Business Process Management and Lean Six Sigma

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management (BPM) are two approaches to a common goal, empowering companies with continuous Business Process Improvement. When coupled together, they result in a lean enterprise solution that helps your company not only become more efficient and effective, but ultimately reduces process-related costs.

Lean Six Sigma is designed to improve the quality of process outputs by finding and removing the causes of errors and variation (inconsistency) within your business processes, particularly in the manufacturing and business sectors. This allows businesses to ensure efficiency in their procedures, decrease cycle times and improve customer service. The approach has two key principles:

  1. Delight your customers with speed and quality.
  2. Improve business process flow and speed.

Strength and power are gained through this precise and detailed approach of gathering and analyzing data. Emphasis is placed on the idea that process speed is directly tied to excellence. Even the most minor opportunities for process improvement are detected and acted upon, enabling organizations to reach their highest levels of performance. Originally developed as a set of practices designed to improve manufacturing with lean tools, it now extends into other types of business processes as well. This lean solution accentuates several beliefs including:

  • The ability to achieve – and continuous effort to maintain – stable, foreseeable process outcomes and high levels of quality is essential to the success of the business.
  • All workflows and business processes have qualities that can be measured, analyzed, improved and controlled.
  • Sustainable competitive advantages and process improvement initiatives require a company-wide commitment to solution adoption.

Using DMAIC to Improve Service Processes

Setting expectations is an integral part of deploying improvement teams. Having a standard model such as DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control) makes this much easier by providing your teams with an easy roadmap. This disciplined, structured, rigorous approach to a lean solution consists of the five phases above, where each phase is linked logically to the previous phase as well as to the next phase.

How can BPM accelerate Lean Enterprise Tools?

Business Process Improvement approaches the same goal – improving process efficiencies – from a different angle: by leveraging technological capabilities. Business Process Improvement provides lean tools with tangible synergy for these initiatives by acting as a delivery or tactical mechanism. Its ability to monitor, evaluate and control processes and optimization initiatives at a higher level across various technologies and applications is what allows BPM to compliment and accelerate Lean Six Sigma.

BPM’s network and integrated workflow processes perfect Lean Software Solutions to span entire organizations. This coupling of technologies generates a powerful comprehensive tool that accelerates your company’s performance and productivity.