DFSS in IT: Lean Six Sigma Application in Information Technology Tutorial

8.1 Lesson 08 DFSS in IT

Hello and welcome to the eighth lesson of the Lean Six Sigma Application in Information Technology course offered by Simplilearn. This lesson covers the concept of Design for Six Sigma in IT. Let us explore the objectives of this lesson in the next screen.

8.2 Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to: Describe the phases and deliverables of Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) projects Differentiate between various SDLC methodologies and DFSS Explain the uses of specific DFSS tools in the solution delivery process We will begin the first topic of this lesson in the next screen.

8.3 DFSS in IT Topic 1 Overview of DFSS

The first topic in this lesson provides an overview of DFSS. Let us discuss the development challenges in the following screen.

8.4 Development Challenges

New product development has a very high failure rate- up to 80% in some industries Regardless of industry or type of product, there are some common reasons why the failure rate is high Failure to understand market needs: Organizations often do not have the discipline to do thorough research on market needs. Instead, they decide what the marketplace wants without really acting. In IT organizations, this is often manifested in the requirements phase. Design Flaws: Sometimes, the product itself has fatal flaws- either in converting design to production, or defects in the final product. Timing: When launching a new product – timing is everything. Companies can move too slow, and allow a competitor to go to the market first, or move too quickly and skip critical steps- which often leads to serious quality issues In the next screen, we will identify the critical success factors in product development.

8.5 Success Factors

When approaching product or technology development, there is a saying- go slow to go fast. This means spending time in upfront planning and fully understanding the customer needs actually reduces the time to market or implement. Good upfront planning reduces unplanned changes and defects during the development process. There are a few Common Success Factors: Incorporating the voice of the customer into every element of the project Having right resources with the right skills in the project team Effective planning processes In the next screen we will learn about design for six sigma.

8.6 Design for Six Sigma

Design for Six Sigma or DFSS as it is commonly named incorporates the ideas of Lean Six Sigma to the product and process design- the goal is to build in a six sigma level of quality from the beginning and use process improvement techniques to fix them after launch DFSS mitigates the possibility of failures using a variety of concepts including the following: VOC tools: DFSS utilizes Voice of the Customer tools across the life of the project to ensure alignment to and understanding of what the customer requires. Quality Function Deployment: DFSS uses a specific VOC concept called quality functional deployment or (QFD) to plan and organize customer requirements, identify gaps ad targets, and develop the critical to quality characteristics of the product or service Scorecards: DFSS leverages scorecards to monitor progress and provide detailed tracking of critical customer requirements Risk Analysis: DFSS leverages FMEA methodology to identify potential risks and strategies to mitigate them As discussed in lesson 1, there are 5 phases to a DFSS project: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify In the next screen, we will cover the DFSS questions.

8.7 DFSS Questions

In general, there are few key questions that should be answered in a DFSS project- they are: What does the customer really want—what will they pay for? Can delighter features be added for minimal cost? What ideas can be borrowed from competitors? What ideas can be borrowed from ourselves? Is the design robust? Can we produce it flawlessly? In the next screen, we will cover the DFSS deliverables

8.8 DFSS Deliverables

Each phase of a Lean Six Sigma design project has key deliverables. The define phase focuses on defining the opportunity and identifying business risk. An analysis of customer and/or market needs is also completed in this phase. In the measure phase, the voice of the current or potential customers is gathered and used to define the initial critical to quality characteristics. Detailed risk analysis is also a key deliverable in the measure phase The analyze phase focuses on developing and evaluating various design concepts. Once a concept is chosen, a detailed critical to quality characteristic assessment is completed. In the design phase the chosen design is optimized and tested to verify all design elements. After testing, the final design is confirmed. Finally, the verify phase includes control plan development, and the launch of the product or process. Outcomes are validated and the project is closed. In the next screen we will compare DFSS and Lean.

8.9 DFSS and Lean

While DFSS is traditionally thought of as being closely aligned with the Six Sigma toolset, it is also well aligned with Lean. As lean and six sigma have integrated over the years into lean six sigma, so have dfss and lean. Let us now look at some examples of how lean concepts are being leveraged in design work. Define: The laser focus of lean on identifying the voice of the customer and identification of customer value add aligns tightly and enhances the define efforts of a DFSS project. Measure and Analyze: Lean forces a discipline of understanding current state and defining value from the customers’ perspective. Understanding current state is especially important in software and systems development as it is critical to understand how the business operates and uses current systems in order to deliver a product that supports core functions and addresses gaps in current performance. The identification of CVA and NVA activities allows the product, system, or service being designed to be efficient and minimize NVA features and functions at launch. Design: Lean concepts including flow and pull can be employed in the design phase to ensure efficient manufacturing, ordering, and support processes. Finally, in the verify phase, lean concepts including building in total productive maintenance and visual management ensure the ongoing high performance level of the product, system, or service. Let us proceed to the next topic of the lesson in the next screen.

8.10 DFSS in IT Topic 2 SDLC vs. DFSS

Under this topic, we will compare various SDLC methodologies to DFSS. Let us get an overview of SDLC in the following screen.

8.11 SDLC Overview

SDLC is an acronym for systems development life cycle SDLC describes the phases, or stages of a system development project from initial scoping to maintenance of the completed application Different methodologies exist for SDLC, such as Waterfall and Agile. These will be covered in detail in the forthcoming screens. Before that, let us review the general SDLC steps in the following screen.

8.12 General SDLC Steps

All SDLC methodologies follow roughly the same steps which are: The current system is evaluated and gaps are identified Requirements for the new system are defined The proposed system design is completed including hardware, operating system, security and other items System development- this step includes testing and training After development the system is implemented, either in phases or all at once After implementation- a warranty period is in place where the system is evaluated and defects are corrected The system is then transitioned to final run state where ongoing maintenance and enhancements occur. In the next screen, we will discuss the waterfall methodology of SDLC.

8.13 SDLC Waterfall

Waterfall is considered the classic model for software development. Waterfall consists of 5 phases, such as: Requirements: This phase includes planning/current state/ and soliciting the system requirements, or what the system needs to do and deliver Design: Identification and documentation of the system design and architecture based on the requirements gathered in the previous phase Development and testing: Activities are undertaken to build and test the system prior to implementation Implementation: Deployment of the technology solution, which can be undertaken in a phased or all in approach and warranty period, which is the period immediately after implementation where any defects identified are fixed by the development team. Maintenance: Transition to run and ongoing run activities SDLC is a linear model, with no ability to move back in the process based on feedback or lessons learned, which can be problematic. This led to the development of several iterative models over time Let us proceed to the next screen to review the iterative models, Agile.

8.14 SDLC Agile

As discussed in an earlier screen, all SDLC methodologies perform roughly the same types of tasks.- Agile is different from waterfall in its iterative nature. Let us discuss the steps in Agile: Overall planning and requirements: Before launching the project, comprehensive planning and requirements gathering is done, much as it is in waterfall.- The work is then broken down into 2 weeks iterations. Iteration planning: Once the iterations are set, the agile process differs from waterfall and other straight line methods- starting with the iteration planning process, where the work for the two week cycle is done Development: After iteration planning, development is done Testing: After development, the system will be put forth for testing Small Release: After testing, a small release to test users is completed User feedback: Users provide feedback on the small release performance and functionality Updates and modifications: These are completed based on the feedback Iteration retrospective: At the end of the iteration, a retrospective is done for lessons learned, then the process starts over again. As discussed in earlier lessons, agile with its flexibility and small iterations incorporate many of the concepts of lean. Agile is not the only iterative model, others also exist including RAD, spiral, and others. In the next screen we will compare and contrast SDLC and DFSS methodologies.

8.15 SDLC and DFSS

While SDLC and DFSS have different approaches, at their core, the goals are very similar. The goals of SDLC are: Establish a plan to deliver project on time and budget Deliver a solution that meets customer requirements Design infrastructure and system architecture to ensure performance and reliability Maintain and improve performance of solution over time , then : In comparison the goals of DFSS are: Provide standard methodology to deliver high quality products and services Understand VOC requirements prior to project launch Design quality into production/delivery processes to ensure predictable quality outcome Incorporate monitoring of project to ensure ongoing quality As you can see, while the focus is different, the anticipated outcome is the same- delivering what the customer wants in the most efficient and effective manner. In the next screen, we will explore how DFSS aligns to the traditional waterfall methodology.

8.16 Leveraging DFSS as SDLC Methodology

It is possible to leverage DFSS as the SDLC methodology as the phases in a DFSS methodology can easily be adapted to the common SDLC phases- an example of how the phases of a waterfall project align to DFSS are highlighted in the table given on the screen. It is not necessary to fully convert to DFSS as the SDLC methodology to improve the software development process. Incorporating a critical tool from DFSS called “Quality Functional Deployment” can greatly enhance the process without making the difficult organizational change to a new SDLC methodology. Let us get an overview of Quality Functional Deployment in the following screen.

8.17 Quality Functional Deployment

Quality Functional Deployment (QFD) is also known as House of Quality. QFD: ensures customer needs drive the development process; allows for planning and organizing requirements from high level down to detailed level; identifies gaps and targets; and establishes the Critical to Quality (CTQ) requirements. In the next screen we will cover the QFD phases.

8.18 QFD Phases

A full QFD or house of quality has 4 phases Customer requirements feed into each of the four phases, so understanding the VOC is done prior to the start of the QFD process QFD 1 focuses on establishing the technical requirements QFD 2 focuses on design details QFD 3 focuses on process details QFD 4 focuses on process controls The rest of this lesson will focus on QFD 1- establishing requirements.

8.19 QFD 1 Steps

The QFD 1 steps for software development are as follows: Utilize VOC techniques to identify customer needs—the “what” Rate relative importance of customer needs Translate the customer needs into functional requirements—the “how” Rate the strength of the relationship between the customer needs and functional requirements—relationship matrix We will continue the steps to complete QFD 1 for software development in the following screen.

8.20 QFD 1 Steps (contd.)

The QFD 1 steps for software development are as follows: Identify if there are negative correlations between the functional requirements—correlation matrix Rate internal product vs. competitor products—competitive assessment Rate the difficulty of developing the requirements Analyze the output and prioritize requirements The next screen will explain the steps to complete QFD 1 using an example.

8.21 Completed QFD 1 Example

The image on the screen demonstrates how the QFD 1 is structured and produced The completed QFD 1 is on the next screen.

8.22 Completed QFD 1 Example (contd.)

This is an example of what a completed QFD looks like Let us proceed to the next topic of this lesson in the next screen.

8.23 DFSS in IT Topic 3 Case Study

This topic covers a case study on using QFD 1 to identify business requirements. The next screen provides a background to the case study.

8.24 Background

A medium sized mortgage broker company with 450 employees operating in 3 states serves both residential and commercial mortgage customers. Portfolio prioritization in this company was completed during annual planning. One of the projects selected during the prioritization process was a property value database to streamline the loan approval process. Project planning is underway. The project sponsor has indicated a desire to evaluate requirements using QFD. You have been assigned the deliverable to lead the efforts to create the QFD 1 for the project. You have been assigned the deliverable to lead the efforts to create the QFD 1 for the project. Let us proceed to the next screen for the first case study question.

8.25 Case Study Question 1

What is the first step you should take in the QFD process? Solicit the customers of the project to understand their needs and priorities. In the next screen, we will view the output of the VOC activities

8.26 VOC Output

Interviews are conducted to solicit customer requirements and the output is shown on the screen. Let us proceed to the next screen for the next case study question

8.27 Case Study Question 2

What were the highest priority items from the VOC activity? User friendly, consolidated customer views, and property estimate information availability were ranked as the highest customer priorities. Let us look at the functional requirements in the following screen.

8.28 Functional Requirements

Based on the customer requirements, the team identified the functional requirements and the output is given on the screen: Now, let us proceed to the next screen for the next case study question.

8.29 Case Study Question 3

What is the next step you should take in the QFD process? The next step is to complete the relationship matrix. Let us move on to the next screen to set up the relationship matrix.

8.30 Relationship Matrix

The team identified 3 levels to indicate the relationship between the customer needs and the functional requirements. The scale and the completed relationship matrix is shown on the screen. Next, the team identified positive or negative correlations between the functional requirements. The output of the correlation matrix is on the next screen.

8.31 Correlation Matrix

The completed correlation matrix is given on the screen The double plus signs indicate a strong positive correlation between the requirements- any competing or conflicting requirements would be indicated by two minus signs The good news for the team is there are no competing or conflicting requirements to resolve Since this is an internal product, the team decides not to complete the competitor assessment Let us proceed to the next screen for the next case study question.

8.32 Case Study Question 4

After the correlation matrix is completed, what comes next in the QFD process? Evaluate the difficulty of developing each requirement. In the next screen, we will view the output of the rating exercise.

8.33 Rating Exercise Output

A view of the difficulty rating and relative weight is as shown on the screen. Please note the output was reformatted from the actual QFD for purposes of ability to read. The difficulty rating is compared to the weight/importance to get the relative weight number. The higher the number, the higher is the priority. Let us proceed to the next screen for the last case study question.

8.34 Case Study Question 5

Based on the QFD analysis, what are the top 4 requirements for the project? Pull information from data warehouse, integration with property values database, options for customized reporting, and search function by name, ssn, or loan number. This concludes the case study. The quiz section will start in the next screen.

8.35 Quiz

Following is the quiz section to test your understanding of the topics covered in this lesson.

8.36 Summary

Here is a quick recap of what we have learned in this lesson: DFSS methodology can be leveraged to mitigate common reasons for new product and service failures. While there are different SDLC methodologies, they all follow the same general steps. SDLC and DFSS aspire to deliver similar results. QFD is a powerful tool to help prioritize requirements and ensure strong technical and functional design.

8.37 Conclusion

This concludes ‘DFSS in IT.’ With this, we have come to the end of this course. Thank You and Happy Learning!

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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