Six Sigma is Hard in IT Because It Always Changes

Six sigma is challenging in Information Technology because the environment is always changing. Patch management is necessary for operating systems and servers. Software versions are upgraded regularly, whether every few months or every few years. Websites and databases change periodically. How does this affect six sigma in IT?

  • Improvements to an internal help desk, saving tens of thousands of dollars a year, were irrelevant when IT tech support was outsourced to a third party vendor.
  • An improved software interface between two applications that eliminated hundreds of hours of manual data entry was put at risk when one of the software applications was targeted in elimination in a management drive to reduce the number of software tools.
  • A process improvement that worked around a bug or limitation of a vendor’s software is obsolete when the vendor finally solves that issue in their software.
  • Major software improvements can be held up for months or years when sidelined by security patches, emergency maintenance and serious bug fixes.
  • Improvements to a software application or associated tools are obsolete when the tool is retired.
  • Better reports and database queries work well until the reporting standards change.
  • Other reports developed for user convenience become obsolete when existing reports are determined to be good enough.

What other examples do you have? Please continue this list in the comments.