Discussion Question #1: Your organization has effective systems in place to track work-effort and expenditures, but needs to do a better job at monitoring quality
How can Six Sigma be beneficial for an IT project?
Six Sigma focused on better understanding project requirements, improving quality and delivery, reducing cost and waste while improving competitive position through continuous improvement.
Six Sigma takes Total Quality Managment (TQM) and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) to the next level. By leveraging the value of TQM and CQI, and adding customer focus, empirical data analysis systems, financial results and project management. M
Six Sigma is a framework which tackles both organizational structures as well as project methodology. This approach focuses on:
- Continuous improvement, driving towards zero defect delivery, thus improving the overall quality.
- Cost savings by increasing efficiency, removing waste and reducing variations. This practice is often referred to as Lean Six Sigma. With ties to lean manufacturing.
- Streamlined communications, transparency and teamwork.
- Improve the total customer experience.
Agile and Six Sigma share similar principles, but Six Sigma’s focus on process standardization and reducing variances seem to contradict the Agile approach. The emergence of practices like Lean IT and DevOps seek more closely align frameworks like Agile, and Six Sigma with IT use cases. The emerging IT operating models take the best principles from differing structures to deliver a framework which has roots but is even more applicable to the ever-changing IT landscape.
Anbari, F. T. (2012, October 3). Six sigma method and its applications in project management. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/six-sigma-method-applications-pm-8515
Edmead, M. (2015, July 21). Lean IT and DevOps: The new kids on the block. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.cio.com/article/2900051/agile-development/lean-it-and-devops-the-new-kids-on-the-block.html
Zucjer, D. (n.d.). Integrating Project Management into a Six Sigma System. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.isixsigma.com/methodology/project-management/integrating-project-management-six-sigma-system/
Gullo, D. J. (2016, October 21). Agile in General. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2731927&seqNum=3
Rogers, G. (2016, December 16). Why DevOps is the Future of IT. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/pex-tools-technologies/columns/why-devops-is-the-future-of-it
Williams, P. H. (n.d.). Zero Defects: What Does It Achieve? What Does It Mean? Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.isixsigma.com/new-to-six-sigma/sigma-level/zero-defects-what-does-it-achieve-what-does-it-mean/
Discussion Question #2: Research IT Governance. To begin, here is one link on the topic: http://www.isaca.org/Knowledge-Center/Val-IT-IT-Value-Delivery-/Documents/IT-Value-Special-Compilation.pdf
What are three important IT governance ideas you have for contributing towards a successful IT Project?
IT governance is a way to align IT strategy and business strategy. IT governance frameworks such as ITIL and COBIT create a structure and best practices to govern various aspects of IT.
The three ideas that I have that contribute to a successful IT project are:
1. Focus on delivering stakeholder value (aka, be customer centric).
2. Favor accountability and agility over rigidity and responsibility
This can be a difficult cultural shift; many cultures are overly focused on rigid and detailed maps for success, confused by the idea that there is no play for a fumble recovery, everyone just runs to the ball. Today’s high-performing organizations look at this in two ways
- They need a framework that is standards-based and is easy for people to understand, something like ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework.
- Culturally everyone on the field needs to run to the ball and hold their peers accountable for not putting in 110% every time.
The importance of a high-performance culture cannot be overlooked.
3. Fail fast and focus on continuous improvement. Quickly determine if an idea or a direction have merit, make a quick pivot when an idea or an approach is not working, rather than locking into a rigid plan that delivers a low yield.
ISACA (2008). Enterprise Value: Governance of IT Investments: The Val IT™ Framework 2.0. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from http://www.isaca.org/Knowledge-Center/Val-IT-IT-Value-Delivery-/Documents/IT-Value-Special-Compilation.pdf
Lindros, K. (2017, July 31). What is IT governance? A formal way to align IT & business strategy. Retrieved February 21, 2018, from https://www.cio.com/article/2438931/governance/governanceit-governance-definition-and-solutions.html
What is fail fast? – Definition from WhatIs.com. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2018, from http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/fail-fast