What is six sigma?
Six Sigma is a technique or a process to improve business process by reducing the error or defects. It works on the principle of continous improvement. It is represented in a form of a sine curve which is spread in a area of -3 sigma to +3 sigma. The processes should always lie between this area and hence the term Six sigma.
The term six sigma and its methodologies was 1st used in manufacturing company and they use to improve their business process to reduce the number of defects. The processes are improved by removing the main reasons of variations and defects. Six sigma involves a set of quality management tools such as control charts(to reduce variations) and other statistical methods to improve the processes.
Since six sigma methodologies was 1st used in a manufacturing organisation so people generally have a belief that this methodology is only limited to manufacturing. Six sigma aims at achieving 1.9 defects parts per billion and this is why people generally assume that this methodology can not be helpful in IT service based industries.
Let me be very clear that six sigma methodology always aimed at improving the processes and that is the crux of this methodology. Business Process are everywhere and not only in manufacturing. So improving your Business Process and trying to achieve continous improvement should be a part of any organisation.
DMAIC is the most commonly used methodology for manufacturing as well as IT service organisations. DMAIC stands for D- Define, M- Measure, A- Analyse, I- Improve and C- Control.
The major challenges in implementing six sigma in IT are:
- Lengthy projects
- Lack of knowledge
- Failure to implement DMAIC
- Six sigma being a data driven approach
- Many IT organisations such as WIPRO,TCS,Infosys,HCL etc have successfully implemented six sigma in their business operations.
- Implementation of Six sigma offers the below mentioned benefits:
- Improve efficiency and effectiveness of the business processess.
- Reduce operating costs
- Improve overall customer experience
- Improve productivity
- Improve quality of products and services.
Conclusion, the IT projects should focus more on improving the process to achieve the end result. The process should involve removal of waste i.e. rework,wrong functionality knowledge,coding without being aware of its functionality,too much complicated design,improper requirements gathering etc. We should design our process in such a way that we should aim for minimum errors(bugs) and continual improvement.