We often get questions from Software QA folks who have been invited to join our LinkedIn Group as to what the applicability is of Lean and Six Sigma to Software development, QA, and testing.

We’ll hear from several experts and reference several articles on the subject.

Krishnamurty Pammi, Head of PMO at TechMojo Solutions discusses the seven core concepts of Lean Software Development.

  • Eliminate waste
    • Focus on the non-value added work
      • Partially done work
      • Extra processes
      • Extra features
      • Task switching
      • Waiting
      • Motion
      • Defects
  • Empower the Team
    • Don’t micromanage them
  • Deliver fast
    • Deliver incrementally
  • Optimize the whole
    • Focus on all modules that connect to your project solution
  • Build quality in
    • Keep customer in mind while building quality into every step in the value chain
  • Defer decisions
    • If possible, deferring to a later time leads to more relevant decisions
  • Amplify learning
    • Take feedback from the workforce.

You can watch Krishnamurty’s excellent video here. 

Software professionals are very familiar with Capability Maturing Model Integration. This Learnaholic presentation briefly discusses Six Sigma’s role along with the Personal Software Process (PSP) and the Team Software Process (TSP).

They provide an overview of DMAIC (improve existing products and processes) and Design for Six Sigma (DFSS: design new products and processes).

They go on to give an integrated Six Sigma and CMMI model, followed by an overview of PSP, TSP, and their relationship to CMMI.

You can watch their video here. 

We have been given brief introductions to the application of Lean and Six Sigma in software. 

Now let’s see Six Sigma DMAIC used in an actual case study as laid out in a paper from the 2016 Canadian Quality Congress. In this paper, Rachel Karout and Anjali Awasthi discuss the application of DMAIC to software quality improvement in one of Canada’s fastest growing companies.

The paper is available here.

In another case study titled A Six Sigma Approach for Software Process Improvements and its Implementation, Punitha Jayaraman, Kamalanathan Kannabiran,and S.A.Vasantha Kumar provide the details of how the DMAIC approach was used to solve the underlying problem of reducing the customer reported defects in user acceptance testing phase of the software  development  lifecycle.

The case study includes

  • Project Charter
  • Data Collection Table
  • Measure Phase
  • Analyze Phase
  • Improve Phase
  • Control Phase

Their paper is available here. 

Finally, Jubomir Lazić and Dušan Velašević, and Nikos Mastorakis discuss the application of Six Sigma DMAIC to the Software Development/Testing Process (SDP/STP).

They list the six fundamental issues common to all SDP/STP activities:

  • Schedule and Progress
  • Resources and Cost
  • Growth and Stability
  • Product Quality
  • Development Performance
  • Technical Adequacy

They discuss the issues, key questions related to each issue, and categories of measures that apply.

The authors go on to provide questions and guidelines for all of the DMAIC phases applied to SDP/STP activities.

Their paper can be found here.

We hope that the resources provided will give the readers a conceptual understanding of how Lean and Six Sigma can be applied in software development, improvement, and testing. Interested in learning more about ISSSP? Become a member today!