Monday, June 25, 2007

Lean and BPM - growing attention. But where are the Academics?

I just saw two articles on the use of Lean in the context of Business Process Management (published through BPM institute, ah, at least one BPM group that is surviving ;-)).

And I am glad that we see this trend developing. In my opinion, Lean is a great process improvement framework, that we can apply in the area of BPM.
The big change from the BPR times is this: When BPR was big, basically the only process improvement groundrules we had, were, well, take a blank paper, and start all over.
But... where we used to have the "magical" step, going from current state process to future state, we now have a growing set of best practices and frameworks that make the process improvement step more based on sound research and practical experiences at other companies (such as Toyota).
Type BPM and Lean in Google and there are more and more hits.
The same on BPM and Six Sigma.

The only thing I am waiting for/hoping for is more activity in the field of academics - research on process concepts in the services industry... We need sound research and a better conceptual framework for service processes. While great work has been done on operations research and management, in the area of logistics and manufacturing, the "logistics" in services are not well understood. We know there is things as "cycletime" "Work in progress inventory" "flow"
"resource scheduling". But we need a better framework of theorie and optimization methods.

Anyone that has a perspective on this - reactions welcome!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I appreciate this is likely to be the wrong area for the following content but I just wanted to throw it out there. Anyway...

I am new to BPM & LEAN, I am a systems developer/Project Manager for a pensions and investments firm. 6 months ago we purchased the Lombardi Teamworks 6.0 system.

Without boring you about the ins and outs of the project I am looking for advice on implementing LEAN with our BPMS? This hasnt been raised by any team member as yet but I think it makes sense to use the LEAN principles with regards to processes whilst we are in that mentality and running a company wide BPM project.

I would like to know the best way of approaching/convincing the business on adopting such an approach and how LEAN in general is approached in a business like ours?

Apolgies for vague post.


Rhys David