Why BPM and Lean Six Sigma Lead to Process Automation

Human and Paper-based Workflows Create Process Friction


Organizations often work with antiquated, paper-based processes that do not follow standards or capture performance metrics. As a result, process inefficiencies develop over time and managers have neither the visibility to identify them nor the agility to take corrective action if they did.

Using BPM and Lean Six Sigma for Process Automation

Lean Six Sigma practices have been used for many years to introduce rigor for improving operational performance and process management. Six Sigma project steps include: 1) defining objectives, 2) measuring data, 3) analyzing data for root causes, 4) improving business process, and 5) controlling ongoing process optimization (often referred to by the acronyn DMAIC). But Six Sigma often falls short of full process automation as it is used to only document “as is” and “to be” processes.

BPM software naturally compliments Six Sigma practices. All the analysis and documentation from Six Sigma can be repurposed through BPM suites to create process automation solutions. BPM supports each step in DMAIC:

  • Define—Identify critical parameters and set objectives by adding business rules (policies, procedures, standards, roles, routing, escalations, etc.) to create business process definitions (aka workflow models)
  • Measure—Insert metrics to the workflow model to create traceable, measurable key performance indicators
  • Analyze—Capture and examine data through simulations and run-time instances to discover and eliminate waste and bottlenecks
  • Improve—Take action to make changes to workflows, rules, and user interfaces to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and predictability
  • Control—Enforce standards by limiting user roles, responsibilities, and actions

Don’t end your LSS only having documentation. It’s hard to improve and control when has not been implemented as a solution. Reengineer (cut waste) and automate with BPM software.

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By Garth Knudson @ Bizagi | June 7, 2013

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