Enterprises have created pockets of automation and process improvement using BPM, Lean Six Sigma and numerous data repositories. All these methodologies, automation and data repositories do not deliver an efficient and agile end-to-end business process management solution. Current IT infrastructure does not address the fact that business process will continue to change at a rapid pace. Most organizations today have rigid IT architecture that is:
- Difficult to improve business processes.
- Cannot easily convert strategy to execution
- Cannot respond to market changes
- Implementing change is complex, expensive and time consuming
Today the pressure is on the IT organization to identify, enable, and create new business opportunities while dramatically reducing operating costs. Advancement in technology and technical standards, specifically BPM & SOAs, are now allowing IT budgets to be reclaimed and the organization to be re-positioned. Enterprises are realizing that BPM and Lean Six Sigma cannot address business challenges in silos and hence gearing up with an integrated approach of these methodologies tools and techniques to get the best out of it.
Lean Six Sigma and BPM: Connecting the dots
Lean Six Sigma and business process management have much in common. Both methodologies use iterative improvement and design techniques to deliver financial and performance benefits through better managed and optimized processes. By combining key concepts from Lean Six Sigma with the capabilities of BPM (including process modeling and analysis, automation, and executive dashboards that deliver real-time performance metrics to process consumers), a company can ensure that its people are focused on the most meaningful value-added work. BPM solutions do not exist in a vacuum; they are integrated with multiple back-end systems and databases that provide and consume data handled by BPM solutions. This integration is often implemented using Service-Oriented Architecture principles, which can provide a layer of abstraction between a BPM Solution and back-end systems and databases. The SOA layer decouples those systems, thus providing additional agility, reducing time to market and total cost of ownership (TCO).
IBM has extended the BPM-LSS deployment framework of George Eckes, in the Six Sigma revolution. As per IBM BPM-based approach to Lean Six Sigma deployment ensures that projects are tied to strategic business goals and are targeted in areas that will yield the most benefit for resources deployed which industry seems to be in agreement.
At Princeton Blue, this is extended further too rightly integrate with SOA.
While BPM helps in new improved process, it makes sense to factor process and service reuse across enterprise. This is a leverage play that yields greater benefit as the portfolio of reusable service components grows over time. As service reuse goes up, IT costs go down, and the business gets a more modular, flexible process that is easier and faster to change in the future.
In the next blog I will extend further on how DMAIC cycle will include BPM enabled improvement.
Reference: IBM Red Guides for Business Leaders