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Re: [scrumdevelopment] Agile and 6 Sigma

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  • Doug Swartz
    ... I m convinced that 6 Sigma, like it s sometime bedfellow CMM, is not inherently opposed to Agility. I say this because we work with a 6 Sigma black belt
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 1, 2003
      Tuesday, September 30, 2003, 10:34:11 AM, mcclimg wrote:

      > I've had great success with Agile, and wish to continue developing in
      > this manner, however the 6 Sigma wave is upon us. My concerns on how
      > well these 2 methodologies can integrate are increasing. Has anyone
      > found a way to merge the 2 or experimented on weather the 2 can
      > coexist.

      I'm convinced that 6 Sigma, like it's sometime bedfellow CMM,
      is not inherently opposed to Agility. I say this because we
      work with a 6 Sigma black belt who believes strongly that 6
      Sigma is all about process improvement and who values our
      agility as much as the rest of us. She works with us to
      implement the simplest and fewest lightweight measurements
      possible, which will help us understand how our processes and
      products are improving, or not. She sees the 6 Sigma tools as
      some of the means to helping us achieve our goals, and not as
      a thing unto themselves. Additionally, she takes a broad view
      of what constitutes a 6 Sigma tool. As far as she's concerned,
      our iteration retrospectives are a 6 Sigma tool for monitoring
      and improving our processes. Of course, I think she's an
      incredible person in any role, and is likely an aberration in
      the 6 Sigma arena.

      Unfortunately, 6 sigma as I've seen it practiced in the rest
      of our company, and from what I've heard anecdotally,
      elsewhere, often takes a very different form. Often the 6
      sigma tools and practices take on a life of their own,
      independent of the processes they are intended to improve.
      When this happens, the result is often a mass of new
      "required" processes layered on top of an existing
      infrastructure of processes, which probably don't work very
      well to start with. Thus what were probably heavyweight
      processes in the first place, get even heavier with the
      addition of new "6 sigma" checkpoints.

      Like CMM, I believe the heart of 6 sigma is in the right
      place. 6 Sigma, in its native form, is all about monitoring,
      and adjusting what we do to get better at it. It is about
      talking with our customers to understand what they think we're
      doing well, and what they think we could do better. All these
      things can be done in an agile way. I just don't think it
      happens very often in an Agile way.


      --

      Doug Swartz
      daswartz@...
    • Brad Appleton
      I recently came across something called Lean Six Sigma that has apparently been around for a year or two. It combines Six Sigma with the principles of lean
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 1, 2003
        I recently came across something called "Lean Six Sigma"
        that has apparently been around for a year or two. It combines
        Six Sigma with the principles of lean production. I posted
        a query about it on the leandevelopment YahooGroup and got
        a couple of responses. The most helpful one was from
        Brian Henderson:
        > You may try looking at the Software Channel on iSixSigma.com
        > <http://software.isixsigma.com/>
        >
        > Here is one article that may help explain Lean Six Sigma...
        > http://software.isixsigma.com/library/content/c020725a.asp

        There is also a book or two from Amazon by Michael George
        entitled "Lean Six Sigma" along with a 30+page excerpt.

        I don't know who has applied this to software development,
        but in theory at least "Lean" and Six Sigma are compotible,
        so I would imagine it possible that Agile and Six Sigma are
        compatible as well and it all comes down to the implementation
        and execution in practice

        --
        Brad Appleton <brad@...> www.bradapp.net
        Software CM Patterns (www.scmpatterns.com)
        Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration
        "And miles to go before I sleep." -- Robert Frost
      • Brad Appleton
        Looks like there is an article in Last month s CrossTalk magazine that compares Lean Six Sigma with the CMM:
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 1, 2003
          Looks like there is an article in Last month's CrossTalk
          magazine that compares "Lean Six Sigma" with the CMM:
          http://www.stsc.hill.af.mil/crosstalk/2003/09/index.html

          That issue also has an article on best-practices for defect
          management in an agile development environment.

          On Wed, Oct 01, 2003 at 02:05:13PM -0500, Brad Appleton wrote:
          > I recently came across something called "Lean Six Sigma"
          > that has apparently been around for a year or two. It combines
          > Six Sigma with the principles of lean production. I posted
          > a query about it on the leandevelopment YahooGroup and got
          > a couple of responses. The most helpful one was from
          > Brian Henderson:
          > > You may try looking at the Software Channel on iSixSigma.com
          > > <http://software.isixsigma.com/>
          > >
          > > Here is one article that may help explain Lean Six Sigma...
          > > http://software.isixsigma.com/library/content/c020725a.asp
          >
          > There is also a book or two from Amazon by Michael George
          > entitled "Lean Six Sigma" along with a 30+page excerpt.
          >
          > I don't know who has applied this to software development,
          > but in theory at least "Lean" and Six Sigma are compotible,
          > so I would imagine it possible that Agile and Six Sigma are
          > compatible as well and it all comes down to the implementation
          > and execution in practice
          >
          > --
          > Brad Appleton <brad@...> www.bradapp.net
          > Software CM Patterns (www.scmpatterns.com)
          > Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration
          > "And miles to go before I sleep." -- Robert Frost
        • Eric Johnson
          From a root philosophy standpoint, I tend to agree with Alistair. Six Sigma tends to emphasize rigorous documentation and quantifiable measurements -- even
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 1, 2003
            From a root philosophy standpoint, I tend to agree with Alistair.
            Six Sigma tends to emphasize rigorous documentation and
            quantifiable measurements -- even when developing the
            documentation and analysis delivers little real value. This is,
            of course, directly opposed to the philosophy of developing the
            minimum documentation, code, etc, required to confidently
            deliver the product.

            That said, I think it is possible to map XP@Scrum activities into
            a Six Sigma DMADV framework. I haven't fully thought this
            through, but I've been kicking it around for a while. Any comments
            are most welcome.

            Sigma DMADV Phases & XP/Scrum Deliverables
            ========================================

            Iteration X

            DEFINE
            - User Stories
            - Functional Requirements
            - Non-Functional Requirements
            - Product Backlog
            - Committed Sprint Backlog
            - Management Tests (from industrialXP)
            - Acceptance Tests

            MEASURE
            - Management Tests (current state)
            - Sprint Backlog Burndown

            ANALYZE
            - Customer/Developer Design Sessions
            - Alternate Design Concepts
            - Prototypes (paper, code, etc)

            DESIGN
            - Unit Tests
            - Working Code
            - Design Documentation (as appropriate)

            VERIFY
            - Acceptance Tests (outcomes)
            - Management Tests (outcomes)
            - Customer Feedback
            - Sprint Review Meeting

            Then loop-back and repeat for the next iteration.

            I think this mapping could work in a Sigma organization,
            provided the Master Black Belts understand the reason
            for taking an "inspect and adapt" approach like XP@Scrum.
            Since Sigma came out of a manufacturing environment,
            many MBBs may be able to see the correlations between
            Scrum and industrial process control theory (maybe Ken
            or someone else can expound further on the connections?).

            Hope this helps.

            --EJ

            http://home.ricochet.com/eric.r.johnson/




            >From: acockburn@...
            >Reply-To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            >To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Agile and 6 Sigma
            >Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 11:40:12 EDT
            >
            >In a message dated 9/30/2003 9:34:30 AM Mountain Daylight Time,
            >McClintock_Mike_G@... writes:
            >I've had great success with Agile, and wish to continue developing in
            >this manner, however the 6 Sigma wave is upon us. My concerns on how
            >well these 2 methodologies can integrate are increasing. Has anyone
            >found a way to merge the 2 or experimented on weather the 2 can
            >coexist.
            >
            >Thanks in advance for your replies,
            >---> My take is that there is a fundamental opposition to the two.
            >
            >Some agile techniques can be used anyway, but the *intention* or value of
            >staying agile and the intention or value of being correct lead to different
            >development strategies.
            >
            >See
            >http://alistair.cockburn.us/crystal/articles/adjtwbc/agiledevjoinsthewouldbecrowdcitj0102.pdf
            >for a discussion.
            >
            >==============================================
            >Dr. Alistair Cockburn
            >President, Humans and Technology
            >Program Director, Agile Development Conference
            >(http://AgileDevelopmentConference.com)
            >
            >http://alistair.cockburn.us alistair.cockburn@...
            >1814 E. Fort Douglas Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
            >Phone: 801.582-3162 Fax: 775.416.6457
            >
            >"La perfection est atteinte non quand il ne reste rien a ajouter,
            >mais quand il ne reste rien a enlever." (Saint-Exupery)
            >==============================================

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          • Mike Jones
            ... What little I know about six sigma (I m just getting started myself), indicates that it will work in an Agile environment. Our product falls under FDA
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 2, 2003
              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Brad Appleton <brad@b...>
              > I don't know who has applied this to software development,
              > but in theory at least "Lean" and Six Sigma are compotible,
              > so I would imagine it possible that Agile and Six Sigma are
              > compatible as well and it all comes down to the implementation
              > and execution in practice
              >

              What little I know about six sigma (I'm just getting started
              myself), indicates that it will work in an Agile environment.

              Our product falls under FDA control, and we wondered how we would
              implement Scrum and what the FDA needed. What we discovered was
              that the FDA didn't dictate any given process.

              What I'm finding is that these external processes have requirements
              and control points that you need to insert within your daily
              schedule (things you have to do to make the given process work - its
              a machine and you need to turn the crank).

              Scrum wasn't so much a process - it was a tool for getting processes
              done. Whatever your process is - you just insert them within your
              day.

              The FDA is pretty much about documenting everything- having defined
              processes and follow them (and "prove" that you followed them - if
              you don't write it down, it didn't happen). We just documented our
              implementation of Scrum (and how our life cycle worked). The FDA
              and Six Sigma have different purposes.

              I expect six sigma to be the same. A set of control points to
              insert into our current process and metrics to record (and feed into
              some machine). The hard part is always... Just Doing It. Agile is
              about doing whatever needs to be done and throwing the rest aside.
              So you decide what you want from the process and do those parts (and
              some parts aren't optional).

              -Mike
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