Title: Six Sigma in software industries: some case studies and observations

Authors: Rupa Mahanti, Jiju Antony

Addresses: Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi-835215, Jharkhand, India. ' Centre for Research in Six Sigma and Process Improvement, Strategy Operations and Leadership, Caledonian Business School, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, G40BA, UK

Abstract: While the Six Sigma body of knowledge has benefited a large number of organisations in improving product and process quality (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) and even for developing new products (Design For Six Sigma), some work is still needed for managing software projects. The aim of this paper is to present the results of semi-structured interviews conducted with software professionals in a few Indian software companies implementing Six Sigma. The paper initially presents an overview of the quality methodologies in the software domain. This is followed by the presentation of structured case studies showing the Six Sigma implementation in the individual companies having the following components – the company background, Six Sigma infrastructure, the barriers, critical success factors, Six Sigma performance indicators, Six Sigma tools, etc. The research results clear the long held misconception that Six Sigma is not applicable to software domain. The results also throw light on the quality and Six Sigma awareness in the Indian software organisations, the impact of Six Sigma on software business and the role of Six Sigma in helping organisations attaining business excellence. Little research has been carried out in terms of case studies of Six Sigma using real world examples like the one demonstrated in our paper. This paper will be valuable for quality professionals and management personnel in software organisations. This study was carried out with some boundaries like the number of companies, available resources, time constraints and so on.

Keywords: six sigma; capability maturity model; software project management; case study; software industry; India; software quality; critical success factors; barriers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2006.011118

International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 2006 Vol.2 No.3, pp.263 - 290

Published online: 16 Oct 2006 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article