The IIE Engineering Lean & Six Sigma Conference will once again be held in collaboration with the Lean Educator Conference. To take best advantage of the opportunities for networking and peer learning presented by the joint conference, the tracks include industry topics (with a non-exclusive emphasis on practices in segments new to lean Six Sigma), academic topics (in both research and education), and a special call for joint academic/industry topics, including needs for new graduates, industry participation in learning in academia, and professional education and training.
The following track descriptions go into further detail about the topics and resources that attendees will be able to explore during the Engineering Lean & Six Sigma and Lean Educator Conference.
Lean Six Sigma Applications Track
These presentations share how Lean Six Sigma can be used to achieve world-class performance in a wide variety of applications and industries. However, new applications may require specialized process knowledge and careful selection and modification of Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques to be successful. Examples include:
Manufacturing – This session showcases how lean Six Sigma affects the manufacturing world to eliminate wastes of time, money, materials, energy, and other resources, as well as to eliminate waste due to variation and rework. It also includes how the challenges faced in the everyday application of lean and Six Sigma in manufacturing are identified, what was done to overcome those challenges, the business case for each challenge, and real world examples of implementations by those directly involved.
Healthcare – Healthcare organizations are not new to quality and cost-control initiatives, but powerful lean Six Sigma tools are, in most organizations, only beginning to be applied. The purpose of this track is to share the fundamental challenges, success factors, and benefits in the implementation of lean Six Sigma tools and techniques in the context of healthcare.
Logistics and Supply Chains – Today's logistics & supply chain industry suffers from inefficiencies in freight movement, materials management, inventory control, quality sustainment, information management, and many other areas. Lean Six Sigma application in the supply chain sector has the potential to revolutionize this industry. This track will invite experts from various segments of the supply chain sector, who will share their successful lean Six Sigma implementation stories and know-hows’ with the conference participants.
Government and Nonprofit – Governments at all levels are under intense pressure to use resources more efficiently. Nonprofit organizations, on the other hand, face the same challenges as the for-profit sector regarding quality and productivity, but the nonprofit world has constraints that are not present in the general business world. This track will present case studies and lessons learned that will allow for collaborative discussions and feedback from different perspectives among all practitioners.
Service Systems and Retail – Successful organizations need every advantage possible, including those provided by Lean Six Sigma to be profitable. As a result, over the past several years, Service Systems (such as; food service, technical service, banking service, telecommunication service, repair services & other business services) and Retail (which is one of the most competitive of businesses in the US) have both been adopting lean & Six Sigma concepts to improve their bottom line. In this track case studies and lessons learned will benefit Lean Six Sigma practitioners in these two environments.
Lean Six Sigma Research Track
Problem solving and process improvement research spans a wide array of techniques, concepts, and disciplines. There is increasing emphasis on cross-disciplinary approaches that address barriers to effective Lean Six Sigma implementation and long term sustainment through a culture of continuous improvement. This track will explore basic research with focus on clear and practical recommendations for improving the conceptualization, effective implementation, and sustainment of lean Six Sigma initiatives. Topics include:
Process Improvement – Process improvement initiatives rely on fully integrated systems for communication, waste reduction, and responsiveness, as well as effective inventory management, etc. This sub-track invites research that explores innovative strategies for improving existing processes that utilize approaches such as modeling and simulation, effective performance measurement and evaluation, benchmarking, enhanced value change management, etc.
Product and Service Design/Development – Designing for Lean Six Sigma is an effective means of incorporating the voice of the customer (value maximization) into the design of a system, process, etc., and this work typically focuses on waste reduction, value specification and optimization, as well as flow optimization and continuous improvement. This sub-track welcomes research that explores innovative approaches for translating customer needs into measurable design parameters within systems and/or process oriented applications, as well as strategies for waste identification and reduction in new product development and service operations.
Creating and Sustaining a Lean Six Sigma Culture – A 2007 Industry Week survey suggested that over 70 percent of Lean implementation attempts result in failure. This rate of failure is often attributed to solely focusing on tool implementation at the expense of cultural change. This sub-track invites research that explores strategies for introducing and maintaining a culture of Lean, Six Sigma, and/or continuous improvement. Consideration includes, but is not limited to, the integration of cross-disciplinary strategies for change management, conceptualization and learning, behavioral, and related theories for socio-technical systems management.
Emerging Topics & the Future of Lean Six Sigma – The future of continuous improvement methodologies have often been questioned; current methodologies may be losing inertia within academia and industry. This trend could lead to an opportunity for promoting innovation within this field. Industrial engineering has been considered the main field of knowledge to embrace continuous improvement due to its technical capability, which in essence, is not being used fully by methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma. This sub-track welcomes research focused on creating new ideas for the development of successful tools and methods in the area of Lean and Six Sigma.
Lean Six Sigma Education Track
Educators are being pressed to bring lean and six sigma into the classroom. In this track, we explore both the challenges and the innovations that academic and industry educators have developed to address those challenges. Papers or presentations that are data-based or advance pedagogy are encouraged. Specific topic areas include but are not limited to:
Education in Industry – In many ways, industry education professionals, must build a bridge between learning in the "gemba" (where the work takes place) and the classroom. The use of seminars, workshops, and continuing education are key elements for building a learning organization. In this topic area, we invite presenters to share their unique approach to supporting the learning that takes place on the shop floor.
Experiential Games and Simulations – One challenge faced by educators is the plain fact that learning lean six sigma tools and approaches on the job and in real-time, just takes too long. Our field has a rich history of using games and simulations to advance the training process. In this topic area, we invite presenters to share new games and simulations, learning objectives achieved, and new ways to get more out of old games.
Lean Six Sigma in the Classroom – It is good to see that our next generations of workers and managers are now being exposed to lean Six Sigma. This is occurring in companies, colleges, and K-12 classrooms. These classroom environments present special challenges to the lean educator. In this topic area, we explore the current state of lean six sigma classroom education, the challenges and best practices and discover what the lean community learns from our experience.
Administrative Lean in Academia – Lean educators in schools and universities have a unique opportunity to apply what they teach to their own organizations, and many do. In this topic area, we look at the what, how and why of working with your school or local community on continuous improvement, especially involving students and student teams.