Running a business is hugely rewarding.
But it can also be really difficult.
There are always just so many things to think about.
How to manage workflow...
How to increase productivity…
How to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently.
And that can be really overwhelming!
So what if I told you that there are business process management tools that can make all that a breeze?
Processes that can take your business to the next level?
That may sound too good to be true…
But it isn’t!
Business mapping processes such as DMAIC are being used by companies all around the world.
And they are seeing huge results.
Too many businesses are struggling every single day with issues such as:
Lack of productivity
Overload of tedious work
Which means that many companies are failing to meet their goals.
Trust me - I know!
I’ve seen so many businesses neglect to analyze their processes…
Meaning they are failing to notice that their work methods are outdated and inefficient.
Luckily for you, I’m here to help.
I’ve gathered all the information you’ll need about the DMAIC process into this handy guide.
I’m going to tell you:
What business process management is
What the DMAIC process is
What each DMAIC step involves
What the benefits of process mapping are
My top tips for effective DMAIC use
So that you can feel confident about starting your process mapping journey.
And soon you’ll be seeing the results too…
Talk to the Automation Experts!
What is business process management?
What is the DMAIC process?
What does DMAIC involve?
What are the benefits of process mapping?
Tips for effective DMAIC use
Before we get started on DMAIC…
We should talk a little about what Business Process Management (BPM) actually is.
Basically, business process management is a tool used to take a good look at a company’s processes…
And then figure out how they can be improved.
BPM is then used to map out more effective processes...
Which are continuously monitored and controlled.
All of this adds up to a massively improved business process system…
And a more efficient and well-organised company!
What’s not to love!?
Business process management encompasses a whole range of different tools.
And focuses on every single aspect of the daily workflow.
Meaning you can expect to end up with a much smoother and more effective process.
Let’s take a client we had last year as an example…
We worked with a UK-based accounting firm that was struggling to juggle their workload.
They came to us for help with optimising their processes.
We took a look at their workflow and mapped each of their existing processes…
And found that so many aspects of their business operation were completely inefficient.
They were spending too much time on menial tasks such as data entry and locating and storing documents.
Which meant they weren’t operating to their full potential.
We helped them by:
Identifying where they needed improvement
Defining what they wanted to achieve
Mapping out more efficient processes
Developing automation software to take care of time-consuming tasks
And guess what happened?
Not only did they end up saving over 25,000 hours a year…
They experienced a 26% increase in profits!
So you can see why business process management is so important.
And why it’s poised to take over the business world.
Isn’t it time you got involved too?
Now that I’ve explained what business process management is, it’s time to take a look at the DMAIC model.
What exactly is the DMAIC process?
DMAIC is a five-step process improvement strategy.
The five steps are:
Although it is associated with the Six Sigma methodology -
a set of techniques used for process improvement -
DMAIC can be applied to a wide range of process management strategies.
Such as Lean and Total Quality Management.
It was originally developed in 1986 by the Motorola company as an aspect of the Six Sigma methodology…
And since then has been utilised and refined by a whole range of companies.
In fact, DMAIC is already a hugely popular tool for many businesses around the world.
Organisations such as:
Bank of America
Ford Motor Company
Have all claimed great success from the implementation of the Six Sigma methodology and DMAIC processes.
Which is pretty impressive, if you ask me!
And it’s no wonder DMAIC is so popular...
DMAIC is incredibly useful as it is a data-driven and structured approach to process management.
Which means it is both thorough and easy-to-follow.
Making it a fantastic option for almost every single organization.
In fact, it was super beneficial for a recent client of ours -
A small online retail business.
Before we helped them out, they were seriously struggling.
They couldn’t understand why their team was constantly running out of time each day to complete their tasks…
And why their profits weren’t going up as they should have been.
That’s where we came in.
During one of our process workshops, we gave their business operation a good look…
Then we used the DMAIC process to make huge improvements.
We streamlined their day-to-day workflow…
Helped automate a tonne of tasks…
And gave them a detailed plan so they could monitor their project goals in the future.
Guess what happened?
They noticed massive improvements.
They suddenly had over 2 extra hours per day to focus on the most important tasks.
And their profits skyrocketed -
I bet you’re looking for those kinds of results too.
Why not get in touch?
We’ve covered the basics.
Now it’s time to get into the details.
Here’s a look at each individual step in the DMAIC process:
The first step is to define what needs to be improved.
This phase involves taking a long, hard look at what exactly you are doing.
And then picking out what is going wrong.
When doing this, you will need to ask yourself:
“What issues do I absolutely need to fix?”
This will give you a great place to start from.
So that you are able to really get to the root of the issues.
A great way of beginning here is to compare what you are currently doing against what your expected outcome is.
For example -
If your expected outcome is increased profits…
What are you currently doing that is holding you back from achieving this?
Once you have decided this, the first thing you need to do is create a problem statement.
A problem statement is a detailed, factual assertion of the issues you have.
The more specific the statement, the better.
An example of this would be:
“Over the last 12 months, there has been a 47% decrease in revenue resulting in a $11,000 loss.”
This is clear and factually specific.
Which means you will have a great place to jumpstart your process from.
Other crucial steps of the define stage are:
Identify which processes have the greatest potential for improvement
Plan the scope of the project
Create and inform your team
Develop a value stream map
Decide on an estimated completion date
All of these things considered, you are ready to move on to the next step.
The measure phase involves three main things:
Documentation of existing processes
Drawing of a baseline in order to asses improvement
Essentially, the measure phase is where you will highlight everything that is currently going wrong.
Gathering all this information will make the next phase (analyze) easier.
It’s a great idea to come up with a data collection plan.
This is where you explain the reasons for and objectives of the data you plan to collect.
After this, you will need to make sure your data collection is repeatable, accurate and reproducible.
This is extremely important as it essentially validates your system of measurement.
And ensures the process is thorough and precise.
Which will make everything so much easier in the long run.
And anything that makes life easier is more than worth it in my book!
If the define phase asks what needs to be fixed -
The analyze phase asks:
‘What exactly is causing the problem?’
Your goal in this stage is to examine all your data -
Looking through each and every one of your existing processes -
And figure out what the underlying issues are.
This is beneficial as it allows you to really get into the deep-rooted causes of your problems -
Meaning that you will be able to focus on improvement exactly where it is needed.
This is often referred to as root cause analysis (RCA).
Root cause analysis is used in the vast majority of business process methodologies -
And it is undeniably useful.
The best way to conduct root cause analysis is to gather a team.
You will then proceed to define and closely investigate all the issues you are having...
And then brainstorming different causes and the possible effects of these problems.
During this stage, many businesses use the 5 Whys Method.
The 5 Whys method involves composing a problem statement -
Which you should have done in the define phase -
And then repeatedly asking ‘why’ questions until the root cause is identified.
It doesn’t have to be 5 ‘whys’ - it could be more or less!
But 5 is just a nice number to start from.
Here is an example of how this may go:
Q: ‘Why aren’t we getting all our tasks completed each day?’
A: Because certain tasks, like data entry, are taking too long.
Q: ‘Why are they taking too long?”
A: Because there is a lot of data and employees are slow at input.
Q: ‘Why are employees slow at this task?”
A: Because it is boring and repetitive and they want to focus on the most important tasks.
Q: ‘Why bother at all with tasks that are not high-priority?
A: Because even though they are often menial, they still need to get done.
Q: ‘Why not automate tasks that are menial and time-consuming?’
A: Because we didn’t know we could!
...and so on for many other processes.
I personally love this analysis tool as it really helps get the team brainstorming.
Which, of course, leads to fantastic ideas for process improvement.
And that’s what we were looking for, after all!
You have all the data compiled.
You’ve done all the brainstorming and analysis.
It’s now time to start improving.
By which I mean -
It’s time to start coming up with solutions.
This is no easy feat!
But because you’ve spent so much time thoroughly gathering all your data and examining your root causes…
You’ve definitely made the process easier for yourself.
Continuing the brainstorming sessions with your team is a great way to kickstart the solution-finding process.
It’s a good idea to spent time on the following activities:
Discussing solution ideas in detail
Updating your process maps based on your analysis conclusions
Determining what benefits you expect from your solutions
Inform all team members and stakeholders of your plans
Devise a test solution and process plan
Spending time on each of these activities will help you implement solutions that are high-quality and impactful.
Meaning you will notice massive improvements as a result.
You’ve come up with solutions to improve your business processes and have successfully executed them.
But the job isn’t done yet!
In fact, it may not ever actually be done.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to spend time ensuring your new processes are under control.
By this I mean that you understand the changes that have been made…
And are committed to regularly monitoring them.
This is because monitoring your improved business processes greatly improves long-term effectiveness.
And the last thing you want to do is lose control of business operations…
Then there would have been no point to all of this!
During this phase, you should focus on:
Ensuring everyone understands the new day-to-day operations
Devising a quality control plan that makes sure the team is working consistently
Documenting each new process
Confirming that your previous issues have been addressed
Celebrating your success!
You will then essentially remain in this phase indefinitely unless a new issue arises down the line.
But other than that -
You’re good to go!
We’ve looked at each phase of the DMAIC process in detail.
But you may still be wondering…
So what exactly are the benefits of this process?
And I get it -
You have high standards and want to know that this is up to them.
But trust me -
There are so many benefits to process mapping.
Let me outline a few of them for you...
1. Cut Costs
Any business owner knows how important it is to manage your costs.
There is so much to do and take care of…
Your money can easily run away from you.
Leaving you with higher and higher costs each year.
But business process mapping can drastically change this for the better.
Especially when you utilise DMAIC methodology.
As this management process is highly structured and data-focused -
You’ll find you will be able to figure out exactly where your money is going.
And, in turn, figure out where you are spending more than necessary.
With all the data there for you, it is super easy to make the changes you need.
Which will leave you with a more streamlined process…
And saved you a tonne of money.
As it has done for so many other companies around the world.
Including Ford Motor Company -
Who claim to have saved over $675 million since 2002 using business process management tools.
2. Increase Productivity
Productivity is an issue many businesses are dealing with.
And while a lot of business owners may turn the blame on their employees…
A good business owner will instead question their processes.
As so much time each day is wasted on repetitive, low-importance tasks -
Such as data entry and locating information -
Workers aren’t able to focus on crucial tasks that require more of their time and brainpower.
That’s why process mapping is so important.
When you take a good look at how you are working…
And take the time to analyze each process…
You’ll notice a tonne of ways in which your team’s time is being wasted.
Sometimes it can be shocking…
And once you’ve figured that out -
You can start implementing new, more efficient processes.
That involve automation and better workload distribution.
And soon you’ll notice your productivity skyrocket.
Which is exactly what you want.
3. Happier Employees
As I mentioned before, too many tedious tasks lead to unhappy employees.
No one wants to be spending too much of their precious time on menial jobs.
Especially ones that do not add to the improvement and success of a company.
Besides, these types of tasks are often thankless.
And studies have shown that job appreciation is really important to employees.
So process management tools such as DMAIC can be super useful.
Streamlining your processes…
Automating repetitive tasks…
Focusing on high-quality work…
Can all lead to a much better working environment.
Which will then lead to increased employee satisfaction.
And the more satisfied an employee is…
The more productive and inspired they are.
Sounds like a no-brainer to me!
Many business owners often forget to think about compliance.
Compliance basically means adhering to specific rules or protocols.
I can’t stress enough how important this is.
As not complying to necessary guidelines can cause serious problems in the future.
Luckily, process management methods such as DMAIC can help.
Mapping out your business processes allows you to see everything -
And I mean everything -
That you are doing.
Including whether or not your company is adhering to rules.
And if you aren’t, you can fix that ASAP.
Also, because process management is a continuous process…
You’ll be able to update your operations immediately should any protocol change.
Which is one less thing to worry about!
The final thing I want to talk about is how to make your process mapping journey as effective as possible.
Because there’s no point in doing something poorly -
You might as well not do it at all!
So here are a few of my top tips for effective DMAIC use:
1. Make sure you know the processes you need to map
Ok, so this may sound obvious -
Especially if you’ve been paying attention to the define and measure sections -
But you’d be surprised how often people neglect this part of the process.
Sometimes people don’t define their goals fully…
Or they skip creating a problem statement…
And then they end up with a lot of remaining operational inefficiencies.
And a lot more problems still to face.
Trust me -
You do not want that to happen!
So it’s important to spend time taking a close look at your existing processes -
In detail -
And brainstorming what is going wrong and how you need to improve.
Then you’ll be more than ready to begin the journey to a more efficient system!
2. Get your team on board
Any changes to how a business operates can be daunting for employees.
Especially when they have been doing something a specific way…
For a long time.
Which is why it’s crucial to make sure your team knows exactly what is happening.
It’s a good idea to involve your employees in the brainstorming process.
As not only will they become informed…
They may also be able to point out inefficiencies that you may not have noticed.
After this, it is beneficial to offer training sessions.
That way your team will be up to speed on all the new techniques you are using.
And be able to adhere to new processes effectively.
Which will make your employees way more confident.
Thus improving their performance…
And your overall productivity levels.
It’s a win-win!
3. Take part in a process workshop
Maybe you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed…
Don’t worry -
Why not take part in a process workshop?
At Lolly, we’re the experts when it comes to process mapping and automation.
Attending a workshop is hugely beneficial.
During the workshop we’ll help you:
Define your process goals
Figure out exactly what needs to be improved
Adhere to best business practices
Develop an optimisation plan
Create automation software
And so much more!
So there’s no need to feel like you’re on your own…
We’re here to help you!
To summarise, we’ve covered:
What BPM is
What DMAIC is
What each DMAIC section encompasses
Some of the many benefits
Tips for effective use of DMAIC
What’s the next step?
Why not ask the experts -
With our industry-leading workshops we can help you maximize your efficiency....
Develop high quality automation software...
And reach your business’s full potential.
Get in touch today!
Discover how your company can reach hyper growth with the power of automation.