Improving Process Performance Using Six Sigma

  • Does your organization experience the same product and business problems repeatedly?
  • Are you tired of process improvement projects that never produce results?
  • Are your competitors consistently beating you to market?
  • Do you have data but don't know what to do with it?

Many process improvement projects aim for modest improvements of 1-5%. Through this five-day course, you will learn how to achieve radical improvements of 10% or more through 3-6 month improvement projects. Improving Process Performance Using Six Sigma will also help you identify the real root causes of your business and product problems and teach you to develop solutions that prevent them from happening again.

The course provides an improvement framework to analyze data with the goal of making more informed business decisions. You will use a hands-on, problem solving approach to learn the necessary tools, methods, and practices without having to memorize statistics and statistical theory. Leveraging industry best practices such as Six Sigma and Goal-Driven Software Measurement, you will also learn how to balance project and process performance, quality, schedule, and cost.

Key concepts in data analysis including statistical thinking, the 7 Basic Tools, and root cause analysis are introduced through lectures and extensive practice sessions using real-life case studies and project data. The ways in which these quality measurement practices relate to improvement models such as Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) are also discussed.

Who should attend?

  • software engineering process group members
  • process improvement working group members
  • software measurement team members
  • Six Sigma black belts, green belts, or belt candidates
  • professionals seeking better ways to analyze quantitative data in support of process improvement within organizations and projects
  • project managers and process managers


  • Basic statistics
  • The 7 Basic Tools
  • Root cause analysis
  • Relationships between statistical analysis and CMMI


  • explore and navigate data to understand project, process, and product behavior, relationships and trends
  • use analysis methods to remove special causes of variation and stabilize processes
  • apply course concepts to CMMI to drive business benefit
  • select appropriately from among the data analysis methods learned in class
  • apply effective measurement & analysis techniques within a CMMI implementation


Before registering for this course, participants must

  • be familiar with measurement projects or processes from their home organization
  • be familiar with establishing a measurement infrastructure, particularly using Goal-Driven Measurement

Before attending this course, participants must

  • install their student license of a statistics package, identified in the student pre-course letter, and confirm that the software opens and functions
  • read the background material on earned value measurement, Goal-Driven Measurement, and the SEI's Goal-Question-(Indicator)-Metric (GQ[I]M) methodology sent to them

Required Equipment

Students must bring a personal computer equipped with

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional with Service Pack 3, Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2, Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2, or Windows Vista (tested on Windows Vista Enterprise, Business, Home Premium, and Home Basic editions)
  • Microsoft Excel 2000, 2002 (XP), 2003, or 2007
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 (or 3.0 with Windows XP versions or Vista)
  • Pentium-equivalent microprocessor (800 MHz or faster)
  • at least 512 MB of RAM
  • at least 88 MB of hard disk space for .NET Framework 2.0 and another 58 MB for .NET Framework 3.0 (if not already installed) and at least 400 MB for additional applications to be installed. (Note: Each of the first two components listed requires approximately twice the given amount of disk space during installation.)
  • CD-ROM drive or USB port
  • video graphics adapter and monitor with at least 1024x768 resolution
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 or later


Participants will receive a course notebook with copies of the course slides.


This five-day course meets at the following times:
Days 1-4, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (U.S. locations)
Day 5, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (U.S. locations)

Days 1-4, 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (non-U.S. locations)
Day 5, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (non-U.S. locations)

Course Details

Course Fees [USD]

U.S. Industry: $3000

U.S. Government/Academic: $2400

International: $6000

This course may be offered by special arrangement at customer sites.

For More Information

Phone: 412-268-7622

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