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Integrating Lean Six Sigma With CMMI

Mar 11, 2008
CMMI can be used in order to achieve a common objective, such as be a software product, maintenance or upgrade. It is implemented mostly in the IT (Information technology) industry where the work environment is characterized by several ongoing projects running at the same time. Since all the ongoing projects are connected to each other and since the effects of a change in a single project can be felt across all ongoing projects, CMMI has become the most sought after process improvement system for IT companies the world over.

Where Does Six Sigma Come Into Play?

CMMI may be a highly effective process improvement system in itself, but if IT companies want to achieve something more than the ordinary, then they definitely need to get help from Six Sigma. Instead of debating the merits and demerits of both systems, IT companies actually need to prepare a roadmap for the integration of Lean Six Sigma within the existing CMMI framework.

Integrating Lean Six Sigma with CMMI is quite beneficial because then it becomes much easier for project team members to understand what the customer wants; an element which is vital for the success of the ongoing project. CMMI may be a better integration tool for ongoing projects, but it certainly lacks vital tools and techniques such as Six Sigma's Voice of The Customer (VOC) which makes way for better understanding of customer needs and expectations.

All these factors prove the importance of integrating Lean Six Sigma within the existing CMMI framework.

Other Reasons for Integration

It is true that the IT industry is currently the most profitable, but what is also true is that competition in the IT industry is growing at an astronomical rate, forcing companies to work on lower margins and make efforts to reduce operational costs. CMMI, by itself, certainly makes way for better services, but if an IT company fails to consider its costs, sooner or later it would start to feel the heat. Six Sigma can also help here because it is a proven cost reduction system and works well across almost all business domains.

By using highly effective Six Sigma tools and techniques such as CTQs (Critical To Quality), IT companies can easily prioritize their work processes which automatically results in low cost of operations. Moreover, since Six Sigma implementations automatically reduce the overall workload, IT companies can aspire to achieve more with less and consequently improve their profitability and future business prospects.

Until now, only a few IT companies have integrated Lean Six Sigma within their existing CMMI framework, but the approach is fast gaining acceptance and is set to become an industry standard in the years to come. This prophecy is most likely to come true because the few IT companies that have completed the integrations are reaping rich dividends, prompting others in the business to take notice and follow suit.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals such as, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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