Sunday, November 13, 2011

Six sigma comes to IT in Seagate

Six sigma, originated by Motorola in the late 1980s, is a methodology aiming to reduce variations in a process. Seagate Technology is an IT company which successfully manages to get up to six sigma and has been utilized six sigma in every field in its organization.

When I took my internship in Seagate Technology, my mentor is a Master Black Belt in Sig Sigma. I noticed that there are multiple six sigma trainings within Seagate and everyone can have the chance of taking those trainings and that there are at least 1 Master Black Belt and several Master Brown Belts and Green Belts within every functional organizations. Six Sigma in Seagate is not only a methodology for quality improvement in manufacturing, but also a methodology utilized in the whole organizational structure to change the approach of problem solving and in an effort to standardize processes, reducing defects.

When Six sigma methodology is brought to IT department, it is about to take IT organization and get it under control. Mark A. Brewer, senior vice president and CIO of computer manufacturer Seagate Technology said that Six sigma methods work as well in reducing errors across IT operations as they do in manufacturing processes because IT operations are a kind of factory, with inputs, desired outputs and parameters that must be controlled. “I have a factory, it’s just data centers, networks, servers, VPN, help desks and so on.”

Seagate IT department booked direct savings from Six Sigma analyses of $3.7 million during the 2002 fiscal year. The company as a whole reports savings more than $956 million from Six sigma from 1998 to 2003.

More detailed information about why six sigma is a resourceful methodology for IT department to consider and how Seagate IT applies it can be found in this link.

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