Integration of BPM and Six Sigma?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Industries Retail Integration of BPM and Six Sigma?

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    Hello everyone!

    I’m currently hired as Business process Asst. Manager in A Big Retail Company,

    As I stayed here for almost 1 month while reviewing documents related to process improvements, it seems that the company’s approach to improvement initiatives is not mature comparing to my previous employers, luckily they have balanced scorecard stablished where we can pull projects for process improvement.

    Now,  my background in process improvement is 100% acquire in manufacturing domain, I don’t have any experience to improve Business process in the back office (transactional). My job requires me to use Business process management life Cycle but I only know DMAIC approach for solving problems.


    Any suggestions?

    I love my Job and I want to improve their business processes while I’m still under probationary period.


    Thank you in advance!



    Back when six sigma was seen as a “silver bullet” a former employer said that “everything we do is six sigma” which was aspirational rather than true.  We even developed variants for administrative and management (back office) functions, which mostly missed the mark.  Sure, you can use it and the toolkit to improve efficiency but if you aren’t doing so to improve what you deliver to the end customer you don’t get it.  The biggest miss was choosing metrics that the end customer had no reason to care about.



    Maybe you should take the appropriate courses in online schools or at least get acquainted with the theory.The topic is really capacious.



    Hi Ruben

    Every process consists of a start, stop and a number of steps … and each process has a customer, whether internal or external.

    In that sense Lean Six Sigma is as appropriate to a business process then it is to a manufacturing process … and you apply the DMAIC principles exactly the same.

    Only difference, your metrics may be “internal customer” metrics and not related to the external customer.





    I would start with job shadowing to determine what their current state steps are.  With back office functions there may be multiple applications that have to be updated.   Ask a lot of why questions?  You may have to dig deep to get to root cause as many end users don’t know why they are even doing some of the steps they take.  The answer is usually “because we were always told to do it that way”.  Root cause of the whys are key.   See if there is room for improvement by consolidating or limiting redundancy in multiple applications.   An interface to populate data or screen scraping might be a good alternative.  This should help you identify internal metrics to help improve efficiencies and find gaps.   Your metrics can include reduction of cost for application licenses, FTE’s, PTE’s, reduced TAT for daily process and improved metrics.  You can reduce phone calls to customer service by analyzing the phone traffic and reason for phone calls to business offices as well.    This will help at least get you to a leaner future state.  It is more about leaner operations and employee efficiencies as well as bottom line cost that fall into black hole.


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