Many organizations usually go the Agile route or the Six Sigma route, and that is perfectly okay. Technology has become a dominant force in modern times, becoming ubiquitous in our daily lives – both personally and professionally. Whether it is a task you have to perform at the office or at home, you’re bound to find an app that can help you with that.
Organizations are on a warpath in regards to innovation because the secret is out: technology has a significant impact on consumer behavior. If you don’t have the technology to help your customers with their ever-evolving needs, they will look elsewhere. And to add fuel to the fire, they demand solutions of the highest quality pronto.
The consumer market is exerting pressure on organizations, and Agile is used to face them head-on. Six Sigma is used in the same vein but is approached differently from Agile, which is why we hardly see them being applied simultaneously. This leads to the question: can these two play nice for the benefit of the organization and its customers?
Enter Agile Six Sigma. But before we talk about how they can work together, let’s briefly look at each one individually.
In a nutshell, Six Sigma is a methodology that is employed to minimize defects by controlling variation. A big part of achieving this is through root cause analysis to eliminate any issues that negatively impact quality and consistent output. When implemented well, Six Sigma has been known to increase customer satisfaction.
Agile is popular in software development. It champions the concept of iterative development, which is where the development of large software is broken into small, easily manageable chunks. Agile outlines the guidelines that allow teams to consistently be productive and meet their deadline while constantly and consistently evolving the end product into something that will ultimately satisfy customers.
Agile Six Sigma – How They Can Work Together
While Six Sigma and Agile are implemented differently, it is not hard to see that they ultimately have the same goal. They are both ways to produce something valuable that will make customers happy. If two things have the same end goal, it is safe to assume that they complement each other and can be combined.
For organizations to marry these two concepts, they need to look at what they are trying to achieve and the issue they are trying to rectify. Software development is a process, after all. This means that Agile teams can incorporate Six Sigma to help them improve their performance. For instance, if the team is consistently missing deadlines, Six Sigma has the tools, like the fish diagram or the Five Whys, that can help them get to the root cause of the problem and eliminate it once and for all.
Both Six Sigma and Agile lead to better outcomes for an organization against market pressures. They can be implemented alone or together. But for the latter to happen, teams should look at what problems they are facing within their Agile framework and use Six Sigma to element them. The end result will be a faster and consistent development cycle that produces an end product that satisfies customers.