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Thu, Nov 6, 3:30 - 3:55, Pueblo C     Paper (refereed)
Recommended Citation: Hayen, R L.  Six Sigma Encounter with Information Systems.  In The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2008, v 25 (Phoenix): §1732. ISSN: 1542-7382. (A later version appears in Information Systems Education Journal 7(78). ISSN: 1545-679X.)

Six Sigma Encounter with Information Systems

Refereed18 pages
Roger L. Hayen    [a1] [a2]
Business Information Systems Department
Central Michigan University    [u1] [u2]
Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA    [c1] [c2]

This research examines the application of the Six Sigma methodology to a business problem that emerges with an information technology (IT) solution as the best alternative. A Time/Leave Reporting Process, which supports the payroll function, is investigated using Six Sigma methodology. That case application serves to demonstrate the Six Sigma approach to business process problem solving. Six Sigma is centered on a project team lead a business process owner, rather than an IT driven project team. The Six Sigma methodology is arranged as five phases with a variety of analytical tools deployed in each phase. The methodology focuses on a data analysis driven approach wherein data are collected and analyzed in identifying the root causes of the problem. That solution may or may not include IT. However, when IT is included in the solution, the Six Sigma project may take a detour as an IT project while the IT solution is prepared and implemented. The Six Sigma, process owner team loses much of the control of the project, when a speed bump is encountered. One advantage of an IT solution is that control is instantiated that makes it very difficult to deviate from the new solution. Six Sigma and traditional IT business problem solutions share many techniques that are compatible with one another. Their synergies should undergo further examination to determine how these two methodologies can better support future IT education.

Keywords: six sigma, systems development, systems implementation

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