Lean Six Sigma and Process Mining

As a companion to our Combining Lean Six Sigma and Process Mining series, Rudi and I discussed how process mining fits into Lean Six Sigma in the last Process Mining Café. If you missed the live broadcast or want to re-watch the café, you can now watch the recording here.

Lean Six Sigma is the composition of two methodologies: Lean and Six Sigma. Lean has the goal to create flow and focuses on eliminating waste. Six Sigma focuses on defects and has a more statistical approach. With Lean Six Sigma, both methods are merged and often used with other tools like the fishbone diagram, asking 5x why, hypothesis tests, etc. In the café, we showed how process mining fits both into Lean and Six Sigma based on a concrete example.

We also discussed where process mining changes the traditional approach. For example, data does not need to be manually collected anymore because it is already there. Furthermore, you don’t need statistical measuring if you have the complete data. And finally, most statistical hypothesis tests are not applicable for processes with a large variation because they assume that the data is normally distributed, which is often not the case.

At the same time, data is not everything. Often, the actual root causes are not in the data at all. Furthermore, looking only at data is like searching a needle in the haystack. You need domain knowledge and an understanding of the goals of the process to know where to focus your analysis.

Lean is often used for processes driven by knowledge workers, where there are still a lot of opportunities to improve. When obvious waste is eliminated, one needs to move to a more sophisticated data-driven approach such as Six Sigma. Process mining can be combined with both methodologies and sits somehow in the middle. For organizations who have picked the low-hanging fruits with Lean and for whom Six Sigma with their rigid statistical approach is a bridge too far, process mining provides a way to dig deeper and unlock the next level of improvements. Watch the Process Mining Café session now to learn how.

This session is helpful for Lean Six Sigma professionals who want to understand how process mining fits into their daily practice. But we also encourage all process miners who are new to Lean Six Sigma to educate themselves in these methodologies because they provide a practical and customer value-focused framework for making improvements.

Here are the links that we mentioned during the session:

Contact us via cafe@fluxicon.com if you have questions or suggestions for the café anytime.

Anne Rozinat

Anne Rozinat

Market, customers, and everything else

Anne knows how to mine a process like no other. She has conducted a large number of process mining projects with companies such as Philips Healthcare, Océ, ASML, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, and many others.