How to implement Six Sigma within an IT-driven organisation?

R

Richa.O

#1
Hello everyone,

I need some help. I have just received my Six Sigma Black Belt certification and I want to implement this in my IT-driven organisation. I have read many articles of how to implement Six Sigma within IT companies but I can't seem to put it all together. We create software and I would like know how Six Sigma ties in with such a product. I'd highly appreciate if someone could give me a project example (within IT-driven organisation) of implementing this. My manager wants me to implement this in my organisation. Any help would be great!

Thank you,
Richa
 
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A

Avtaar

#3
Hello everyone,

I need some help. I have just received my Six Sigma Black Belt certification and I want to implement this in my IT-driven organisation. I have read many articles of how to implement Six Sigma within IT companies but I can't seem to put it all together. We create software and I would like know how Six Sigma ties in with such a product. I'd highly appreciate if someone could give me a project example (within IT-driven organisation) of implementing this. My manager wants me to implement this in my organisation. Any help would be great!

Thank you,
Richa
Hi Richa,

Congratulations! I am also a six sigma BB. One of my IT related projects was " Decrease in software programming defects and rework ". If you look around there would be many such examples. The best would be to get inputs from your VOC & VOB.

I hope this helps!

Thanks.
 

Miner

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Admin
#4
I recommend obtaining and reading "Establishing a Transactional Six Sigma Body of Knowledge". I have found that applying six sigma to transactional processes (of which IT is an example) is as different as applying it to design. The BoK is excellent and will provide many insights into the differences in emphasis between transactional processes and manufacturing processes.

You will also need to consider process design. Transactional processes often look consistent and repeatable at a 40,000 foot level, but then look like one-offs as soon as you dive in for a closer look.
 
A

artichoke

#5
It has been suggested my previous comment was a "rant" with no information to back up the content." I will provide details as requested.

The six sigma of Six Sigma is based on a 1.5 sigma drift, shift otherwise known as a "fudge factor", "correction", "adjustment", "operating window". This factor produces a claim of 3.4 dpmo, or "3.4 bugs per million lines of code" in this instance.

Such Six Sigma claims are utter nonsense. People should take the time to investigate Six Sigma's farcical source.

The +/-1.5 shift was introduced by Mikel Harry as most people are aware. Where did he get it? Harry refers to a paper written in 1975 by Evans, ?Statistical Tolerancing: The State of the Art. Part 3. Shifts and Drifts?. The paper is about tolerancing. That is how the overall error in an assembly is effected by the errors in components. Evans refers to a paper by Bender in 1962, ?Benderizing Tolerances ? A Simple Practical Probablity Method for Handling Tolerances for Limit Stack Ups?. He looked at the classical situation with a stack of disks and how the overall error in the size of the stack, relates to errors in the individual disks. Based on ?probability, approximations and experience?, he suggests:

What has this got to do with monitoring the myriad of processes that people are concerned about? NOTHING ! Harry then takes things a step further. Imagine a process where 5 samples are taken every half hour and plotted on a control chart. Harry considered the ?instantaneous? initial 5 samples as being ?short term? (Harry?s n=5) and the samples throughout the day as being ?long term? (Harry?s g=50 points). Because of random variation in the first 5 points, the mean of the initial sample is different to the overall mean. Harry derived a relationship between the short term and long term capability, using the equation above, to produce a capability shift or ?Z shift? of 1.5 ! Over time, the original meaning of ?short term? and ?long term? has been changed to result in ?long term? drifting means.

Harry has clung tenaciously to the ?1.5? but over the years, it?s derivation has been modified. In a recent note from Harry ?We employed the value of 1.5 since no other empirical information was available at the time of reporting.? In other words, 1.5 has now become an empirical rather than theoretical value. A further softening from Harry: ?? the 1.5 constant would not be needed as an approximation?.

Despite this, industry has fixed on the idea that it is impossible to keep processes on target. No matter what is done, process means will drift by +/-1.5 sigma. In other words, suppose a process has a target value of 10.0, and control limits work out to be, say, 13.0 and 7.0. "Long term" the mean will drift to 11.5 (or 8.5), with control limits changing to 14.5 and 8.5. This is nonsense.

The simple truth is that any process where the mean changes by 1.5 sigma or any other amount, is not in statistical control. Such a change can often be detected by a trend on a control chart. A process that is not in control is not predictable. It may begin to produce defects, no matter where specification limits have been set.

World Class Quality means ?On target with minimum variation?
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
I'm not too sure how many folks here are specifically IT. I do deal with a fair amount of IT issues more as a middleman trying to analyze data for operational folks that comes from IT databases. It may be possible once the US holiday week is over somebody will be able to speak to six sigma and IT.

I should state I am no fan of Six Sigma, and Artichoke has already laid out some issues there. But - given that you want to embark on quality improvement - there are some common things to consider.

I've been teaching a QA course for a technical college which chose Pyzdek's Quality Engineering book as a model, and I've come to like it. There are a fair amount of discussions on quality models, tools, and overcoming barriers to improvement.

I'd suggest not limiting yourself to IT examples - sometimes you can learn the most from looking outside the box. Dr. Deming was often confronted with - show me that this works in MY industry. One problem is no amount of examples makes a theory, and you must have a theory and knowledge to get a good start.

If you do some googling of Six sigma and IT, there do appear to be several reasonable links on the internet:

http://iacis.org/jcis/articles/Hsieh_Lin_Manduca_47_4.pdf
http://www.isixsigma.com/industries/software-it/six-sigma-information-technology-services-sector/
http://www.villanovau.com/six-sigma-information-technology/

For the Deming folks:
http://mitiq.mit.edu/ERIQ/2007/iq_s...rial - Deming's 14 Points - Larry English.pdf
http://www.hdiconference.com/conference/session.aspx?id=73 (I am a little wary of this one because NO ONE called Dr. Deming "William")
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BHN8YWY

Happy Holidays!
 

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Quality improvement methods can be successfully applied to IT Although there are a different set of unique tools to IT processes. Not much DoE or otehr statistical analyses.

Michael Fagan has a great approach that really helped a primarily software company that I worked for in the nineties.

Requirements gathering, Lean and Agile are all great methodologies as well.

The Apollo method can be quite useful for problem solving...

and before and after measures of the software's success are also extremely useful.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#8
I agree with my fellow Covers about looking into a transactional approach to Six Sigma for IT. :agree1:

The relative benefits and criticism of Six Sigma, both as it was introduced and as it's turned out, have been energetically covered here in the Cove. I thought one of the more interesting and positive discussions was the thread titled What is the difference between Lean and Six Sigma?

I learned not to fixate on the +/- 1.5 shift controversy and instead focus on what 6S is useful for: a disciplined breakthrough process improvement tool kit with a focus on project management. I also learned that the process need not be really complex, as many of the texts seem to suggest. I did my 6S Black Belt project on a rework of a software-based document control system. I attached my report in a threat titled Six Sigma Project - The entire Corrective Action Process. It may look childishly simple to some 6S practitioners, but the results were nonetheless solidly value-added so I stand by my methods.
 
A

artichoke

#9
I should state I am no fan of Six Sigma, and Artichoke has already laid out some issues there. ...

I've been teaching a QA course for a technical college which chose Pyzdek's Quality Engineering book as a model, and I've come to like it.
Hi Steve,

You agree that six sigma and it's 1.5 and 3.4 are utter nonsense, then why on Earth would you support Pyzdek when he puts out rubbish like this: "A six-sigma process will produce failures at a parts-per-million or even parts-per-billion level. This contrasts with the old three sigma process which produces parts-per-thousand failures. This difference of three to six orders of magnitude is profound".

The garbage from Pyzdek should be assigned to the rubbish bin, along with Harry, Montgomery, Gitlow and similar trash. Why there is so much resistance to the unassailable works of Wheeler, who of course strongly supports Deming and Shewhart? The answer is as obvious as it is very sad for quality.

Wheeler as you know, simply calls Six Sigma "goofy" ... as well as having published many papers on its many flaws.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#10
Hi Steve,

You agree that six sigma and it's 1.5 and 3.4 are utter nonsense, then why on Earth would you support Pyzdek when he puts out rubbish like this: "A six-sigma process will produce failures at a parts-per-million or even parts-per-billion level. This contrasts with the old three sigma process which produces parts-per-thousand failures. This difference of three to six orders of magnitude is profound".

The garbage from Pyzdek should be assigned to the rubbish bin, along with Harry, Montgomery, Gitlow and similar trash. Why there is so much resistance to the unassailable works of Wheeler, who of course strongly supports Deming and Shewhart? The answer is as obvious as it is very sad for quality.

Wheeler as you know, simply calls Six Sigma "goofy" ... as well as having published many papers on its many flaws.
I don't like to publicly get involved, but in this case I feel it is warranted. Disparaging a person or book with words like "garbage" is unprofessional, and in general I am not happy with your whole tone. This has happened in the past and I have decided to take this as a recurrence of a problem. Unfortunately I feel it is best if you discuss your beliefs elsewhere.

Marc
 
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