Benefiting from Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management (BPM) Together

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Organizations can have significant benefit from a Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management (BPM) integration. The combination of these two methodologies can be achieved through the Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) business management system. IEE  structurally integrates the methodologies of Business Process Management (BPM) and lean Six Sigma (LSS).

The published article titled “The Best of Both Methods: Combining Business Process Management and lean Six Sigma” by Forrest Breyfogle provides lean six sigma knowledge management through an integration of Lean Six Sigma with BPM. 

Business process management (BPM) and lean Six Sigma have been deployed by organizations. Some natural overlap exists, as well as there being some fundamental differences between the two methodologies.  However, organizations benefit when integrating BPM and lean Six Sigma in a structured fashion.
lean six sigma business process management together deployment


Organizations undertake the deployment of Business Process Management (BPM) and Lean Six Sigma programs for various reasons; however there can be a large amount of difference in how organizations implement these programs.  In addition, some of the organizational deployments for both BPM and Lean Six Sigma have been successful and others not-so-successful.

Lean Six Sigma Knowledge Management: Integration of Business Process Management with Lean Six Sigma

The Association of Business Process Management Professionals (ABPMP) states “Business Process Management (BPM) is a disciplined approach to identify, design, execute, document, measure, monitor, and control both automated and non-automated business processes to achieve consistent, targeted results aligned with an organization’s strategic goals.  BPM involves the deliberate, collaborative and increasingly technology-aided definition, improvement, innovation, and management of end-to-end business processes that drive business results, create value, and enable an organization to meet its business objectives with more agility.”

Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that provides a framework for the execution of improvement projects that are to improve quality, increase speed, and reduce waste through improved workflows. Six Sigma projects typically follow a Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) roadmap for process improvement.  Lean improvement projects often utilize kaizen events, which can involve the active participation of operators, engineering, maintenance, and others so immediate action can be taken.

There are attributes of both BPM and Lean Six Sigma methodologies that are fundamentally positive and other characteristics that could be improved upon.  This PDF article referenced below will suggest improvement opportunities for these deployments and present an orchestration roadmap which combines the positive attributes of both methodologies that can lead to a sum that is greater than the parts; i.e., an effective means for integrating BPM and lean Six Sigma.

The efforts of both BPM and Lean Six Sigma highlight the importance of process execution.  Even though there are differences in the execution details, one might summarize the general deployment focus:

  • Those undertaking BPM often give much focus to process automation
  • Six Sigma deployment spotlights the quantification of monetary savings from executing projects
  • Lean implementations targets the reduction of waste for their improvement efforts.

A general question that typically arises when undertaking these methodologies is where should efforts focus be given both when initiating a deployment and on an on-going basis?   An Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) operational excellence system provides a means to accomplish this objective.

The PDF link below provides an overview of the details of this powerful IEE integration of BPM and lean Six Sigma.  Additional details of this combination is further described in the book The Business Process Management Guidebook: An Integrated Enterprise Excellence BPM System.

For more information on integrating BPM and lean Six Sigma, download the ASQ Quality Progress December 2013 published article titled “The Best of Both Methods: Combining Business Process Management and lean Six Sigma” written by Forrest Breyfogle.


Contact Us to set up a time to discuss with Forrest Breyfogle how your organization might be a good fit for gaining much from an IEE integration of lean Six Sigma and BPM.