Six Sigma and IT Solution

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Operations IT Six Sigma and IT Solution

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    Dear Forum members
    I am a postgraduate student conducting an academic research on the use of the combination Six Sigma and IT solution approach such as custom development, package software and business process management systems/ workflow systems i.e. a process improvement where IT solution has been used to support the improvement. The combinations i am researching on are:

    Six Sigma and Custom development
    Six Sigma and package software e.g ERP
    Six Sigma and BPMS/ Workflow system.

    The objective of the research is to explore the outcome of such combinations and if there was an alignment between six sigma and the IT solution used to support the improvement.

    If you have any knowledge/experience or know of any case studies where these combinations have been used, i would love to hear from you.

    Thank you


    Chris Seider




    I haven’t found that basing the SDLC or IT service models on DMAIC work out very well. Many tools seem applicable to IT but turn into monsters when there are huge numbers of requirements and variables as in a typical IT project. For instance QFD for requirements analysis? FMEA for test plans? SS does work well for improving IT processes themselves and for specific parts of an IT project. Book recommendation: “Six Sigma Software Quality Improvement: Success Stories from Leaders in the High Tech Industry” by Vic Nanda and Jeffrey A. Robinson. This includes case studies that should be relevant to your research.




    Last year undertook some Lean IT consultancy with a University in Queensland Austrlia.
    The steps were in establishing process mapping to understand constraints within the overall process. Whist I didn’t utilise the DMAIC procedure in it’s entirety I would defititely use it if I were undertaking the same project today.
    That inconjunction with Value Stream Mapping would allow visual conception of where packets and parcels of data were being held up in the process.

    As always with these tools the analysis is one lement but more importantly in the equation is why? And what are you going to do about it!

    This also extends to hardware instalations (as the Uni were implementing a server per day.

    However, I do concur with straydog that if you let it, the project can turn into a monster. hence the requirement for DMAIC!!!


    Mike Paulonis

    We do projects like this all the time. For many of our projects on the business side of the chemical industry, the improvement phase results in a custom-developed dashboard, business intelligence solution, new or modified SAP transaction, or similar IT solutions. Occasionally a six sigma project results in an entirely new IT system being implemented. We do a lot better at maintaining the gains from projects when the changes from the project are coded into systems.

    We definitely need alignment between six sigma and IT for these types of projects. Depending on complexity, we can have one or more IT analysts as project resources, one or more IT analysts as team members, or even have a full-blown IT project with its own project manager run as a subproject to the six sigma project once the six sigma project gets to the improve phase.

    I’m not entirely sure what you are trying to research. If an IT solution is used as part of the improve (or control) phase of a six sigma project, I don’t see how there can’t be “alignment” between six sigma and IT. I suppose the IT requirements could be “thrown over the wall” and the six sigma project declared closed when IT becomes involved, but that doesn’t make much sense. Maybe I am not reading your question correctly.


    Gary Smith

    I agree with Straydog and Mark Paulonis that: 1) IT and Six Sigma make poor bedfellows, unless; 2) the IT portion of the project is executed as a sub-project.

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