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Does Microsoft applies Six Sigma techniques ?

Any idea how much Microsoft saves by applying Six Sigma on their product development ?

Ramu Karyat
Monday, August 02, 2004

Seventy-three dollars.

Bob
Monday, August 02, 2004

per hour ?

Ramu Karyat
Monday, August 02, 2004

According to this powerpoint presentation ( http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:RRefEKn7qp8J:www.eng.uts.edu.au/ProspectiveStudents/short/SixSigmaUTSNov02.pdf+microsoft+sig+sigma&hl=en )

aes4 q234 xret se r67 q243 3wa5

How does Microsoft define Six Sigma? Less than 4 crashes per 4 billion CPU cycles? ;-)

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, August 02, 2004

They were going for Jiu-Jitsu but ended up with Six Sigma.

Fat Bastard
Monday, August 02, 2004

>Any idea how much Microsoft saves by applying Six Sigma on their product development ?

From what statistics reveal, it figures around 22.85% of their gross annual turnover, or 73.019% of the EBIT. Statistically speaking[1], that is.




[1] http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=169790&ixReplies=18

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Monday, August 02, 2004

From what I understand, Microsoft has Six Sigma implementation tools that they sell; however, they don't implement six sigma themselves.

Six Sigma in software engineering is a relatively complicated topic, whereas Six Sigma in manufacturing is a relatively understood and intelligible topic.

Lou
Monday, August 02, 2004

"4 crashes per 4 billion CPU cycles" sounds pretty grim. That's 6 crashes per second on my PC.

Even 1 crash per quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) CPU cycles is no good (one every couple of days).

Nemesis
Monday, August 02, 2004

Nemesis,

  You have a 6 GHz machine?

Steamrolla
Monday, August 02, 2004

Six Sigma... mmmm, "black belt".  *Cough*bullshit*Cough*

Just a catch-phrase for billing clients too stupid to know any better.

That is not to say that quality programs don't work.  The ones that work are those built up from within.  Bottom-up scheduling can give you a good estimate for integration and feature complete dates.  Problem bounding and good design are essential. Those are some keys to good software pratices.

At a former company, we had a decent design process.  The product marketing team and lead engineers worked together to define the feature set, and then everyone signed off on the features and the schedule.  If a new feature were to be added, it would be documented and a proposed schedule revision reviewed by the core team. If everyone signed off on the schedule revision and the features to be added, it became part of the product.

If most teams employed a methodology similar to that, and engineers scoping problems at a task level with estimates, then you are close to "painless software schedules".  The only pain is estimating - and more specifically bounding - the stuff you don't know.  Perhaps you're tasked to write a servo motor control widget, and you have noone with that experience. Gotta do some research and bound the problem or purchase a solution.

Well, anyway, some people need to pay a consultant big money to stamp their program as "six sigma" and off we go.  Black belt... Very humorous.

hoser
Monday, August 02, 2004

"Nemesis,  You have a 6 GHz machine? "

Well, it is a dual 3 GHz Xeon, so yeah, essentially a 6GHz machine.

Nemesis
Monday, August 02, 2004

Six Sigma is great for people selling large corporations a silver bullet solution. These gullible companies always conclude that six sigma saved us X millions of dollars...of course never showing the numbers.

Tom VU
Monday, August 02, 2004

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