Breakthrough in Delivering Software Quality: Capability Maturity Model and Six Sigma


Since the 1980s software engineering and the quality profession have been on an intellectual collision course. Software quality has been assured through the same approach that was first used in hardware manufacturing – inspection of quality at the source of production. The emphasis on software quality was originally focused on the programmer and the process of software development. This effort culminated in a set of documented quality maturity levels to define the progress of an organization in developing a structured approach to programming. The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) was developed by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University based on the best practices of a number of leading companies such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Also during the 1980s quality improvement became more focused with the advent of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (in the USA and a parallel effort in Europe with the European Quality Award) as well as global acceptance of ISO9000 as the basic quality management system standard. As the practices of quality became more focused, so did the methods used in application of statistics and industrial engineering, culminating in a breakthrough refinement of the Total Quality Management (TQM) operating philosophy that is called Six Sigma. The Six Sigma approach was initiated by Motorola and subsequently defined by the members of the Six Sigma Research Institute, followed by application developments at ABB, AlliedSignal, General Electric and many other leading organizations that have applied the Six Sigma methods since late 1995. In this speech, the presenter proposes an approach to drive software breakthroughs by integrating CMM and Six Sigma to improve software quality performance.

DOI: 10.1007/3-540-47984-8_7

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Watson2002BreakthroughID, title={Breakthrough in Delivering Software Quality: Capability Maturity Model and Six Sigma}, author={Gregory H. Watson}, booktitle={ECSQ}, year={2002} }