The SixSig Roundup


Posted by: meikah | 27 July 2010 | 12:43 am

SixSig Roundup

It’s time again for some link-loving and see what other blogs are saying about Six Sigma, Lean, Lean Six Sigma and other quality improvement processes.

Forrest Breyfogle  of Going Beyond Lean Six Sigma and the Balanced Scorecard says that for lessons on recovery, U.S. can look to the north on their healthy policies and performance measurements. The post is particularly referring to Canada and how the country is doing amidst the crisis.

Over at Call IT Anything, Dale Sanders advises to don’t be strangled by process-improvement Black Belts. “Try though we may fix the problems of healthcare IT with rigorous process– most recently ITIL– we’re only putting lipstick on a pig…”

The Best Mobile Phone blog shares some tips and technology for Six Sigma mobile workforces. “Some organizations that have tried to use Six Sigma in field sales have used information technology solutions too soon. There is a wrong perception that Six Sigma will interfere with the productivity of the sales staff or take up time that they would rather spend with customers.”

Food Standard blog asks, can a fast food chain benefit from Lean Six Sigma? The post has good points about food, waste and Lean Six Sigma.

Lean Six Sigma for Law Enforcement blog talks about MBWA, or Management by Walking Around. It’s an interesting management style and the blog itself is a revelation. Check it out!

Filed under: Economy, Food, IT, Law/Legal Service, Lean Six Sigma, Mobile Workforce, Six Sigma

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Six Sigma Forum: The Next Step to Transformation


Posted by: meikah | 28 September 2009 | 9:17 pm

Through this Leadership Circle, ISSSP and Software AG will provide a forum where senior leaders in Six Sigma, Lean, and Process, and IT can discuss transformation, along with critical issues and opportunities that face deployments today. Specifically, we will:

  • Discuss and share ideas for leveraging the tools, techniques and methodologies of these disciplines for greater synergy
  • Explore with peers and industry leaders how might craft a programmatic approach
  • Discover best practices, anecdotes, and examples for achieving this leverage;
  • Network with a special interest group
  • Take away practical ideas that you can implement immediately

Click here for more info.

Filed under: IT, Lean, Six Sigma, Six Sigma Organizations, Six Sigma References

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Application of Lean Manufacturing to Software and IT Development


Posted by: meikah | 17 September 2009 | 7:59 pm

Over at Evolving Excellence is a good discussion on how to apply lean manufacturing principles to software and IT development.

The discussion was an interview of Mary and Tom Poppendieck with Matt Heusser. Some of the insights from the interview:

  • Get all workers deeply involved in analyzing feedback from the market and rapidly figuring out how to act on that feedback.
  • Lean provides the theory behind Agile practices. Lean is a set of principles, ways of thinking, from which Agile practices are derived
  • An underlying concept of Lean is that if you can’t create small independent-thinking teams, you can’t respond rapidly in the face of continuous change.
  • Try to put in constant improvement. Try to get closer to the customers. Look at the big picture, not just software.

Read the post on Evolving Excellence and read the interview.

Filed under: IT, Lean, Lean Manufacturing, Software/Technology

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4 Basic Truths about IT-Six Sigma Integration


Posted by: meikah | 26 August 2009 | 7:54 pm

Not many are convinced that Six Sigma and IT integration will succeed. or if there is a need to in the first place.

An article on iSixSigma Software shows us that it can be done. The iSixSigma Magazine once published the results of their survey, which were analyzed by Michael Marx, and they pointed to the strong possibility of a successful integration of Six Sigma and IT.

  1. Overall, Six Sigma is not frequently used to improve IT processes.
  2. The extent to which Six Sigma is applied to IT has to do with the role IT plays in a company – staff function or strategic component.
  3. The longer a company has been using Six Sigma, the greater the likelihood that the company has integrated Six Sigma with IT.
  4. Technology is not always the solution, and when it is, the solution is often not implemented.

Read the discussion HERE.

Filed under: IT, Six Sigma, Software/Technology

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SixSig Reference Feature: Lean Thinking Influencing the IT Culture


Posted by: meikah | 26 August 2009 | 7:22 pm

Today, an IT department has many reasons for adopting “lean” practices; saving costs is only the most obvious. Other objectives are to reduce time to market, offer more competitive products and services, increase capacity, and simplify solutions. There are a myriad of ways to accomplish this: streamline project-planning practices, use open source applications, opt for solutions that avoid bureaucratic approvals and delays, etc.

Read the whitepaper.

Filed under: IT, Lean

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Six Sigma Phased Deployment Model in IT


Posted by: meikah | 26 April 2009 | 9:59 pm

It has been observed that Six Sigma in IT has not really made headway. There are some IT companies that have embraced it but the initiative often fails to be continuous.

An article on iSixSigma discusses how a phased deployment can help Six Sigma in IT succeed. It specifically mentions a three-phased deployment model.

The following are the three phases of this deployment model:


Click on the image for a larger version.

  1. Middle out – This phase is driven by an individual or a small group of visionaries in the firm from middle management level. This group must keep the cost of the Lean Six Sigma program under check at all times. Projects may have a primarily bottom-line focus due to weak top leadership commitment.
  2. Move to top – This phase the first step toward a long-term business process excellence approach. Balanced scorecards should be created for every business unit or department and they should align directly to the firm’s corporate vision and mission.
  3. Top down – In this phase Lean Six Sigma benchmark practices and market performance should be discussed and an adoption decision should be made in the boardroom, with the CEO driving from the front. Champions, Master Black Belts, Black Belts and Green Belts should be developed to own and lead the Lean Six Sigma program. Projects should involve both top-line and bottom-line growth objectives, with a primary focus on customer satisfaction.

Continue reading…

*Image is taken from the cited article.

Filed under: Deployment, IT, Six Sigma

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Six Sigma and the IT Industrial Revolution


Posted by: meikah | 26 February 2009 | 9:02 pm

Over at vnunet.com, Katy Ring talks about the IT industrial revolution. And that despite the economic crisis, the IT industry must continue to flourish. After all, most of our processes these days depend on IT.

Ms. Ring puts forward the idea that many organizations in the coming months will surely be focusing on cutting costs yet still being able to function properly. Thus, she says:

All IT service vendors should be able to demonstrate widespread use of systems management tools, which underpin IT delivery, and the adoption and pervasiveness of ITIL, ISO 20000 and Six Sigma frameworks and methods in delivery. They should also be able to demonstrate an ability to direct manpower to where it is needed and the level of centralised control for service delivery and explain how this will assist in contract delivery and pricing.

Read more…

I agree with her. IT organizations must learn to utilize systems management tools such as Six Sigma or Lean, or the combination Lean Six Sigma, to save on necessary IT expenses and enjoy the corresponding benefits. To me, that is the only way to go in the coming months.

Filed under: IT, ITIL, Lean Six Sigma, Processes, Quality, Six Sigma, Technology

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IT Can Pave the Way to Your Lean Journey


Posted by: meikah | 12 February 2009 | 9:23 pm

Recently, we find lean principles being applied to more transactional events such as controlling supply chains, reducing inventories and manufacturing to customer demand. Lean has taken on processes that have a new level of complexity.

When these things happen, companies need to have some sort of a system to wade through the complex tasks. Systems can best be established with information technology, or IT.

Thus, IT may not really be the direct solutions to manufacturing or transactional problems, but it can definitely pave the way to a company’s Lean journey. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • IT can be used as a mechanism to systematize the lean discipline
  • IT can help companies sustain it and scale it across the organization
  • and while adopting IT tools to support their lean initiatives may be good, companies may also need to do it with a clear understanding of what they are trying to accomplish

Read more…

Filed under: IT, Lean

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When Cost Cutting, Lean Six Sigma Comes in Handy


Posted by: meikah | 3 December 2008 | 7:54 pm

Lean is about streamlining or eliminating waste, while Six Sigma, as we all know, is keeping variation at bay by improving processes and using statistical tools.

During this time that cost cutting is the order of the day, the two combined can come in handy.

In an article on CIO News-Search CIO, in the IT field, CIOs are enjoined to apply Lean Six Sigma to their cost cutting measures.

In lean times, CIOs should apply Lean Six Sigma practices to IT operations, the panel said. In the case of incident management, change management and release configurations that have been codified by frameworks like the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), applying lean thinking should be par for the course. On the other hand, in application development, which is more of a “moving target” and less mature, applying lean thinking is much more difficult. But it should be done, by keeping value uppermost in mind. Resources should be focused on the people who can really add value to the process.

A lean IT organization is also continually evaluating systems and processes for “overkill,” said principal analyst Marc Cecere. A 700-person IT shop that requires 18 signatures on every approval is an example of overkill, Cecere said. In addition, every problem does not deserve its own process, he added, urging CIOs to adopt the “Kill stupid rules” policy of one of his clients.

Read more…

Cost cutting and determining where to cut costs is a highly sensitive matter. Thus, it has to be done with a sound system in place. Lean Six Sigma can do the trick. The methodology helps you identify the problem and determine which areas do not yield value, and then you can work on it.
Via: iSixSigma News

Filed under: IT, ITIL, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma, Software/Technology

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Improving IT Processes the Lean Six Sigma Way


Posted by: meikah | 18 September 2008 | 10:10 pm

Many IT processes only use IT management software. Only a few have ventured into other management methodologies such as Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma.

So far, the only T organizations and CIOs that have applied Lean Six Sigma to their IT processes include those at Bank of America Corp., Sara Lee Corp., National City Corp., Xerox Corp., GE, and Seagate Technology LLC.

These organiziations have shown that IT processes can be defined, measured, analyzed, improved and controlled in a way that helps align projects and assures business results – the Lean Six Sigma way.

What’s the difference when you have Lean Six Sigma way your IT processes?

The following are traits of poor IT portfolio management practices:

  • Poorly defined processes
  • More projects than capacity
  • Poor visibility of what is being worked on
  • Poor or no alignment to strategic objectives

With Lean Six Sigma:

  • Focus on facts and data to prioritize and select projects and resources.
  • Establish roles, responsibilities and accountabilities driven by performance data.
  • Link and align business goals to project goals (driving the businesses closer to software and IT functions).
  • Require frequent review of performance data and supporting analysis.
  • Refuse to accept redundancy, overlap and poorly prioritized projects and resources.

Read the whole discussion here.

Filed under: DFLSS, DFSS, IT, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma

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