Difference Between Six Sigma and CMMI

Six Sigma vs CMMI
 

Increasing competition, higher costs, and needs for consistent quality in products and services have resulted in the adoption of methodologies and techniques aimed at improving efficiency, reducing errors, maintain quality levels and improving processes and procedures. Six Sigma and the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) are two such techniques that aim to improve organizational processes to meet organizational goals and objectives more effectively. Despite the fact that both six sigma and CMMI add value to the organization and bring about large savings in terms of efficiency and cost, the manners in which these methodologies are implemented are quite distinct to one another. The article offers a clear overview of each technique and highlights the similarities and differences between six sigma and CMMI.

What is Six Sigma?

Six sigma refer to a set of techniques and methodologies used in the improvement of processes with the aim of reducing errors and failure rates. According to the six sigma concept, a defect is any process or output that falls short of customer specifications. Six sigma aims at improving the quality of the firm’s various processes and procedures by firstly identifying causes for defects, then removing those causes and minimizing the variability in the business processes. The term six sigma has been derived from statistics and is a method used in statistical quality control to improve the process capability of a particular process. Process capability is an index that measures the number of parts that are produced to specifications.

Six sigma was developed as part of the quality control program by Motorola in 1986, and it aims to reduce manufacturing defects to no more than 3.4 defects per 1 million. There are two main concepts that are followed under six sigma; they are DMAIC and DMADV. DMAIC stands for define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. DMADV stands for define, measure, analyze, design, and verify.  DMAIC is implemented for currently existing processes which fall short of specifications and need to be aligned with the six sigma concept. DMADV is implemented when developing new processes or products to six sigma levels of quality.

What is CMMI?

The CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) is a process improvement model which operates based on the principal that the quality of a particular process, system or product is mostly based on the quality of the processes that are involved in its development and maintenance. CMMI is a method that is used to guide and influence the improvement of processes and development of processes that meet organizational goals. The CMMI was developed by the Carnegie Mellon University on behalf of the U.S. Government. CMMI consist of three areas which include:

  1. Product and service development
  2. Service establishment, management and delivery
  3. Product and service acquisition

The CMMI has identified 5 stages of maturity that define how successfully a process is working. Under CMMI, all elements of a specific process are broken down into process areas which allow firms to make sure that all elements in the process are properly evaluated and improved. This model also has 16 process areas that can be tailored to the specific needs and organizational goals of organizations.

What is the difference between Six Sigma and CMMI?

 Six sigma and CMMI both add value to organizations by drastically reducing errors, costs, wastage and inefficiencies. Both techniques aim to improve organization processes so that specific goals and targets can be met faster and more effectively. The main difference between six sigma and CMMI is that CMMI was developed for the software industry and, therefore, has limited application in comparison to six sigma that is more broadly used. Another main difference between six sigma and CMMI is that the six sigma approach includes techniques used to identify, measure, keep track of, and finally evaluate the effectiveness of process improvement activities. CMMI, on the other hand, is a set of guidelines with ‘how to’ approach of process improvement. CMMI focuses on the process improvement within specific process areas and is therefore domain specific. In contrast, six sigma takes a wider approach in improving processes and eliminating defects on an organizational level across various domains.

Summary:

CMMI vs Six Sigma

• Six Sigma and CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) are two such techniques that aim to improve organizational processes to meet organizational goals and objectives more effectively.

• Six sigma refer to a set of techniques and methodologies used in the improvement of processes with the aim of reducing errors and failure rates.

• According to the six sigma concept, a defect is any process or output that falls short of customer specifications.

• Six sigma improves the quality of a firm’s various processes and procedures by firstly identifying the causes for defects, and then removing those causes and minimizing the variability in the business processes.

• The capability maturity model integration (CMMI) is a process improvement model that is used to guide and influence the improvement and development of processes that meet organizational goals.

• The CMMI has identified 5 stages of maturity that define how successfully a process is working. This model also has 16 process areas that can be tailored to the specific needs and organizational goals of organizations.

• A main difference between six sigma and CMMI is that the six sigma approach includes techniques used to identify, measure, keep track of, and finally evaluate the effectiveness of process improvement activities. CMMI, on the other hand, is a set of guidelines with ‘how to’ approach of process improvement.