To put it otherwise, the objective is to narrow down on the right issues, so as to reduce the costs of the organization and its impact on the business. By going down to the root causes, it offers appropriate solutions instead of using predefined solutions.
Agile Software Development is a broad term used to describe a set of principles and values defined in the Agile Manifesto. The 12th principle states the following:
“At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly”.
This principle describes a very fundamental attribute of agile teams, regarding their focus on continuous introspection, adaptation, and improvement. These cycles of inspection and adaption are carried out by collaboration, usually on a daily or regular basis. Periodic retrospective meetings happening at the end of iterations are an intrinsic part of the agile process. These meetings act as checkpoints where soft observations and short-term improvements are strategized, instead of long-term or bird-eye view solutions.
Additionally, a lot of these agile decision-making processes at these stages, though informed, but are based on soft observations, instead of concrete data and measures. This is where Lean Six Sigma can play a key part. It would facilitate the agile team by providing them with a structured approach to empirical problem-solving.
Furthermore, the set of tools and techniques that Lean Six Sigma offers would allow the agile team to sieve out the root causes to the problems impacting their performance, and increase their customer satisfaction and quality.
In order to contextualize this, think of a school bus that consistently arrives late to school, thereby making the students late for their first class. The management has decided to tackle the issue. Here, Lean Six Sigma and Agile can be used together to deal with the matter. Lean Six Sigma would be used to define the causes, measure them, analyze them, lay out the possible solutions, and then validate the solution that has the desired effect. Once the solution has been finalized then agile plays its part in implementing the solution as effectively and smoothly as possible.