COMPANIES WITH MATURE SIX SIGMA DEPLOYMENTS APPLY SIX SIGMA TO IT PROCESSES MORE OFTEN THAN LESS EXPERIENCED PRACTIONERS, SURVEY SAYS
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, MAY 25, 2006 - "Whether IT processes were the target of improvement efforts seemed to depend on two factors," said Michael Marx, Research Manager for iSixSigma Magazine, "the experience level of the company and the perceived role of IT."
According to the Information Technology and Six Sigma survey released in the May/June 2006 issue of iSixSigma Magazine (www.isixsigma-magazine.com), "Companies that had been using Six Sigma for seven or more years were nearly four times more likely to focus projects on improving IT processes than those that had been using Six Sigma for less than three years," said Marx. "They were also much more likely to integrate IT methods with Six Sigma and to align IT projects with business priorities."
Similarly, companies that viewed IT as a key strategic component accounted for 86% of the respondents who "always" used Six Sigma to improve IT processes. Conversely, companies that viewed IT as merely another "staff role" accounted for 72% of the respondents who "never" used Six Sigma to improve IT processes.
"Only 17 percent of the more than 950 respondents said that their companies always or usually use Six Sigma to improve IT processes," said Marx, "And when other projects led to IT-based solutions, they were rarely implemented -- either because of the perceived cost or a lack of priority placed on IT."
"Overall, it was surprising to us that for the majority of respondents, IT was the main focus of a project less than 10% of the time," said Marx. "Another surprising result was that companies that outsource more of their IT functions were more likely to use Six Sigma on IT process. We speculate that they may view Six Sigma as a valuable tool in the planning and prework required to properly outsource IT."