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6 Sigma Approach to Determining the Process Capability of a Software Process


SITARA Continuing Education Points: 1 points




PREREQUISITES: Understanding the use of Statistical Process Control Techniques


  Participants will understand the method that has to be employed to determine process capability of a

     software process through hands-on practice sessions.
  Definition of two of the most intriguing terms: Defect and Critical to Quality Characteristics as applicable to

     software will be elaborated in the tutorial


This tutorial describes the approach that should be adopted while determining the process capability of the software development process. In simple terms: the Sigma Capability of a process is known by first quantifying two numbers, determining a ratio between them and then reading off a table that maps this ratio to the sigma equivalent. But, are these two numbers - one, the number of post release defects and two, the number of critical to quality characteristics subject to individual interpretation?

Further, since the ratio is defined as the number of post release defects to the number of critical to quality characteristics (CTQ), and it is after all human to err, the number of defects become inherent to the process due to common-cause variations of the process after a point. Therefore, if the number of CTQ is increased it is theoretically possible to arrive at a fantastic process capability that is much closer to the 6 sigma level of perfection! But, what is the right way to do it?

The purpose of this tutorial is to establish a proven way of knowing these two measures - the number of post release defects and the critical to quality characteristics. Emphasis of this tutorial will be to provide a technically sound definition and understanding of the method that should be employed to determine the process capability in statistical terms after first, defining the terms "defect" and "critical to quality characteristic".

The day-long tutorial will describe the essential technical and management processes that must be built into the measurement program to ensure that phase-wise process capability is tracked and measured. It will expand on this topic and show with examples as to how the final process capability of a software development process should be arrived at for it to be termed-technically correct.

Should the sigma capability be known at every phase in the lifecycle of the development process? The answer is, yes. Will the process capability of the overall lifecycle, then be limited and restricted to the weakest capability of a phase? The answer again is, yes. How many repeated cycles of measuring the process capability be used to arrive at this statistical number and how do I do it? Attend the tutorial!


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