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Business Process Management Model As Six Sigma Approach To Process Improvement

Author : abdul azis

Six Sigma as a management system incorporates the business process management (BPM) model. The Six Sigma Management System treats the business process as its fundamental organizational building block. The business process is the operational unit that is measured, managed, and continuously improved through the Six Sigma Management System.

The BPM model is best understood when contrasted with the classic functional model of management. In this classic model, the building block of an organizational unit is the functional department. Before 1990, most American companies operated their businesses in functional silos and basically ignored the ideas of business process management. In the minds of functional management, process design involved writing policy and procedure manuals for functional departments to follow.

Motorola invented and pioneered Six Sigma in the late 1980s. In the 1990s, leading businesses, including Motorola, turned to process reengineering to compete in markets that were exploding with improvement in the variety and quality of customer choices. Markets had changed from supplier-driven, push-controlled to customer demand-controlled dynamics.

As these leading companies experimented and developed their understanding of process management and redesign, their leaders' vision evolved from a focus on managing specialized functional divisions of labor to the focus on managing business processes. BPM became their fundamental operating model. Through years of effort and work with BPM, they invented continuous process improvement as an operational strategy that combined the strengths of the Six Sigma improvement methodology and the BPM model.

Motorola and a few other global technology giants led a dramatic change in the fundamentals of how goal-driven organizations are designed and operated. They fought against a 150-year practice of designing organizations exclusively with the hallowed building blocks of the discrete functional departments - accounting, manufacturing, marketing and sales, etc. Instead, these leaders chose the "business process" as their organizational building block. Through trial and success, these companies have demonstrated the supremacy of the business process as the fundamental building block and the management unit to measure and control in high performance companies.

The process was a more natural unit to manage in the manufacturing companies that led the revolution than in the service businesses and government agencies that have since adopted the continuous process improvement strategy. Motorola, GE, Raytheon, and others began their process improvement efforts in their manufacturing operations with a goal of improving the quality and reducing the cost of their products. In manufacturing, these companies all achieved a very impressive, breakthrough level of success that proved the viability of BPM and continuous process
improvement using Six Sigma methods. Billions of dollars were saved and customers were delighted with the quality and value of the products they received. AlliedSignal's Raymond C. Stark, Vice President of Six Sigma & Productivity, attributed Six Sigma practices with saving the company $1.5 billion between 1994 and 1998.

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Tags:   Six sigma approach to process improvement, Business Process Management Model, online six sigma, six sigma certification, six sigma black belt certification, black belt certification, six sigma green belt certification, green belt certification, black belt

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Submitted : 2010-10-08    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 216