“In god we trust and for everything else there is data”
Lean Six Sigma as a process improvement methodology is relevant for all internal functions which enables organizational processes and IT Infrastructure is no exception to the same. Like all business processes, IT Infrastructure Processes too need data driven methods to be deployed to enable decision making which is accurate, sans gut feel and have a mathematical basis. It is very correctly said that if you cannot measure, you cannot improve, so in order to measure the current process and its performance and to take decisions based on statistical tools it is very imperative that you understand the usage of same.IT Development and Support have their own peculiar challenges and those needs to be addressed in a more organized manner and lean Six Sigma could be a great advantage.
Gone are the days when one could use brilliance to manage IT Infrastructure, there is a definitive need for data driven methods, organized improvement methods, usage of internationally accepted problem solving methodology and tools, usage of Lean principles in IT, working at identification & reduction of NVA activities in the work flow, usage of data visualization tools in decision making is the order of the day.
IT Infrastructure needs a lot of alternative identification methods deployed, symptom prioritization, dashboards in order to measure the current process and its performance to take corrective and/or preventive action based upon the results.
IT Infrastructure as other business functions also needs some processes around to manage the day to day activities in order to provide value to the customer and in order to manage the same, management systems like Six Sigma have to be introduced. IT processes of Incident Management, Problem Management, Messaging Management, Security Management, Procurement Management, Change Management, Release and Deployment Management, Access Management, IT Operations Management, Availability Management all need their share of seriousness and deployment of data driven methods of measurement & improvement.
Advance Innovation Group has helped individuals and corporates at Technology Department use Lean Six Sigma methods in contributing benefits for the organization.
Please feel free to speak to our consultants for any Lean Six Sigma Consulting, Training, Corporate Partnership, co-branding opportunities, or any assistance you need on Consulting on lean six sigma. You may also contact us for hiring of lean six sigma certified professionals on demand or on your payroll. Please read our case study for more insight on lean six sigma implementation in the IT Infrastructure Departments.
By implementing the approach of six sigma, organizations and industries understood some important steps which contributed to the success story of the concept:
1) Customer Focus
A customer-focused six sigma quality management has helped organizations increase their market share and reduce their cost. This concept surrounds the word ‘customer’. Everything what is analyzed, done, achieved, processed, is according to the needs and satisfaction of customers. Six Sigma recreates an atmosphere to focus on needs of customers including performance expectations, reliability, time delivery, transparency, competitive prices and so on. It explains that customers are the one who take the business to heights and drive the direction of the company. This all helps organizations achieve their goals and increase their profits with more accuracy and perfection.
2) Employee Engagement
Employee motivation is a complex activity but on the other side it is based on the basic platform of need of recognition among the employees. Six Sigma eliminates the error of not telling people how they are working and what organization expects out of their capabilities. It explains that the idea of including employees in the decision making processes of company is always considered good because these are the only people who know every customer in person and understand their needs and thoughts deeply.
3) Distaste to defect and variation
Implementation of six sigma means, opting for one of the most powerful breakthrough management tools ever devised, promising cost reduction and eradication of mistakes by recreating the processes so that defects are never produced in the first place itself.
Six sigma scale of measurement removes the doubt of ‘how to measure a service’. This concept starts with metrics – measuring the invisible things that matter. Organizations that value profitability and achievements, will measure, report on, and react to the increasing or decreasing figures of profits. Six Sigma builds the connection between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction to cash flows. The increasing cash flow explains that employees have focused on the company’s customer – centric vision, its desirability for excellence and its need to grow with energy and enthusiasm.
The measurement system chases the progress by taking a few measurements, creating the benchmarks, and sharing the results. The standardized benchmarks and maintained scorecards give spaces to questioning among employees and executives, resulting in developing a competitive atmosphere within the organization. This elaborates accountability into the initiatives of the employees and provides a visible picture of the organization’s efforts put forth.
Six Sigma provides three methods for process improvement initiative, namely DMAIC, DMADV and DFSS.
DMAIC which means Defining and identifying the problem, Measuring and validating the database, Analyzing the problem through Key Process Output & Input Variables,Improving and redesigning the process, Controlling and preventing from further obstacles.
DMADV which means Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify the process to create a new product or process design. This method is synonymously used as DFSS
In DFSS, the processes that create the services and products are designed from a new beginning and are reconstructed in such a way that they produce products and services which meet the standards of six sigma quality management. In this model, the processes are rated according to their capabilities and then reconfigured with the existing technology to give best results. Each significant positive configuration in process capability equals 10 times more profitability levels achieved.
Most of the time engineers and technocrats worry about high costs involved in redesigning and reestablishing the entire existing process. DFSS is much easier, effective and cheap way to make changes to the design that already exists by reimplementing the components, processes and practices that have ever proven to be productive. The combination of process characterization and process optimization makes the quality levels of an organization, error-free.
The Master Black Belt Role
They are the individuals selected by Champions to assist them in identifying the projects which are to be improved. They work with Champions to co-ordinate project selection and implementation. MBBs coach black belts and green belts and imbibe soft skills in them. They communicate overall status and progress of projects to others so that organizing people, structuring and training can become easy at implementation levels.
The Black Belt Role
Black belts work under Master Black Belts and learn to apply the Six Sigma Strategy tools to the required projects. These devote 100% of their time to working on these projects and strategies. They figure out, how the project restructuring or improvement is to be done. These possess both managerial as well as technical skills because they are needed to train at least 100 Green Belts a year. Most of the execution of Breakthrough Strategy is done by these.
The Green Belt Role
Although Green Belts have less responsibility towards the Strategic planning of Six Sigma Projects, they have to focus hard on the execution of Six Sigma in the organization. They have to help deploy the success of Six Sigma techniques and have to lead small scale improvement projects within their fields. They are more into the task of gathering data and providing to Black Belts to support implementation of quality projects.
The history of Six Sigma dates back to the late years of 1970s, when a Japanese firm acquired Motorola factory and decided to bring in drastic changes to the working process of the factory. Since then the Six Sigma drive has spread to the companies which strive for excellence. Before all this, Sigma was just a statistical term used to calculate the standard deviation of probability distribution. Standard deviation calculates how much variation exists from the mean or expected value. But now, it is a data-driven methodology implemented to improve performance of working by reducing variability and eliminating defects. The concept starts and ends at one word i.e. customer satisfaction.