Business Process Management and Six Sigma: Leveraging the Synergistic Relationship

Business Process Management and Six Sigma: Leveraging the Synergistic Relationship

Suresh Subramoniam (College of Engineering, Trivandrum, India), Venky Shankararaman (Singapore Management University, Singapore), K. V. Krishnankutty (College of Engineering, Trivandrum, India) and Ravi Chinta (Xavier University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0249-6.ch005


In this chapter, the authors establish the existence of a synergistic relationship between two complementary methodologies, Business Process Management (BPM) and Six Sigma, through literature review and suggest methods to exploit the same. Six Sigma provides incremental improvement through its analytical abilities and is complemented by BPM which provides the data from the ongoing processes on a real time basis. The authors discuss two perspectives on how to synergize these methodologies. Firstly, achieve hybrid BPM-Six Sigma by substituting Improve and Manage steps of BPM with the DMAIC of Six Sigma methodology. Secondly, utilize Six Sigma methodology for analysis on data generated by BPM. The application of the integration of BPM and Six Sigma is presented through case studies from financial services companies. The authors also present the key features of BPM tools that can assist Six Sigma in every phase of its implementation.
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Business Process Management (Bpm)

In the 1990s, Hammer and Champy promoted the idea that in order to lower costs, increase quality and to be competitive, organizations must redesign their processes. With this notion, Business Process Reengineering (BPR) came into existence (Hammer et al., 1993). The emphasis was on using IT as an enabler for the change as it brought in dramatic improvements. Additionally, rather than make incremental improvements the focus was on “wipe the slate” approach which often led to very complex and large projects which were difficult to manage and deliver. Another negative aspect of BPR was that it did not emphasize the need for incremental improvements through process performance feedback.

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