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6.5 Summary

The joint implementation of the CMMI and Six Sigma should be considered from a strategic viewpoint, with attention to sequence, to their relationship when simultaneous deployment begins, and to several deployment execution factors.

Due to history and legacy, organizations' sequencing of the two initiatives varies. When they reach the point in their timeline to deploy both initiatives simultaneously, several frequently successful strategic approaches may be employed. These approaches, which range in their extent of coordination versus integration, are not mutually exclusive and do not presume that the CMMI precedes Six Sigma or vice versa.

  • Implement CMMI process areas as Six Sigma (DMAIC, DFSS, and/or Lean) projects.
  • Apply Six Sigma (DMAIC and Lean) as the tactical engine for high capability and high maturity.
  • Apply design for Six Sigma as a tactical contributor to achieve highly capable engineering processes.
  • Apply Six Sigma to improve or optimize an organization's improvement strategy and processes.
  • Institutionalize Six Sigma (including Lean) project results and culture via CMMI's institutionalization practices.
  • Integrate the CMMI, Six Sigma, and all other improvement initiatives of choice to provide a standard for the execution of every project throughout its lifecycle.

From the viewpoint of CMMI representation, Six Sigma can be used at all levels of maturity (staged representation) and can be used to guide the priority of process area implementation (continuous representation).

Deployment execution should also be managed in an integrated fashion, which might include the following fundamental shared activities: shared organizational roles, training designed to bridge gaps, and synchronization of improvement project portfolios.

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