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I am a Quality Assurance Analyst. In order to expand my horizon I am studying Lean Six Sigma. I found it very interesting. I am trying my best to spare time to attend seminars and study books in order to learn it. Good thing is, now I am now aware of many new processes like, Kaizen.

My question is - how Six sigma is beneficial for a QA/tester? I am concerned that as a QA/tester, my path is correct or should I go for some other training/certification.

Thank you for your time!

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This is likely to be geography specific. Where I live, certifications are risky; admitting to having them can actually count against you by suggesting a lack of experience or a narrow view of how software quality work should be performed. Here, in Seattle, WA, I would recommend looking at local community college programs, reading books on software testing, work experience, and / or contributing to open source projects online over certification. I understand that certifications are highly desirable in other areas, even within this same country. The level of role you are seeking may also be relevant.

Look for local QA meetup groups, and ask there. You really need local information for this, IMO.

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Most of my peers (past and present) have ISTQB certs. That is specifically QA. If you want to learn lean, I suggest buying a book on the Toyota Production System as there is no meaningful cert for that.

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I am a software tester, I want to share my test experience about "How Six sigma is beneficial for a QA/tester?"

We should admit ,with limit of our recognition, we can't do things perfectly in first place, we have to improve it again and again.

So we have to define our goal, quality goal, that will guide us how to improve.

even if Linux kernel development was not perfect too, the developers have to refactor again and again. but what their goal is ? there must be a goal, sometime is throughout, timing and so on.

When I was in charge of android updating feature, without knowledge of 6σ, I just focused on the test cases execution passing rate.

With the knowledge, I focused on the android updating quality.

I use DMAIC process in 6σ to define android updating quality.

[Define Quality] first, what should be the android updating quality?

I thought it should be :

  1. stable, everyone should update their phone successfully.
  2. reliable, even if the failure occurs, they can recovery.
  3. support many updating ways, the developer, user, producer can get their device updated.
  4. cheap, the updating file should be small, the fee to updating devices should be cheap in storage and transfering
  5. smart, the updating should be smart, it can do updating at spare time.
  6. in time, the emergency updating should update in time.
  7. maintainable, it should be very easy to get failure logs without having phone in hand

[Develop KPIs to measure Quality[ then I start to develop KPIs to measure quality goals

for example, use big data to monitor stability, automatically calculate reliability and so on

[Start Analysis what I did not enough] by analyzing those data, I can find what I missed

[Improve] invent some test patterns to improve the test quality and so on

[Control] let the new test patterns / tools in production

I think that's the power of 6σ:

let me think in quality

let me run Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle in right way more faster

let me use fancy charts of quality that will make your leader think you are awesome.

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In any industry, Lean methodology helps. In IT industry also lean six sigma helps in measuring the details and finding out solutions and improving the process. Instead of a QA who loves to test initially, I recommend a QA Manager or Service Delivery Manager can go for Lean Six Sigma (various belts- based on the company standards) which helps in auditing and improvise the process.

As a QA, i can recommend to learn automation and performance instead of getting into Lean Six Sigma. Because this helps to boost up your career path.

But for academic purpose if you wish to know what is Lean and what is Six Sigma etc, you can go to online courses (Paid as well as free).

Below are some of free courses for reference.

https://www.udemy.com/lean-six-sigma-introduction-specialist/

https://www.udemy.com/free-lean-six-sigma-primer/

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Nowadays a lot of emphasis is laid on the quality of products and services. Every business is heading to a world with zero-defect. The six sigma QA best practices work in tandem to identify and find ways to get rid of the defects. I have 2 years of experience as a QA engineer and now I am also learning Lean Six Sigma. I think now Six Sigma quality management becomes the prime concern for organizations to improve profitability.

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