A large percentage of businesses all over the world were negatively affected by the recession a few years ago. However, this situation has provided many organizations with opportunities to re-analyze their processes and determine where there have been the inefficiencies and wastes.

Many companies utilized Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management for this undertaking. Some are confused with these two methodologies, while others are able to observe the differences, leading to the efficient integration of the mentioned approaches.

Just an overview, BPM is the methodology, which has had wide usage in industries like utilities, finance, insurance, health care and the government, where paperwork is intensive. These types of businesses rely heavily on forms, which should be accomplished to deliver desire outputs. On the other hand, Lean Six Sigma more commonly benefited businesses related to distribution, process control and production. But, just recently, this methodology is being used in almost all kinds of environments and industries. The nine-step Integrated Enterprise Excellence system is a means to accomplish this integration.

Lean Six Sigma DMAIC Methodology

The focus of Lean Six Sigma DMAIC roadmap is “process improvement," which involves the following phases:

• Define

• Measure

• Analyze

• Improve

• Control

The BPM Life Cycle

The main goal is “process management,″ which can have the steps:

• Design

• Model

• Execute

• Monitor

• Optimize

Now, let’s consider at how BPM and Lean Six Sigma could be integrated through the IEE system so that the enterprise as a whole benefits:

1. BPM for Process Management, Six Sigma for Process Improvement

The best initial approach to align the two methodologies is to determine what the functions of each in the organization. For instance, organizations could rely on Lean Six Sigma to gain process improvement and then, utilize BPM to manage and automate such processes. An IEE system can provide the structure to accomplish this effort.

In the “define” phase, the organization’s team designated to improve their processes should agree what the core mission is and what need to be done. This could be a challenge since arriving at a certain agreement is difficult in most instances. At this stage, problems that impact customers should be identified and how the existing processes fail in meeting the needs of the customers.

In BPM’s “design” stage, the current processes are analyzed along with the information technology prerequisites, user interfaces and rules while designing improved processes, which will trim down current problems and prevent possible ones.

The IEE system provides direction for accomplishing these desires.

2. BPM for Testing, Lean Six Sigma for Making Measurement

It is vital to arrange the improvement initiative based on the businesses processes whilst eradicating initiatives that are overlapping. The focus should be achieving and enhancing collaboration across all departments.

In line with this, the “model” stage allows organizations to understand and evaluate designs by testing and modeling through stimulation. This phase involves creating scenarios and analyzing these against different factors to know how they influence the results. The hurdle here is how to make the measurements as accurate and feasible as possible. This is where the “Measure” phase comes in where the baseline for performance is measured and analyzed through rigor statistical analysis, measurements and strict problem solving approach.

The IEE system, with its 30,000-foot-level predictive performance metric reporting in an organizational value chain, provides the means to have clickable, up-to-date metrics.

3. Lean Six Sigma to Identify Root Cause of Problems, BPM to Execute Solution

In the “Analyze” phase of the Lean Six Sigma Methodology, the root causes of problems are determined and scrutinized using supporting data. This allows for the verification of the cause, which form the basis for structuring the solutions. Without a verified cause, it will be difficult for the “execute” phase in the BPM life cycle to take in place.

Performing analysis is the prerequisite of deploying solutions to the actual business environment. Yet, the processes involved in the two approaches should go in alignment with one another. Thus, a business integrating such approaches should consider every phase in both methodologies to ensure that business processes are improved and managed efficiently.

4. Full Execution through Lean Six Sigma, Monitoring Via BPM

While BPM make use of modeling and testing to picture end results, Lean Six Sigma depends on piloting solutions to make sure that the planned solutions in processes actually get rid of unnecessary expenses, wastes and defects already identified in the “define” stage. Once the solutions have been validated and piloted, full scale execution will take place.

Monitoring comes next once the processes have been implemented. This stage entails knowing what to supervise and measuring events and key processes utilizing various measures, which may be the following: delays, costs and time. The IEE value chain with automatic metric updates provides a structure to accomplish these needs.

5. BPM for Optimization, Lean Six Sigma for Continuing Control

Executing the solution can resolve the problem at a given time, but the “control” phase is designed to make certain that the problems do not persist and that new business processes can be optimized throughout time. Optimization is sustained by implanting BPM with Lean Six Sigma and this can be exemplified by employing performance data to determine other problems along the process.

The goal here is to gain continuous process improvement and set off changes to redesign or change processes in order to produce further efficiencies. Although effective performance ensures the efficiency and productivity of businesses, the most difficult test in this regard is how to transform a business through the successful integration of the two approaches.

Conclusion: Integration of Lean Six Sigma with BPM

Lean Six Sigma offers the tools to sustain major improvements in terms of business processes. When correctly aligned with BPM, the two could deliver highly improved growth and performance on any client focused venture. The nine-step IEE system provides a step-by-step means for the structured integration of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management (BPM).