant

    Very interesting topic… thanks

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    #65284

    Jeff
    Participant

    I totally agree with you. A lot of upper management sees the old ways while lower management (engineers) see the newer way. We need to adopt a means to that Agile principles are the cornerstone of the software development and for example DMAIC processes are the cornerstone of software quality. For example DFSS can be used to significantly quantify the quality of test metrics for software where the “backlog” of scrum can be used to motivate the software development team to identify defects early and quickly on. I really like the standup meeting idea of SCRUM. It allows all team members to be able to quickly identify any impediments they see upfront and quickly on. Tools like VersionOne are really useful in standup meetings as they quickly help team members to become aware of the status of all others. One impediment of scrum is it does not work well in my opinion when team members are involved in multiple projects which is typically the case as SCRUM in some mindset works well on one team. I still think the DFSS works well for quality control if implemented properly to measure defect issues.
    Any thoughts?

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