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Accelerating the DMAIC Cycle with Process Simulation and Digital Twins
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Accelerating the DMAIC Cycle with Process Simulation and Digital Twins

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  1. This is it.

The DMAIC cycle is a fundamental framework for professionals engaged in Continuous Improvement and companies striving for Process Excellence. However, relying solely on process mapping and process mining tools offers only a limited perspective within the DMAIC cycle. These traditional process improvement methods provide only partial insights during the Define, Measure, and Analyse stages, ultimately leading to missed opportunities. 

Moreover, they often fail to contribute to the Improve and Control stages, leaving improvement teams uncertain about the most effective process changes to implement and unsure if they are progressing toward meeting stakeholder expectations.

This blog post delves into the value and additional opportunities unlocked through Business Process Simulation (BPS) and Digital Twins during the DMAIC cycle. Let’s have a look at that value first.

The value of Process Simulation and Digital Twins during the DMAIC Cycle

Companies can rapidly develop Digital Twins of their process using BPS based on process mapping and mining outcomes, providing an improvement experience that closes the DMAIC cycle and enables teams to iterate through the cycle rapidly. Doing so offers a range of significant benefits:

  • Forward-looking analysis: Business Process Simulation enables proactive identification and resolution of future problems through forward-looking scenario planning and the testing of future process changes. By measuring the impact of these changes virtually, we ensure that your transformation initiatives align with strategic objectives, and avoid optimising for the past.
  • Maximising ROI: Process Simulation allows the virtual testing of improvement ideas, ensuring that resources are allocated to the most critical problems and the most impactful changes, optimising the return on investment.
  • Stakeholder buy-in: Business Process Simulation provides data-driven insights to make a compelling case to stakeholders. Showcasing the impact of inaction and demonstrating the benefits of proposed process changes helps to create a sense of urgency and gain support for the transformation efforts.
  • Delivery assurance: Proactively monitoring processes using Digital Twins ensures that organisations stay on track to meet stakeholder expectations and targets. It enables timely interventions and corrective actions when deviations from the plan occur.
  • Accelerated impact: By leveraging BPS and Digital Twins, teams can iterate through the DMAIC cycle more efficiently, avoiding delays in data availability and collection. This accelerates progress towards Process Excellence and delivers quicker results.
  • Operational support: The Digital Twins developed through BPS can also be leveraged for day-to-day operations management. Process owners and operations managers can utilise them for inventory management and capacity planning - transitioning the organisation from Process to Operational Excellence.


BPS and Digital Twins achieve those benefits by improving decision-making during the Define, Measure, and Analyse stages, and accelerating the DMAIC cycle in the Improve and Control stages.



During the Define stage of the DMAIC cycle, companies establish the specific problem this iteration aims to solve. Traditionally, process mapping has been employed to define an optimal target operating model, enabling the identification of deviations from this ideal process as rectifiable issues. These deviations may include undesirable activities or rework, which can be readily diagnosed as problems to address.

The power of Process Simulation becomes evident when applied to the Define stage. Simulation enables a forward-looking perspective that ensures the process aligns with your organisation's strategic objectives. By simulating the current process in scenarios that project future changes, such as varying case volumes or capacity levels, transformation teams can assess the process's suitability for the organisation's anticipations. This proactive approach empowers continuous improvement specialists to identify and address more relevant problems pre-emptively. By embracing simulation, companies can lay a strong foundation for the subsequent stages of the DMAIC cycle, driving strategic alignment and paving the way for effective process improvement.



The Measure stage of the DMAIC cycle plays a crucial role in establishing a baseline for the performance of a process. Traditionally, process mining has been instrumental in uncovering deviations from the optimal process and target operating model, enabling companies to quantify the impact of these variations on key performance indicators (KPIs).

However, the value of Business Process Simulation (BPS) shines through in the Measure stage. BPS goes beyond measuring the current state of the process and provides insights into the future performance if no action is taken. This forward-looking approach allows transformation teams to effectively demonstrate to stakeholders why immediate action is required and foster buy-in for process changes. 

By utilising BPS, organisations can also extend their foresight beyond process-related metrics and delve into broader outcomes, such as commercial aspects like cash flow, ESG metrics, and customer satisfaction. This comprehensive analysis further strengthens the case presented to stakeholders, leaving no doubt about the necessity of taking proactive measures. By leveraging BPS in the Measure stage, organisations can gain a holistic understanding of current and future performance, empowering them to make forward-looking  decisions and secure stakeholder support.



In the Analyse stage of the DMAIC cycle, companies aim to identify the root causes of problems, ensuring that improvement efforts are focused on addressing the true underlying issues. While process mining proves valuable in diagnosing non-conformance to the target operating model, the true power lies in Business Process Simulation (BPS) and its associated Digital Twins. These Digital Twins reflect how the business operates, providing insights to establish the root causes of problems. Their proactive approach also helps organisations avoid addressing issues based on subjective influence and instead focus on resolving problems projected to occur in the future.

By utilising BPS and Digital Twins in the Analyse stage, organisations can truly understand their processes, resources, and performance interdependencies. This empowers transformation teams to take a precise and evidence-based approach to identifying and addressing root causes, leading to targeted improvements with a lasting impact on future outcomes. Using BPS brings clarity, precision, and proactive decision-making to the DMAIC cycle, facilitating the development of effective solutions.


The Improve stage of the DMAIC cycle focuses on generating and evaluating potential solutions to enhance process performance and address root causes. However, traditional tools like process mapping and process mining often fail to provide comprehensive solutions. They rely on qualitative information or analysing recorded data that is unsuitable for testing future scenarios, changes and improvements.

A breakthrough solution comes through Business Process Simulation (BPS). It enables the virtual testing of proposed changes, allowing improvement teams to experiment with different modifications and assess their impact before real-world implementation. By leveraging BPS, organisations can conduct experiments that adjust automation rates, processing times, and resource capacities, or even completely redesign the process. This virtual experimentation helps identify the most promising changes, mitigate potential pitfalls, and avoid negative side effects. With BPS, organisations can make informed decisions, turbocharge  the Improve stage, and select effective solutions that drive process enhancement and deliver tangible benefits.



In the Control stage of the DMAIC cycle, monitoring the performance of implemented changes is crucial. Real-time process performance monitoring is possible by connecting the Digital Twin to live data from various organisational systems, such as ERP and CRM. This integration allows organisations to track current performance, forecast future developments, and take immediate action to address any deviations or issues that may arise. The Digital Twin is also a valuable tool for ongoing process optimisation and day-to-day operations management, enabling continuous improvement and ensuring that targets are consistently met.

By utilising the Digital Twin and real-time data integration in the Control stage, organisations can effectively manage and maintain the performance of the improved process. This proactive approach ensures alignment with stakeholder expectations and enables timely intervention and the initiation of new DMAIC cycles if necessary. The seamless integration of the Digital Twin into operational practices empowers organisations to optimise processes continuously, delivering sustained value and driving success.


Get the most out of the DMAIC cycle with Process Simulation

Incorporating Process Simulation and Digital Twins into continuous improvement efforts based on the DMAIC cycle enables organisations to adopt a forward-looking approach, helps secure stakeholder buy-in, maximises transformation ROI, ensures delivery for stakeholders, reduces time to impact, and supports day-to-day operations. Do you want to unlock those benefits for your organisation? Embrace Process Simulation as an integral part of your continuous improvement journey. Get in touch with to get started.