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Lean Six Sigma & Process Mining

Everyone has heard about Lean Sigma knows this methodology is focused on the Process Improvement outcome. So that makes total sense to use, in Lean Sigma Projects, tools which are dedicated in the Process understanding like Process Mining solutions.

First of all Lean and Six Sigma are two different and complementary initiatives.:

Together, “Lean Six Sigma” aims to help organizations improve their processes and products by identifying and removing waste and defects.

Six Sigma

By definition Six Sigma is: 

“Six Sigma is a defined and disciplined business methodology to increase customer satisfaction and profitability by streamlining operations, improving quality and eliminating defects in every process company-wide.”

So Six Sigma is a definitely a business strategy. 

This business strategy is business and data driven and bring a multi-dimensional structured approach to Improve Processes in order to

  • Lower Defects
  • Reduce Process variability
  • Reduce Costs
  • Increase Customer Satisfaction
  • Increase Profits


On the other hand, Lean techniques are focused on the systematic identification and elimination of waste.

The benefits of lean systems include most of the time these outcomes: 

  • lower production costs
  • fewer personnel
  • quicker product development
  • higher quality
  • higher profitability
  • greater system flexibility. 

Basically we find five areas which drive the lean producer:

  1. cost
  2. quality
  3. delivery
  4. safety
  5. morale 

Just as large-scale manufacturing is recognized as the production system of the 20th century, lean manufacturing is considered as the production system of the 21st century.


Kaizen is a combination of two Japanese words – Kai and Zen. Kai means “Change” and Zen means “for the better”. Combined it means “Change for the Better”. The term Kaizen indicates any small improvement in your business process.


The DMAIC methodology is divided into 5 phases well documented and guided:

  1. Define : The business analyst tries to define the problem from the customer’s perspective.
  2. Measure: The purpose of this step is to answer these questions : What does the detailed process currently look like? What is the output and primary measures ? What data can be used to measure how the process is currently performing ?
  3. Analyze: The goal here is to understand why is the problem occurring
  4. Improve: The purpose here is to propose concrete solutions and why they fit to the issues/pains.
  5. Control: Here, the business analyst ensures that the problem stays fixed. You will implement the solutions and sustain the gains

Process Mining solutions can really be interesting when implementing such methodology:

Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma (together) can be considered as an enterprise initiative that uses data and statistical analysis to identify and eliminate defects in business processes and leverages the DMAIC methodology. It is a systematic, data-driven approach to improving efficiency and reducing variability in business processes.

Process mining is a methodology that uses data from an organization’s information systems to create a visual representation of the organization’s business processes. It is a way to analyze and improve business processes by discovering how they are actually being executed, rather than how they are supposed to be executed.

Six Sigma and process mining can be used together to improve business processes. Six Sigma can be used to identify defects and inefficiencies in processes, while process mining can be used to visualize the processes and identify areas for improvement. By combining the two approaches, organizations can gain a deeper understanding of their processes and identify opportunities for optimization and improvement.

For example, an organization might use Six Sigma to identify defects in its supply chain process, and then use process mining to visualize the supply chain process and identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies. By combining these two approaches, the organization can gain a more complete understanding of its supply chain and identify opportunities for improvement.

Lean Six Sigma + Process Mining = Better Together

As we already know: Process mining is a data-driven approach to improve business processes by using data collected from the systems that execute the process. The goal of process mining is to understand how a process is being executed, identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and suggest improvements.

On its side, Lean Six Sigma methodology is a business improvement initiative that comes from and so combines the principles of lean manufacturing. This, to eliminate waste and increase efficiency. On its side Six Sigma aims to reduce defects and variability. 

Both process mining and Lean Six Sigma aim to improve business processes, but they have different approaches and focus on different aspects of process improvement. Process mining uses data-driven analysis to understand and improve processes, while Lean Six Sigma uses a structured approach to identify and eliminate waste and defects.

We can see here many areas in which both methodologies can work – better – together:

  1. Process mining can be used to analyze (Analyzing stage of the DMAIC methodology) the data collected during a Lean Six Sigma project, helping to identify root causes of problems and opportunities for improvement.
  2. Process mining can be used to identify process bottlenecks and inefficiencies, which can then be addressed using the Lean Six Sigma methodology.
  3. Process mining can be used to validate the process map and identify deviations from the expected process flow. 
  4. Lean Six Sigma principles, such as the focus on continuous improvement  (Control stage of the DMAIC methodology) and the use of data and statistical analysis, can be integrated into the process mining approach to further improve the effectiveness of the analysis.

Overall, and by conclusion, combining process mining and Lean Six Sigma can provide a more comprehensive and effective approach to improving business processes.

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