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Six Sigma in Software Development

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  • #33742

    Ron
    Member

    I am seeking a proven guide to the application of six sigma in the software development process.
    Can anyone point me to a definitive book on tis topic?

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    #91863

    mcintosh
    Participant

    See the iSixSigma Software section:
    http://software.isixsigma.com
    Your software specific questions can probably be answered by reading those articles and discussion forum.

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    #91868

    Ron
    Member

    Unfortunantely there are no reference to books recommended for implementing six sigma in the software development in the section you refer to, I looked there first.
    I appears that in the software development there are no accepted best practices that anyone is awre of or at least that anyone has yet shared.
    It should not be much different than the product development process however the devil is in the details.

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    #91876

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    Ron
    I think you are right about the “at least that anyone has yet shared” part.  Folks who have implemented Six Sigma within the context of their software development efforts tend to look at that as a competitive advantage.
    However, it’s not really all that mysterious.  Software development is a process, and like any process, you can use DMAIC to improve it, and DFSS to design a new process where you don’t have a process or your existing process is profoundly broken.
    A little less obvious, but perhaps more powerful, is that DFSS is another way of looking at the SDLC.  There are portions of the traditional development process that are quite good, necessary, and not really addressed by DFSS.  But there are parts of DFSS that are badly overlooked in the traditional SDLC, and places where DFSS provides much more powerful tools to do the things that we have fumbled with for decades.
    Lay out your traditional methodology alongside DFSS and look for opportunities.  Sometimes in the software biz we fail to recognize that our product is a product like any other, we have customers who behave like customers, and our business really isn’t all that different from manufacturing.
    The big challenge is that we rarely have good measurement systems.  You may find that it is necessary to get these systems in place before you can make significant improvements, and software developers are extremely resistant to having their work measured.
    However, I can tell you from experience that not only is it possible, but the end result is a much more pleasant work environment, and it’s even possible for software developers to have a life.  Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to get developers to believe that when it looks like you are trying to make them miserable.
    –McD
     

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    #91880

    mcintosh
    Participant

    Ron,
    I have two books:
    “Six Sigma Software Development” — ok, but not detailed enough
    “Software Metrics” – good, but not up to date on many topics.
    Perhaps they don’t recommend anything because there aren’t any good books on the topic?
    The first book I mentioned above will get you moving in the right direction, but lacks tactical details for implementation.
    Good luck.

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    #91889

    Ron
    Member

    Tom,
     
    Thanks for your insight.  One of the hurdles I am finding in implementing Six Sigma / Lean is that cadidates coming to class really look for examples within their field of endeavor.
    I honed my skills at Allied Signal and went through training with a multi-based professional group and it wad great. Since I left I am finding more and more that each different group wants knowledge specific to their interest and if I can deliver it I’m ahead of the game.
    DFSS it great and I will be using that as a basis for the training although at the greenbelt level it is a bit overwhelming for many of the candidates I train.
    It will be a challenge I know, I’ll be utilizing the collective expertise of this forum from time to time when I find challenges.
    Thanks again for your comments.

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