Using a DMAIC approach in software process typically reduces software development costs by 15-25%. In this case Project Selection typically plays an important role to see which projects using the concepts of Lean Six Sigma in software development would benefit better .
Moving on the Define Phase, the CTQ and the customers need to be identified. More importantly, decamping a big project into smaller components increases the chance of success. A project charter is built based on the identified sections, and a tollgate review follows. Breaking a project down ensures better use of the available resources, management of time to meet the deadlines, and excelling at various geographical locations simultaneously by replicating the process.
As per the DMAIC approach, the charter should contain a business case, a problem and a goal statement, details of the project team, the scope, and most importantly, the financial opportunity.
When using Lean Six Sigma in software development, the Measure Phase consists of 8 important steps. Confirming the project involves discussion on how to improve the baseline from 62 – 90% within the next year. The phase also involves a confirmation on the target to a 50% improvement. It is important to categorize the sub-process factors for an effective data collection plan.
The DMAIC approach makes it vital to analyze the data, and draw information out of it, and convert it quantitatively. Designing a possible scoring system helps rate the Xs (influencing factors), based on the historical data, to chalk out a better schedule performance. A data collection, as per this plan, follows. Study of the current system, based on the data, shows the anomalies and variations that need to be addressed.
In the Analyze Phase, Process Capability is studied. Important factors such as DPMO, sigma level, Cpk and Cp are calculated. Refining the goals, setting an achievable target, and identification of data patterns can help bring out the best practices to attain the objective. Next, Identification of the plausible Xs, and then the identification of the critical Xs help jumpstart the improvement project.
Variability, as much as 78%, is defined by 3 most important factors which need to be handled for initial process enhancement. Studying the financial benefits again shows if the target of 90% on time is achieved, it invariably would result in gain of $900,000.
Next in Lean Six Sigma in software development comes the Improve and then the Control Phase. Here, the solution is refined, and pilot projects are implemented. Once the prototypes are successful, and the alternatives are accepted, a control plan is developed to sustain the improvement.
Six Sigma project team consisting of Yellow, Green and Black Belts help in studying a process, analyzing the root cause, the critical factors, and the expected outcomes. They then implement an improvement process using the tools and techniques of Six Sigma and design an enhanced sustained process that benefits the project.