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Ma sa r yk Un iv e rsi t y

Faculty of Economics and Administration
Field of Study: Business Management

Diploma Thesis

Thesis Supervisor: Author:
doc. Ing. Radoslav ŠKAPA, Ph.D. Thi Bao Chau JAROLÍMKOVÁ PHAM

Brno, 2017


I hereby declare that I worked out the Diploma thesis entitled “Application of Lean Six
Sigma in engineering enterprises” myself, under the supervision of doc. Ing. Radoslav ŠKAPA,
Ph.D., and that I stated in it all the literary resources and other specialist sources used according
to legislation, internal regulations of Masaryk University and internal management acts of
Masaryk University and the Faculty of Economics and Administration.

In Brno on January 4th, 2017.


Author’s signature



The completion of this Diploma thesis cannot be possible without the assistance,
participation, and encouragement of many people. I would like to express my most sincere
gratitude to:

Firstly, thesis supervisor, doc. Ing. Radoslav Škapa, Ph.D., for agreeing to provide instruction
and guidance on my own interested topic.

Secondly, Ing. et Ing. Petr Bohaček, who had sealed the cooperation between me and the case-
study company. Thank you for granting me access to the company’s internal information, for
helping me distribute the survey and for offering me a great opportunity to interview intelligent

Thirdly, my husband, Bc. Jiří Jarolímek, who has provided me with his untiring support
throughout my master’s study.

And last but not least, wholehearted appreciation to my parents who have always loved,
encouraged and sacrificed to given me the best possible education.


effectiveness. it is found that training and education is the most crucial successful factor of the company’s extensive Lean Six Sigma program. iii . In regards of application of tools and techniques. employees at all levels are familiar with the company’s Lean Six Sigma working practices. Using survey and interview method. where the former is assessed using an integrated evaluation specifically for R&D and the latter using Data Envelopment Analysis method. Keywords: Lean Six Sigma. Another important finding of the study is suggestions on effectiveness and efficiency of the company’s Lean Six Sigma efforts. whilst managerial positions tend to employ Lean’s concepts and techniques in their daily work. Czech Republic. has been implemented in real-life settings. as a unified continuous improvement program. The aim of this thesis is (1) to discover how Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques are being utilized by Green Belt and Black Belt employees of the chosen company. one of the company’s critical challenges is the development of Lean Six Sigma toolset exclusively for software engineers. research and development. and (3) to suggest a possible measurement framework for evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of their Lean Six Sigma implementation. The study took place in a multinational corporation focusing on Research and Development (R&D) activities. case study. the study revealed that engineering positions often use data-driven tools from Six Sigma. tools and techniques. (2) to explore managerial perspectives regarding the company’s current Lean Six Sigma program. Besides. As a result. efficiency. ABSTRACT The thesis examines the application of Lean Six Sigma and its toolset in a Czech engineering company to explore how Lean and Six Sigma.

............................................1 Purpose of Study.33 4..........23 2................5 Lean Six Sigma’s Effectiveness and Efficiency Assessment ...........................................................2 Lean success .....................................36 4.....18 2.........9 2................................................30 3..........................................28 3...................1 Toyota Production System (TPS) ......... CASE STUDY RESEARCH PRINCIPLES ............3.................28 3.................................................................3......................................................................... LITERATURE REVIEW .................................................................................3......................................................................1 Research Design ..........1........................................................................................................................2 Data Collection Sources and Techniques ..............................................3 Data Analysis Methods..................................22 2..39 5..........................3.39 iv ....20 2..................36 4....................................................................................................................................1 Six Sigma Principles .3........................19 2......21 2...............................................................................................2 Six Sigma......2........................32 4.............................. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY..............3...............................................................4 2..2 Case Selection ...................................2.....................1 The Integration of Lean and Six Sigma .................................................................................39 5..............................................1 Lean Management ...4 Criticisms on Case Study Research ..........................................................................4 Ethics ................25 3................11 2......................20 2....2 Thematic Analysis .......................3...........................................3 Data Collection Methods .. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION.................................................................................1................4 2...................3 Six Sigma’s Limitations.................................................................................2....1 Descriptive Data Analysis ........................................ INTRODUCTION ...........................................................3 Lean Six Sigma.....2 Lean Six Sigma’s Benefits ......................1 Case Study as Research Strategy ..................................................................1.........1 Summary of Respondent Profile ..................3 Lean’s limitations ..........................................................34 4...........................1 1......4 Lean Six Sigma Implementation Framework .............................................................38 5..................................4 2................33 4...................................................................2 Variations in Case Study Research ..........................................................................10 2...................37 4...............1 Application of Lean Six Sigma Tools and Techniques ...................................2 1....................................................................3 Critical Successful Factors and Impediments .............1..................2 Six Sigma Success ........................12 2.....................................29 3......................................................................................... TABLE OF CONTENTS 1..........................................................................................3 2...............................................

..............................................................................1 Interviewees’ profile ........................................................................... 5........................................................................................2 Managerial Perspectives on Lean Six Sigma program ................................49 5.............................................................................................................48 5.........................................2.............................77 v ..... LIMITATION OF THE STUDY ........40 5....................70 LIST OF FIGURES .............................................................48 5..............................2 Analysis Results and Discussion .......................................................................................71 GLOSSARY ...............................................61 7............64 LIST OF TABLES .......................1........................................3 Suggestions on Effectiveness and Efficiency Measurement ...2 Content Analysis and Discussions .......................................................................................................................56 6...............63 REFERENCES.....................................................2.72 APPENDIXES ........................... CONCLUSION AND FURTHER RECOMMENDATION ..................................................

4 defects for every million opportunities. introduced by 1 . They are perceived and implemented as effective continuous improvement programs that smoothen the companies’ journey toward higher competitive advantages. both in manufacturing and service sectors. INTRODUCTION Lean and Six Sigma are the two most widely used management strategies nowadays in various companies. whether it is customer service. 2006). Though Lean and Six Sigma derive from distinctive roots.. to measure performance results in Six Sigma deployment. The very first formulation of Lean is the Toyota Production System which was initiated by Taiichi Ohno. the Balanced Scorecard approach. 2003). Obviously. the product. founded in Motorola Corp. there is still unavailability of “common model. 2010). and the benefits of deploying Lean Six Sigma as a unified methodology have been confirmed by many companies from giants to smalls across industries. better product quality as well as customer satisfaction. when it comes to the integration of Lean and Six Sigma. theoretical compatibility or mutual content or method” (Bendell. companies considered to be doing an effective implementation of Lean Six Sigma get the following returns: large companies return 1 – 2 percent of sales/year and small and medium-sized enterprises return 3 – 4 percent of sales/year. This is perhaps due to the fact that. 2005). Despite the proven benefits of combining those two state-of-the-art approaches. Many scholars and research have proven that companies practicing either Lean or Six Sigma alone might reach a point of diminishing returns (Arnheiter and Malayeff. the process or training and education of the workforce (Pepper and Spedding. when it comes to assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of Lean Six Sigma program. they have often been implemented in isolation (Smith. The driving force behind the development of Lean was the elimination of waste (Arnheiter and Malayeff. 2005).1. most studies focus on either Lean or Six Sigma performance assessment alone. The key issue driving the development of Six Sigma was the need for quality improvement when manufacturing complex products having a large number of components. Furthermore. they are actually synergistic and support each other in achieving quality throughout. On the other hand. which often resulted in a correspondingly high probability of defective final products (Arnheiter and Malayeff. according to Snee (2010). Specifically. 2005). Lean originates from one of the most respected automobile companies in the world: Toyota. Six Sigma is a systematic and data-driven approach to process and quality improvement with an aim for a reduced defect rate of 3.

the study also seeks to obtain a close insight on how the company’s employees. from engineering and managerial job functions. Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma become essentials to the growth of organizations regardless sizes and industries. the study focuses on exploring the deployment and application of Lean Six Sigma toolset in a typical practitioner organization. There are multiple studies conducted on this matter in various countries and cultures. As Lean. which is currently operating successfully in the Czech Republic. However. is often recommended for Six Sigma practitioners to assess their performance. a measurement framework aiming at the effectiveness and efficiency of Lean Six Sigma efforts is recommended.Kaplan and Norton (1992). Being motivated by those circumstances. most found research papers only focused on Lean or Six Sigma application separately and very few English-written studies shed lights on how Lean Six Sigma as a combined program is implemented and improves companies. in the purpose of helping the company enhance their continuous improvement program. 1. focusing on its tools and techniques. is applied in a real-life setting of a company. the need for understanding how Lean Six Sigma methodology. apprehend the philosophy of Lean Six Sigma as well as their opinions on the company’s challenges. He initiates an assessment framework that helps identify at which stage an organization is on their Lean journey with the embracement of Lean as a philosophy. Through surveys and one-on-one interviews. and its tools and techniques. In addition to that. along with other suggestions. Bhasin (2011) calls the process of assessing the Lean status of the organization the measurement of its “Leanness”. in the Czech Republic.1 Purpose of Study The research focuses on answering this question: How Lean Six Sigma methodology and toolset are being applied in an engineering enterprise in the Czech Republic? The research is designed as a combination of exploratory and descriptive study in the purpose of inductively investigating how Lean Six Sigma methodology. are being applied in a real-life setting is significant. In the field of Lean management. The research aims at discovering: (1) How Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques are being applied by the company’s employees? (2) What are employees’ perspectives on the company’s Lean Six Sigma program? (3) What are the most suitable measures for evaluating effectiveness and efficiency of the company’s Lean Six Sigma efforts? 2 .

Inherently. Transportation Systems.o (Allied Engineering) is a Research and Development (R&D) center of a multinational corporation. Due to the substantial size of the company as well as limited time frame of this research project. Therefore. Automation Solutions is inarguably a felicitous representative of the entire Allied Engineering. working practices and values.2 Case Selection It is a single case study which has characteristics of a holistic one with embedded units of analysis. etc. named Allied Engineering International.r. Allied Engineering was first established in the Czech Republic in 1993 and its later-founded branch in Brno had evolved into one of the most strategic R&D centers of its mother company in Europe. s. and Aerospace. and aerospace products.o – a highly engineering enterprise located in the city of Brno. software engineers. Allied Engineering in the Czech Republic has been long time an experienced practitioner of Lean Six Sigma methodology since its very beginning. and has implemented it in global scale. s. Allied Engineering has more than 2000 employees working on site in Brno. the Automation Solutions division has been selected as the holistic case with its embedded groups of employees categorized by job functions (mechanical engineers. Allied Engineering.) and by types of Six Sigma certification (Green Belt and Black Belt). Czech Republic. Automation Solutions division inherits all typical characteristics of the company’s core processes. The chosen case for this single case study is a business division of company Allied Engineering.1. Allied Engineering provides support to different business divisions producing a variety of consumer. In addition. engineering. as one of the biggest and most crucial business units. spreading in three separate business divisions: Automation Solutions. 3 . project managers. Allied Engineering International has taken Lean Six Sigma as its core quality improvement and assurance strategy. it has been confirmed by Allied Engineering that.r. originating from the USA.

but rather a holistic approach that goes beyond the shop-floor to the entire organization. Lean is a way of thinking that focuses on eliminating wastes from a product’s value stream as well as utilizing pull system which delivers only what customers need and.2. Liker (2004).1 Toyota Production System (TPS) The concept of Lean is originated from the well-known Toyota Production System (TPS). practiced the principles of jidoka and one-piece flow only with hands-on experience on the shop floor. 2. 2004). creating a culture where everyone is striving for excellence. productivity and customer responsiveness. As defined by Womack and Jones (1996). It has been widely adopted in America and brought success to many renowned automotive enterprises such as Ford. the very first formulation of Lean was initiated by Taiichi Ohno – former plant manager of Toyota Automotive Company. a key element of lean production (Arnheiter and Malayeff. The challenges Toyota were facing at that time are also the ones which many modern companies have to confront nowadays. Furthermore. which was developed and contributed by Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo (Inman. who together with his dedicated engineers. Toyota was a low-volume and high-variety vehicles manufacturer. 2010). most importantly. As described in a famous book “The Toyota Way – 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer” written by Jeffrey K. Chrysler and Delphi (Pepper and Spedding. Lean should not be simply implemented as a set of tools and techniques to achieve efficient production. Therefore.1. when customers have more various demands on the goods and services they purchase. Lean founders discovered the benefits of shortening lead times and keeping flexible production lines which then yield higher quality. The TPS is also credited with being the birthplace of just-in-time (JIT) production methods. Recalling the situation after World War II when there was a rising need for Toyota to improve its “manufacturing process so that it equals the productivity of Ford”. Struggling from that. 4 . 1999).1 Lean Management Lean management (Lean) nowadays becomes one of the most powerful and popular approaches (along with Six Sigma) for achieving more efficient production with higher quality products as well as customer satisfaction in fast changing environment. whose success must be achieved through bold involvement from senior management (Bhasin. LITERATURE REVIEW 2. Liker. General Motors. the traditional mass production system which did not focus on different customer’s preferences wasn’t suitable. 2005). 2011.

1 The TPS House The TPS house diagram is “one of the most recognizable symbols in modern manufacturing” (Liker. shortest lead time. an automation stop immediately is triggered in the corresponding production line in order for the people to gather and resolve the problem together and urgently 5 . lowest cost. TPS is a simple house (Figure 1).1. The roof represents Toyota’s goals for best quality.The Toyota Production System Source: Liker (2004) The TPS stresses its attention on both production efficiency and product quality. tools and techniques that allow the company to deliver the right items at the right time in the right amount. which means never letting a defect pass into the next station and freeing people from machines.2. actually brings up to the surface quality problems. and (2) jidoka. When a defect is identified. best safety and high morale through the process of eliminating wastes. 2004). The two pillars include (1) just-in-time. The foundation consists of 4 layers and one of them is heijunka or “leveling the production” which aims at maintaining stability in inventory and of the system as a whole. The application of just-in-time.1. a set of principles. In Liker’s description. it has a roof. which focuses on keeping the inventory level to the minimum as needed to accommodate the principle of producing one unit at a time (one-piece flow) at the rate of customer demand (takt). two pillars and a foundation. Figure 1 .

or moving materials. As Liker (2004) point out. tools. to attain stability. etc. transportation and storage costs. supply. halting the production to solve a problem (in-station quality control) often makes the system less stable.1. extra inventory hides problems such as production imbalances. Inefficiently processing due to poor tool and product design. Toyota has identified seven major types of non-value-adding waste in business or manufacturing process: (1) Overproduction: Producing items for which there are no orders. or finished goods into or out of storage or between processes. (6) Unnecessary movement: Any wasted motion employees have to perform during the course of their work. the TPS isn’t simply a collection of tools but is about applying Toyota’s principles in a broader way in which people are encouraged to continually improve the processes they work on (Liker. creating inefficient transport. and capacity bottlenecks. and long setup times. Also. late deliveries from suppliers..1. part. people must be trained and learn how to maintain equipment (Total Productive Maintenance method) as well as identify wastes and problems at the root cause in a daily basis. Thus. (4) Overprocessing or incorrect processing: Taking unneeded steps to process the parts. damaged goods. (3) Unnecessary transport or conveyance: Carrying work-in-process (WIP) long distances. defects. and delay.resume the work. Therefore. obsolescence. such as looking for. 6 . which generates such wastes as overstaffing and storage and transporting costs because of excess inventory. parts. Waste is generated when providing higher-quality products than is necessary. etc. causing unnecessary motion and producing defects. lot processing delays. WIP. (5) Excess inventory: Excess raw material. or stacking parts. Wastes are described as all activities and movements which do not add any value to the product in the making process. (2) Waiting (time on hand): Workers merely serving to watch an automated machine or having to stand around waiting for the next processing step. 2. Efforts focused on the reduction of waste are pursued through continuous improvement or kaizen events. equipment downtime. On the other hand. 2004). or finished goods causing longer lead times.2 The concept of waste Arnheiter and Malayeff (2005) assert that the driving force behind the development of Lean management was the elimination of waste. or just plain having no work because of stockouts. tool. equipment downtime. reaching for.

Taking a completely different approach from American traditional mass production method using push system as a core. To improve it. replacement production. (7) Defects: Production of defective parts or correction. hence helps eliminate the failure of their Lean implementation efforts.1977). and effort.3 Just-in-time (JIT) production JIT is a method whereby the production lead time is greatly shortened by maintaining the conformity to changes by having “all processes produce the necessary parts at the necessary time and have on hand only the minimum stock necessary to hold the processes together” (Sugimori et al. Repair or rework. In the pull system. VSM asks its users to place their focus on a big picture of the whole process rather than working only on individual activities which often breaks the linkage between information and material flow. it limits the amount of details collected and also detracts from the actual system workings (Pepper and Spedding. and inspection mean wasteful handling.1. Toyota decided to implement the pull system where replenishment of materials and goods is triggered at a certain level of consumption. 2003). 2.. time. Originally VSM is a pencil and paper visualization tools that show the flow of material and information as a product makes it way through the stream (Rother and Shook. 2010). which helps practitioners avoid the temptation to cherry-pick one or two of the easier to implement (Pepper and Spedding. Although the traditional paper-and-pencil approach of VSM gives a quick and succinct overview of where waste is present. The use of VSM also brings together all of the lean techniques. 1996). Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is put in use to provide a reliable qualitative analysis tool and offer the scope of the project by defining the current state and desired future state of the system (Pepper and Spedding. 2010). VSM nowadays is usually done with the help of information technology. 2010). scrap. A study done by Gurumurthy and Kodali (2011) reveals that the use of VSM in conjunction with simulation software provides managers and engineers with more analytic data on how their manufacturing system will be in the future before the actual deployment. the succeeding stage demands and withdraws in-process units from preceding stage only according to the rate and time the succeeding stage consumes the items (Deleersnyder et 7 .1. The most important factor that creates a foundation for implementing just-in-time is the pull system. In order to identify value-adding activities and wastes (non-value-adding) in processes. It is also recommended as the very first step that needs to be taken when implementing Lean production (Womack and Jones.

1989). if it is working slower. how much material is needed. 2004). unlike push system where large numbers of assembled parts/products keep sitting in inventory before they are demanded by the next department for further processing.1. Apparently. In another word. Also. If a cell is working faster than the required takt time. The one-piece flow principle only works when it is implemented based on takt time. In order to accommodate the idea of just-in-time. Application of one-piece flow usually starts with creation of U-shaped working cells (lean cells) where equipment and people are brought close to each other in the purpose of minimizing any unnecessary movements as well as creating smoother paths for material and efficient communication. a small card called kanban is distributed to request a replenishment action when a safety stock level is reached. 2. Deploying flows enhances faster delivery with better quality at lower cost. When a problem comes up. Flows allow each small batch of materials to be processed and assembled efficiently without interruption or delay caused by non-value-adding activities. 2003).. One-piece flow is a logical extension of eliminating waste and just-in-time production. 2004). at every step of the production. each machine in a working department has different process time and creating flows does not simply mean putting equipment side by creating continuous flow helps bring problems to the surface (Liker. from where the material is ordered and to where it should be delivered (Kilpatrick. Kanban cards are used to indicate material order points. 8 . the production line has to stop immediately to not let the defective parts pass through it.4 One-piece flow A good place for any company to begin their lean journey is to create continuous flow wherever applicable (Liker. pull system helps reduce cost of holding inventory by only allowing items to be shipped only as needed. Takt is the rate of customer demand – the rate at which the customer is buying products. 2004). In such cases. the principle of built-in quality (jidoka) shows up in conjunction with implementation of other lean tools to resolve the problem urgently. it creates bottleneck for the whole process (Liker. it will overproduce which is a waste as well. at the right time with the right amounts.

The Japanese quality became dominant during 1980s. Furthermore.7 percent of US passenger car sales.1. 2010). Between the years 1968 and 1978. whose founders’ goal was not only to improve their production but also to catch up with American auto industry and export their vehicles widely outside of Japan. hidden quality problems often appear quickly and need to be addressed immediately. automated 100 percent inspection.1.1. 2. Shutting down a production line is cost and time-consuming but it will save a lot of that downstream.2. Lean’s principle in quality management follows the practice of in-station quality (jidoka). everyone working in the line must inspect their own work to not let any defects pass down to the next person.5 Quality Management The Lean’s practices of quality control are explained and described through the concept of zero-defect (Zero Quality Control) by Shigeo Shingo (1986). US productivity increased by 23.2 Lean success The very first and prominent Lean success definitely came from its founding place Toyota. mistake-proofing (poka- yoke) method is implemented in order to eliminate human errors as much as possible.6 percent. 2004). 2010). but the Japanese experienced an impressive 89. He asserted that a Zero Quality Control (ZQC) system includes mistake proofing (poka-yoke). while competitors typically require two to three years (Liker. Japanese-managed plants were also continuously outperforming their American counterparts (Pepper and Spedding. 2009). in Lean practices of one-piece flow with minimum inventory. Toyota has had the fastest product development process in the world: New cars and trucks take 12 months or less to design. source inspection. 2007). Therefore. 22 percent of which were from Japan (Holweg. 2004). stopping operations instantly when a mistake is made and ensuring setup quality. control and warning (Dudek-Burlikowska and Szewieczek. imports accounted for a total of 26. Shutting down a production line is the principle that emphasizes the importance of solving problems at their sources and getting them fixed right after they occur. In fact. Specifically. Poka- yoke in general can be creative devices or processes which have three basic functions to prevent or reduce defects: shutdown. In addition. As Toyota always aims at reaching the level of perfection. This means. which requires the production line to stop as soon as a defective part is detected. By 1980. having built-in quality is much more effective and less costly than inspecting and repairing quality problems after all (Liker. it was realized that the best approach for 9 .1 percent increase (Pepper and Spedding.

the efficient use of human resources has seen the integration of quality control and maintenance into the assembly process. Mitsubishi as well started a joint venture with Volvo with an effort to reduce “wasteful” downtime. 2003).. (NUMMI) became a learning laboratory for GM’s managers and engineers to acquire knowledge of Toyota Production System.) and strategy (better financial performance. there are still a lot of debates around its viability. among the very first American companies to consider the transition to a lean culture. 2006. As organization progressed on their learning curve and the extension of Lean thinking into new sectors with different setting and constraints. As per Pepper and Spedding (2010) and Liker (2004). etc. General Motors (GM) strategically responded to the competition by establishing a joint venture with Toyota in 1984. Additionally.3 Lean’s limitations Although it is undeniable that Lean has shown its powerful benefits over recent decades. 10 . Chrysler later on became the world’s most profitable car company in terms of profit per vehicle. etc. 2004). Kilpatrick. thanks to the removal of a number of separate job functions and the introduction of flexible working. quality improved by 80%.). productivity increased by 50%. as per a survey done by NIST1 in 2003. Efficiency gains had enabled a reduction in the time to produce a car from 37 hours in 1990 to around 24 hours. administration (reduction in order processing errors. Chrysler reshaped themselves into a product-driven organization and used resources to extend in-house training of lean philosophy to its suppliers. the shortcomings of Lean have surfaced (Hines et al.. See http://www.nist. which then resulted in increased production efficiency and team morale.) (Andersson et al. 1 National Institute of Standard and Technology (USA). Inc. During 1990s. According to MacNeill and Chanaron (2005). 40 companies who had implemented Lean typically improved in three main areas: operations (lead time reduced by 90%. streamlining of customer service functions so that customers are no longer placed on hold. in Europe.1. 2. The New United Motor Manufacturing.competition is adopting the Japanese model of “lean manufacturing” (Macneill and Chanaron. the system of just-in-time parts delivery has transformed the organization of logistics and material movements in automotive industry with the growth of supplying firms. They also mentioned that. 2005).

However. Thus. 2000. having too many small parts and customized orders frequently causes chaos in the organization of the whole system (Cusumano. they suggested that Lean companies should be less dependent on pass/fail attribute inspections and rather focus on keeping processes in target by using more scientific methodologies towards quality control. such as Honeywell. Six Sigma is rooted from Total Quality Management (TQM) with the utilization of seven classic tools of quality control together with seven new tools for problem formulation and diagnosis (Schroeder et al. Another shortcoming of Lean is its quality principle lacks the sense of data-driven approach which was addressed by Arnheiter and Maleyeff (2005).2 Six Sigma Six Sigma is a statistical and project-driven management approach originated from Motorola Corporations. 2003). Schroeder et al. 2008). nowadays. Besides.. Pepper and Spedding. the ability of Lean production system and supply chains to cope with variability was put in doubts (Hines et al. Swink and Jacobs. The ZQC system also has potential to cause reliability and quality problems in complex products due to interaction of tolerances. 2012. 2010). where work standardization is impossible due to huge product portfolio which consists of many different characteristics produced in low volumes.. Although JIT/kanban system and schedule leveling method were developed in order to support small-batch production. Snee and Hoerl. Many of other giant corporations are successful adopters of the program.. the job-shop and smaller firms simply cannot match the dominance or resources that the larger firms enjoy.. This has been further discussed by Pepper and Spedding (2010) as Lean is not universal especially in the case of job-shop companies. Pepper and Spedding. 2010). CEO of General Electric in 1995 (Brady and Allen. time and resources to resolve the problems at the work station. Ford. allowing them to be inflexible along their supply chains (Bamber and Dale. 2004). American Express and 3M (Schroeder et al.. Apparently Lean approaches had sought to flatten and control demand variability as the original Lean pioneers came from fairly stable demand environments industries (Hines et al. 2004). 2008. 2008. It was first initiated and developed in 1987 by Motorola’s engineer Bill Smith and later on became popular through a well-publicized work of Jack Welch.Firstly. 2. 2006. Six Sigma is being looked as a broader context of a continuous improvement management philosophy aligned with scientific knowledge 11 . As per their study. 1994). the ZQC system works on pass/fail attribute inspection which usually causes more wastes regarding cost.

Specifically.74 percent of the fractional conforming part under the curve (Tennant. hence only 0. 2010) rather than “a narrowly focused quality management program” (Arnheiter and Maleyeff. 2012) which aims at reduction of defective parts to 3.2. when a component’s tolerances were consistent with a spread of six standard deviation units (from - 3 to +3) of process variation. Pepper and Spedding. about 99. 2005). the concept of perceiving Six Sigma as a philosophy which emphasizes strong commitment and involvement from all people in the organization for products/services quality is also widely accepted by researchers (Keller. Pyzdek.4 per million opportunities (Brady and Allen. 2001). Six Sigma can be defined from statistical and business viewpoints (Kwak and Anbari. McAdam and Lafferty.1 Scientific Approach to Quality Sigma (σ) is a statistical measure of standard deviation which defines the dispersion of data values spreading around a central mean (μ) in normal distribution.(Pepper and Spedding. the three-sigma rule was used when evaluating whether or not an acceptable proportion of manufactured components would be expected to meet tolerances (Arnheiter and Maleyeff. 2004.4 defects per million opportunities (DPMO). The term “Six Sigma” refers to limits in measurable variations of output that were established in Motorola’s manufacturing processes (Swink and Jacobs.1. 2005). From the business point of view. 2003. as defined by Pyzdek (2003). In short. This rule of thumb is the historical basis of Statistical Process Control and Quality that most manufacturers followed to set quality levels up to three standard deviations on either side of the mean of the standard normal curve (μ=0.7 percent of the components for a centered process would be expected to conform to tolerances. 2003). Six Sigma is the application of the scientific method to the design and operation of management systems and business processes which enable employees to deliver the greatest value to customers and owners. σ=1). 2010). 2. Six Sigma is “a business strategy and methodology that can help organizations create real and lasting improvement in performance that leads to increased customer satisfaction and an improved bottom line” (Snee and Hoerl. Going further. For example. 2011. 2006. the term Six Sigma is defined as a method aiming for process improvement by using data-driven tools and techniques to reduce defect rate of 3. 2004). which accounts for 99.3 percent of parts would be nonconforming 12 . From the statistical point of view. 2010). Pepper and Spedding. Long time ago.2.1 Six Sigma Principles 2.

2003. Arnheiter and Maleyeff. Figure 2 . 2005).nl However. 2. 2003). 2005). 2005).9974) is achieved. if a product contains 1. For example.2 Systematic Approach to Continuous Improvement Six Sigma provides process improvement with systematic sets of tools and techniques which reflects its managerial and technical aspects (Snee and Hoerl. and the seven management tools: affinity diagrams. histograms.000 OFDs and for each OFD three-sigma quality level (0. 2003).5-sigma-worth outcome in the long term with the defect rate of 66. and Pareto charts.. modern business requires nearly perfect quality levels (Pyzdek. This means. 2003). flowcharts. Processes performance also tends to degrade over time and shifts by 1. Pyzdek. as modern manufacturing industry produces more complex products through a huge amount of processes and components and therefore opportunities for defects (OFDs). 2001). check sheets. 2001. 13 .4 DPMO (Tennant.810 DPMO. tree diagrams.The three-sigma rule Source: Consultant Op Maat – http://www. in fact the true sigma level in the long run will be 4.consultant-lean-six-sigma.000 non-conforming parts per million (NCPPM) (Arnheiter and Maleyeff. cause-and-effect diagrams. scatter plots. there are only about 5 percent of the products would be defect-free (Arnheiter and Maleyeff. the three- sigma rule was unacceptable (Tennant. interrelationship tolerances which translates to about 3. The Six Sigma toolbox contains the seven tools of quality: control charts.700 DPMO. it will deliver 1.1. 2001.5 sigma (Tennant. Linderman et al. matrix diagrams. and if it is set up at six sigma level for the short-term goal.5 with 3. Obviously. if a process set up to operate at three-sigma level in the short term with around 2.

Inspect the collected data and transform it into charts and graphs. and applies technology for continuous improvement. project scope. Analyze: determine root causes of variation or defects. . . or customer requirements. Six Sigma takes the pattern of Deming’s cycle Plan-Do-Check-Act and initiates its five-stage cycle Define. Business process mapping is done for existing process to identify the benefits and applications of process mapping. 2003). often focuses on new measurements. 2003. . 14 . Improve. project goals. Customer focus: the customer needs are translated into specific requirements and the methods of collecting customer information are identified. Examine the value of each step of the process. .prioritization matrices. problem and goal statement. a DMAIC process consists of five phases: Define: identify problems. opportunities for improvements. Linderman et al. 2004). . 2005). . DMAIC is a closed-loop process that eliminates unproductive steps. This phase involves these three activities: . Measure: evaluate process performance. Develop team charter: identification of business case. which means setting specification limits that meet the customer needs. Process mapping: define the process and connects customers to the process. Six Sigma utilizes the tools and techniques for fixing problems in business processes in a sequential and disciplined fashion (Antony. Control which is widely known as DMAIC (Snee and Hoerl. Measure.. According to Selvi and Majumdar (2014). As defined by Kwak and Anbari (2004). Analyze. and activity network diagrams (Arnheiter and Maleyeff. process decision program charts. Validating the measurement system. Performance standards are defined. Additional analysis on the cause of the problem. . Tasks to carry out: . Steps involved in this phase: . Brainstorm the problem causes using cause and effect diagram. milestones and roles. Develop data collection plan and collect the data.

While regular Six Sigma projects follow the DMAIC method. A variant of this method is known as DMADV: Define. At this phase. improvement benefits or impacts are determined. 2011). 2 TRIZ is an established science methodology. The identified best solution is communicated to the stakeholders. Six Sigma strategies are adaptive and on-going. Design. Measure. adjustments can be make and new changes may be implemented as a result of the completion of this first cycle of the process.Improve: devise potential solutions and identify the easiest solution to implement based on the cause of the problem. Voice requirements of Customers. Likewise. DFSS projects follows a roadmap which consists of four phases: Identify. Process maps and high-level plan is developed for the pilot solution. Control: develop metrics that will help leaders monitor continued success. At the end of the cycle. Table 1 . tools and knowledge. By implementing the final solution. Design and Verify. Analyze. process should deliver.Design for Six Sigma roadmap Phase Step Description Tools Identify Determine customer Voice of and business Optimize and Verify as seen in Table 1.. define a set Deployment requirements of functional requirements and (QFD). 15 . non-functional requirements Design Develop solutions for Establish a set of candidate Creativity tools each function technical solutions for each of such as functions that the product or Brainstorming. etc. Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is used as an effective method for translating functional requirements into technical solutions and processes to produce them reliably (de Mast et al. additional processes are addressed or the initial project is then complete. Establish functions and Establish main function that the subfunctions product or process should deliver and break them down into subfunctions. TRIZ2.and model-based technology for stimulating and generating innovative ideas and solutions for problem solving (isixsigma. Define functional and Based on identified customer Quality Function non-functional and business needs.

or process validation plan. and failure Mode Effects modes and their effects. Control controls Plan. etc. etc. and design for maintainability. Optimization. design for Tolerance manufacturability. Design process SPC. Develop and score Combine candidate solutions Pugh matrix concept designs per function into integrated conceptual solutions and select the most promising concept. Elaborate the high Break down the system into Design review level design subsystems and components and assign functions to components. Verify Verification trials Design and execute the product Functional Tests. Design for X Optimize the design from Reliability various perspectives. robustness. Parameter design design parameters. Design of Experiments (DoE). Process Failure Modes and Effects 16 . Process/product Capability Analysis. Design Failure nuisance variables. Analysis (DFMEA). Optimize Identify parameters Identify design parameters. design for Robust Design. design for reliability. Specify the nominal Specify target values for the DoE. design. tolerance Design. Robust Design. etc. including Engineering.

2003). It is also important to note that whether either of those methods being used. and in defining quality attributes which are critical-to-quality (CTQ). is included at each step of the cycle. Six Sigma creates a powerful infrastructure of champions.. a collection of supporting tools. Six Sigma also embraces the concept that quality is the responsibility of all employees (Arnheiter and Maleyeff. or in situations in which existing products or processes cannot be improved enough with DMAIC methods to reach operational or competitive goals (Johnson. Linderman et al. 2011 Generally. (2008).2. Sponsors are owners of processes and 17 .. useful for analyzing and improving critical processes as well as putting the system under control. and employees (Pyzdek. 2.3 The Human Aspects Six Sigma activities focus on things that matter most the three key constituencies: customers.1. customer involvement is important and critical in establishing which processes and products need to be improved. they must be carefully followed and solutions cannot be offered until the problem is clearly defined (Linderman et al. 2003). Moreover. Champions are high-level individuals. Source: de Mast et al. On a report of a study conducted by Schroeder et al. 2008. DFSS is used to develop new products and processes.. Six Sigma connects employees’ promotion and rewards with the level of their Six Sigma certifications and their involvement and achievement in Six Sigma projects. 2005) and emphasizes the importance of strong leadership which contributes to the success of the organization (Antony. Analysis (PFMEA). sponsors and professionals ranked by belt system (Antony et al... in Six Sigma. Six Sigma projects identify and eliminate costs which do not add value to customers (Pyzdek. 2003). which ignites the employees’ interest in quality improvement and increases their commitment to the organization’s goal of high quality (Fursule et al. 2012). Also. shareholders.. Transfer to operations Project discharge. 2004). 2003). 2006). 2012). Six Sigma methods become “an effective learning framework” to aid knowledge acquisition and provide a common language enabling workers to communicate project status and to make comparison across improvement efforts (Swink and Jacobs. who receive an orientation to Six Sigma and identify strategically important projects for improvement (Pyzdek. Pyzdek. etc. 2003). 2003.

. and no project is approved unless the team determines the savings generated from it (Antony.. Pande et al. 2004. 2004). (2008). In 1999.2. 2003. they help initiate and coordinate Six Sigma improvement activities in their area of responsibilities (Pyzdek. Boeing. 2008). See http://www.1. etc. According to Schroeder et al. it was reported that Motorola achieved fivefold growth in sales with profits climbing nearly 20 percent per year.3 percent (Klefsjö et al..2 Six Sigma Success Six Sigma has been successfully implemented in many manufacturing enterprises along with Motorola and General Electric such as Ford.. 2007). 2008). cumulative savings at $US14 billion and stock price gains compounded to an annual rate of 21. 2003). From 1987 to 1997. approximately 50 black belt projects and 200 yellow belt projects had been executed 3 The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is a presidential award given to US organizations that demonstrate outstanding performance excellence. At Ericsson in Borås (Sweden). The different belts denote different levels of training and experience with Six Sigma methods: master black belts are typically full-time trainers and project mentors.. while Allied Signal (Honeywell) attained savings of $US2 billion during a five- year period (Klefsjö et al. Toshiba. Antony et al.. (Kwak and 18 . 2. Honeywell. Another success coming from a smaller manufacturing company located in Sweden also proves Six Sigma’s cost-saving benefits. 2001).baldrigepe.. 2000).systems. 2001). 3M’s Dental Division won Baldrige Award3 and later adopted Six Sigma to improve performance even further (Schroeder et al.4 Bottom-line Focus Six Sigma organizations place a clear focus on achieving and measurable and quantifiable financial returns.. General Electric spent over half of billion in Six Sigma initiatives and obtained over two billion in return for the fiscal year (Linderman et al. 2. 2012). 3M. most mature Six Sigma companies track their financial results and report the impact to all levels of management on a regular basis. black belts and green belts are workers who apply Six Sigma concepts and tools to drive improvements in their respective areas of functional responsibility (Swink and Jacobs. Those companies witnessed impressive successes from the Six Sigma adoption. Belt system is a unique feature of Six Sigma to assure performance improvement activities have necessary resources (Antony et al. It was the Business Unit of Transmission & Transportation Networks at Ericsson that started their Six Sigma program in 1997.

2012. Fursule et al. being oversold and incorrectly used (Antony. In services. Pepper and Spedding. 2. 2012). The traditional Six Sigma implementation approach in large companies can require millions of dollars investment.5 sigma shift for service processes does not make much sense and that raises a need for further research on the matter. repeatable processes (Swink and Jacobs. 2007). Six Sigma originated from manufacturing firms where many of its principles and tenets were developed in a setting of asset-intensive. the dynamic capabilities stemming from Six Sigma adoption could be considered limited to continuous improvement. Reports from companies which are well-known for their Six Sigma implementation such as 3M and General Electric say that. etc. Second. 2010). Third. 2004. and associated information and reporting systems (Swink and Jacobs.2. Lastly. Antony (2004) also asserts that Six Sigma can easily digress into a bureaucratic exercise if the focus is on such things as the number of trained black belts and green belts.. Six Sigma is not flaw- free. 19 . dedication of their best people on Six Sigma projects. Six Sigma program was not structurally implemented and considerably canceled out creativity and innovation of their workforce (Hindo.3 Six Sigma’s Limitations Like any other quality management programs and methodologies. 2004). 2007. In addition. 2010). 2012) which may not be suitable for service companies.. criticism has been raised whether it is applicable for smaller companies. instead of bottom-line savings. number of projects completed. Swink and Jacobs. 2008). 2012). the assumption of 1. with total savings of approximately 200 – 300 million euros between 1997 and 2003 (Andersson et al. 2006). Most of successful Six Sigma adopters are corporations who are already mature in quality control and the reason why they have opted for the methodology is to further enhance their performance (Schroeder et al. there is frustration as the solutions driven by the data are expensive and only a small part of the solution is implemented in the end (Antony. as a small shift in sigma could lead to erroneous defect calculations (Antony. Antony et al. training. 2012.. organizational restructurings. Six Sigma faces the real danger of becoming lost in a consultancy practice. rather than also applying to more radical changes (Swink and Jacobs. Additionally.. there is so much possible variation in the customer response that it is difficult to fit them in the constraints of whether they are merely a defect or not (Pepper and Spedding. Although the belt system is an attempt to develop in-house expertise.between 1997 and 2004. First of all. in some cases. 2004).

Both enhances problem solving capability of people. Lean focuses on eliminating wastes and other non-value-adding activities to improve process efficiency. Although Lean and Six Sigma have different starting points and different characteristics. . while Six Sigma aims at enhancing process effectiveness through elimination of variation. Both use multi-disciplinary team. following the DMAIC structure. It focuses on improving processes. Therefore.. one lacks features that can be complemented by the other. 2014). . 20 . Both are company-wide process improvement strategies and help identify opportunities for improvements.2. 2000). it is undeniable that an integrated approach of the two would produce extraordinary and long lasting results. . . According to a paper done by Antony (2011) which involves opinions of leading academics and practitioners about the similarities and differences between Lean and Six Sigma.3. Both need management’s support and engagement. delivery and cost. . while Six Sigma has more complex and statistical tools.1 The Integration of Lean and Six Sigma The term “Lean Six Sigma” is used to describe a management system which is actually a combination of Lean and Six Sigma (Sheridan. On the report of his work. they should be seen as complementary strategies (Drohomeretski et al. Lean and Six Sigma have some common characteristics as summarized as follows: . (2010) defines Lean Six Sigma as “a methodology that focuses on the elimination of waste and variation. they converge to the same purpose. . Salah et al.3 Lean Six Sigma 2. On the other hand. Both place focus on customers’ need and aim at delivering highest value to the customers as well as the organization. . . Lean’s tools are simple and straightforward that focus on finding quick solutions. Both offer complementary tool sets and require intense learning of those tools and techniques. satisfying customers and achieving better financial results for the business”. Both can be applied in non-manufacturing environments. to achieve customer satisfaction with regards to quality.

and a Lean Six Sigma organization would include these primary tenets of Six Sigma: (1) stress data-driven methodologies in all decision making process so that changes are based on scientific rather than ad hoc studies. Six Sigma offers statistical and data-driven approach which Lean does not have. (2) promote methodologies that strive to minimize variation of quality characteristics. The utilization of Six Sigma brings better bottom line improvements with the reduction of cost of poor quality items. (3) design and implement a company-wide and highly structured education and training regimen. Lean tools are easily adopted by people of all levels from shop-floor workers to top managers.3. . . Six Sigma has clearer and better structured approach with DMAIC method which helps its practitioners go through process improvement in a clear manner and order. while using Six Sigma help them seek opportunities to analyze the problems in more statistical and rational ways. A Lean Six Sigma organization would include these primary tenets of Lean management: (1) corporate an overriding philosophy that seeks to maximize the value-added content of all operations. while Six Sigma is good for more long-term. By using Lean. 2. . Lean is useful for day-by-day improvement activities. practitioners look for more organizational explanation for problems. strategic and complex projects. . . . Lean resolves problems that are readily invisible while Six Sigma can tackle problems without immediate identification of root causes and unknown solutions.2 Lean Six Sigma’s Benefits Companies practicing either Lean or Six Sigma alone might reach a point of diminishing returns (Arnheiter and Malayeff. Six Sigma’s implementation needs more investment than that of Lean. . The most recognizable benefit is increase in profit and financial savings. (2) constantly evaluate all incentive programs to ensure they result in global optimization. and the benefits of deploying Lean Six Sigma as a unified methodology have been proved in many companies from giants to smalls across industries. 2005). As recommended by Arnheiter and Malayeff (2005). a Lean Six Sigma organization would capitalize on the strengths of both Lean management and Six Sigma. . According 21 . while Six Sigma tool sets require years of training and development therefore usually perceived by managers with advanced knowledge and capability. while Lean does not deliver such dramatic financial results. (3) incorporate a management decision-making process that bases every decision on its relative impact on the customer. while in Lean it’s difficult to understand which tools to use at what times.

Also on a report of their systematic literature review in Lean Six Sigma.. 2004). 2006).to Snee (2010). visual management system. work standardization. According to Albliwi and Antony (2013)..000 (de Koning et al. 2014). companies considered to be doing an effective implementation of Lean Six Sigma get the following returns: large companies return 1 – 2 percent of sales/year and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) return 3 – 4 percent of sales/year. there was a 55% reduction in scrap costs. focusing on reduction of the cost of €1 million for hiring temporary staff. Furthermore.3 Critical Successful Factors and Impediments Lean Six Sigma has shown its powerful features for organizations to improve their business performance. 2. etc. Training and Education was the most frequently cited by researchers as critical successful factor (CSF) for Lean Six Sigma implementation.. a poor attempt at Lean Six Sigma implementation can render it ineffective (Albliwi and Antony. The Red Cross hospital located in the Netherlands had assigned a project. as per a study done on Lean Six Sigma implementation in SMEs in the Netherlands. Till 2004. an increase in overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) from 34 to 55%. However not all can gain real benefits from it. organizations can ensure their performance if they direct their effort and focus onto critical factors with which their objectives are associated in order to develop and sustain the organization’s success. to their green belt team who followed DMAIC process and utilization of root cause analysis. in Xerox more than 400 Black Belts had been trained with more than 700 high business impact projects have been executed and significant financial benefits had been delivered (Fornari and Maszle. the three most important CSFs rated by 106 small and medium sized 22 . 2004). An example of untiring journey to Lean Six Sigma comes from Xerox. Lean Six Sigma has shown its benefits not only in manufacturing sector but also in services. the project in the end resulted in a saving of approximately €200. A case study done in a small engineering company in UK reports that the integrated implementation of Lean Six Sigma on the production line where the pilot was implemented.3. 2013). whose leaders decided to corporation-wide integrate Lean into their existing Six Sigma program in 2002 by committing all resources required to enable a robust development (Fornari and Maszle. a 34% increase in the time available for production and a 12 percent reduction in energy consumption per year (Drohomeretski et al. It is then followed by Communication and Top Management Commitment and Involvement.

Thomas. There are several possible frameworks suggested in previous researches. makes it difficult for the companies to appoint a facilitator or coordinator for the Six Sigma implementation process. Pepper and Spedding. human resources management and associated tools of both Lean and Six Sigma following the manner of DMAIC. (2008) also points out reasons for low application of statistical methods including the fact that management in small companies does not have the sufficient theoretical knowledge to see the potential of using statistical tools. Small companies often lack resources in the form of time and personnel. there’s no comprehensive framework presenting that specifically integrates Lean and Six Sigma concepts through an implementation roadmap (Snee. change management. In 2008.. Speaking of that matter. The study also discusses the reasons why SMEs in UK were discouraged to implement Six Sigma is due to the lack of knowledge of the system. structured improvement procedure and quality information and analysis are those of the most important factors to ensure outstanding business and quality performance (Habidin and Yusof.. 17 had implemented Lean. 2013). lack of resources and cost issues.4 Lean Six Sigma Implementation Framework Although Lean Six Sigma has gained its popularity over the past decade.manufacturing companies are linking to customer. 2010). another research done by Thomas et al. (2009) carried out a research among manufacturing SMEs in the UK which shows the majority of the 49 corresponding firms were ISO certified.3. 10 out of those 17 took initiatives on Six Sigma. The implementation of Lean Six Sigma also needs to overcome these commonly found impediments: lack of awareness about Lean Six Sigma benefits. and out of those. 23 . 2012). Kumar et al. principles. 2. This highlights a proposition that the variations in CSFs might be the result of different cultures in different countries (Albliwi and Antony. quality management. unmanaged expectations and lack of availability of resources (Albliwi and Antony. and they tend to become a Lean organization that. A framework exclusively for service transaction-based organizations called SITE MAP is developed by Furterer (Furterer and Smelcer. 2010. 2013). which includes important improvement activities. vision and plan statement and communication (Timans et al. 2007). in opinion of the authors. Barton and Chuke- Okafor developed a DoE4-based Lean Six Sigma experimentation framework which consists of 4 DoE: Design of Experiments. 2013). Another research on CSFs for implementation of Lean Six Sigma has been done in Malaysian automotive industry reveals a result that leadership.

with the same idea of taking Lean as a solid foundation for establishing Lean Six Sigma. From this point. 24 . Antony and Tiwari introduced a 5-phase implementation framework of Six Sigma designed for SMEs which recommends using Lean as a pre-established system with the development of VSM projects for key processes in order to aid Six Sigma implementation. Over half of the surveyed companies in the study had already engaged in Lean management and used to familiar with most typical Lean tools. Moreover. They were more or less in pilot phases and were trying to gain experience from pilot projects. The authors of the study also concluded that SMEs’ success in full Lean Six Sigma implementation is secured by high-quality human resources (with regards to training and education) and standardized project selection systems. project-based improvement methodology to target those hotspots and ultimately drive the system towards the desired future state. They suggest that Lean should be adopted as a foundation for improvement. which was often simulated by large companies to which they supply products. who were also in managing functions with clear procedure for project selection as well as the application of DMAIC process. the Six Sigma DMAIC structure was applied in projects on Lean manufacturing subjects. (2012). in 2011. Lean identifies key areas (hotspots) for improvements and Six Sigma provides a data-driven. the interviewed practitioners suggested a possible roadmap for implementing Lean and Six Sigma that companies should start off with Lean as a key business process improvement model using such tools as VSM. the case-study companies still emphasized the convergence of both approaches that. Some of the six case-study firms were employing and training a few first black belts and green belts. Though there was a trend towards Lean management. In Jiju Antony’s work done in 2011. Kumar. It reveals that most Dutch companies are at the beginning stage of Lean Six Sigma deployment. The same conceptual construction of this model for Lean Six Sigma deployment is introduced by Pepper and Spedding (2010).principles of both Lean and Six Sigma along with an effective use of DoE process in a small engineering company. while Lean’s VSM method was used for project identification and selection in Six Sigma projects. providing strategic direction and orienting the general dynamics of the system by informing the current state of operations. JIT or 5S then go on with more comprehensive analysis tools offered by Six Sigma to obtain better bottom-line results. A comprehensive study on the actual implementation framework of Lean Six Sigma in the Netherlands was carried out by Timans et al.

Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma become essentials to the growth of organizations regardless sizes and industries. Most studies focus on either Lean or Six Sigma performance assessment alone. In the field of Six Sigma. The inputs used for their evaluation are derived from a questionnaire asking Six Sigma practitioners to rate the most critical successful factors for Lean Six Sigma implementation. while the determined outputs are percentage increase of process sigma (measure of variation of a Lean Six Sigma process) and cost avoidance (expected amount of cost savings). the need for an assessment framework or model for those approaches is significant for top management to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of their process improvement systems as well as to ensure the organization is running on the right path. Then the author measured the effectiveness of Six Sigma programs by examining the relationship between those vital components and business performance.5 Lean Six Sigma’s Effectiveness and Efficiency Assessment As Lean. The improvements and the new pull systems will produce improved bottom-line performance. However.3. to sustain it over time. A rarely found research is conducted on measuring efficiency of Lean Six Sigma project implementation using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) at NASA by David Meza and Ki-Young Jeong (2013). there is very few academic research aimed at developing an effectiveness and efficiency assessment framework with parameters associated to Lean Six Sigma as a unified approach. the balanced scorecard approach introduced by Kaplan and Norton (1992) is often recommended for Six Sigma practitioners to assess their 25 . to measure performance results in Six Sigma deployment.Meanwhile. Snee (2010) proposes an integration framework which works in the way that companies can begin with their business case creating two separate types of work streams: installation of Lean manufacturing systems (pull systems) and process improvement projects aimed at improving the performance of the value-added steps. then continued to point out which performance indicators they used to evaluate the benefits brought by Six Sigma. The companies were asked to rate the most important components contributing to the success of their Six Sigma programs. however. 2. Further. the lack of roadmaps for Lean Six Sigma implementation should not be a problem today because there are many of roadmaps that can be adapted to specific organization needs (Snee. 2010). Wasage (2013) has done a research on measuring effectiveness of Six Sigma implementation in Fortune 500 companies through surveys. To the current time. a continuous improvement system need to be put on place and the DMAIC process is used for initial process improvement as well as keep the continuous improvement activities run effectively.

(9) Culture – employee oriented. cLeanliness and order. (12) Lean philosophy Bhasin applied his Lean audit in 20 organizations who had clearly articulated that they were on Lean journey. (1) Lean management is more universal and applicable. and rating of then is granted for “sophisticated flow and very 26 . (4) Visual management. Enhanced. there is a flawed explanation of the phases of Lean coupled with an absence of any reliable parameters to judge whether the level of an implementation is progressing. 2006). The framework he proposed consists sets of indices categorized in 12 groups of criteria: (1) Overall safety. The Lean journey has 7 phases: Planning. (8) Lean sustainability. (3) Six Sigma practitioners often use financial results as indicators of the adoption’s effectiveness. The author calls the process of assessing the Lean status of the organization the measurement of its “Leanness”. Each criterion is rated by a score ranging from 1 to 10. in the “Continuous flow”. rating of one is granted for “very disjointed with large batches and groups of machines”. Customers.performance widely based on four perspectives Financial. (5) Quality designed into the product. (2) Production and operation flow. (3) Process and operations. Developmental. For example. Mechanical. Innovative and Ideological. (10) Organizational culture – organizational practices. and Learning and Growth (Rajamanoharan and Collier. Holistic. while the barriers to an effective implementation are discussed. with indication of what would secure a one and what would secure a ten (1 usually indicates poor performance). (2) Lean is not entirely a data-driven approach compared to Six Sigma. In the field of Lean management. (11) Lean treated as a business. It may determine some myths that. Internal Processes. (7) Lean change strategy. According to Bhasin (2011). (6) Continuous improvement. He goes on to initiate an assessment framework that helps identify at which stage an organization is on their Lean journey with the embracement of Lean as a philosophy. there are more comprehensive academic works existing.

some of the indicators are: scrap rate. it does not cover all aspects of Lean. Previously in 2011. Human Resources and Delivery. The quantitative part includes 8 dimensions: Time effectiveness. Customer and Inventory. In the end. especially ones which cannot be quantitatively measured such as commitment to waste culture or customer involvement. Bhasin’s model is not difficult to perform but seems to only focus on qualitative items which. As stated by Pakdil and Leonard (2014).  Step 2: Identify performance categories and metrics for each lean attribute determined in step 1. Although this model is generic and place more focus on statistical analysis in measuring Lean. Quality. Also.small batches”. etc. in most of the case. Therefore. they developed a Lean assessment tool (LAT) which incorporates both qualitative and quantitative assessment. total defectives $/total sales. Process. The qualitative dimensions are Quality. relies on observations. Process. Each dimension consists of associated performance indicators linked to accounting results. Customer. total scrap $/total sales.  Step 3: Set the fuzzy area and membership function for each performance metric. The model was applied step-by-step as follows:  Step 1: Determine the Lean performance attributes. Human resources. For example. it lacks the sense of organizations pursuing Lean as a holistic approach.  Step 4: Calculate fuzzy membership values and their arithmetic mean scores. From that point of view. a Lean performance evaluation model for manufacturing system has been proposed by Behrouzi and Wong using fuzzy sets for data analysis. The majority of assessment criteria and indicators are also parts of Six Sigma principles. no quality and financial performance- related criteria which can be expressed by statistical figures is put into consideration as indicators of a successful Lean implementation that. in the Quality. according to literature. Cost. the authors 27 . For data analysis. Very few of those criteria are based on quantitative measurement such as “average OEE of production equipment”. actually yields better bottom-line results. Delivery. not the whole picture. which are measured on 5-point Likert scale of agreement/disagreement. the total score of each organization is compared against the maximum score and against the required points of each of the seven Lean stages. the previous lean assessment methods focuses only on the different side of lean operations. and “quick changeover or SMED training of eight or more hours is provided”. The qualitative session of LAT contains five performance dimensions measured by 51 items.

Hartley (2004) asserts that case study research consists of a detailed investigation. case study has an important function in generating hypotheses and building theory (Kohlbacher. 2003). 2003).) or a social or political phenomenon (Saunders et al. aiming at providing an analysis of the context and processes which illuminate the theoretical issues being studied. but the ability to understand the impact of this context is limited by the number of variables for which data can be collected (Saunders et al. Meanwhile. an organization. the case study inquiry:  Copes with the technically distinctive situation in which there will be many more variables of interest than data points. 2015). On the other hand. which is seen as a potential threat to the validity of the result (Saunders et al. In comparison with experiment strategy. case study is an in-depth and widely-used research strategy which allows investigators to retain the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real-life events.. In this regard. research is also undertaken in a real-life setting as in case study. The “case” in case study research may refer to a specific subject (a person. From this point of view. 2015.. Yin. In a survey strategy. especially when (2) the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident. 2015. often with data collected over a period of time. Yin (2003) offers a more technical definition in which case study is perceived as an empirical inquiry that (1) investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context.use fuzzy methodology and radar charts that provide more visual information about the current performance level of various indicators. case study provides more flexibility than experimental research where contextual variables are highly controlled..1 Case Study as Research Strategy According to Yin (2003). which means many methods of data collection and data analysis can be used. 2005). coming to understand its activities within its important circumstances. and as on result 28 . 3. For definition of case study research. within their context. Yin. being asked about a contemporary set of events over which the investigator has little or no control (Yin. Case study focuses on answering “how” and “why” questions. etc. 2003). He also goes on to assert that case study as a research strategy comprises an all-encompassing method. Stake (1995) briefly defines case study as the study of particularity and complexity of a single case. of phenomena. CASE STUDY RESEARCH PRINCIPLES 3. a process.

and at some points locating this in existing literature in order to refine... 2014. Saunders et al. 3. 29 . using theoretical propositions to test their applicability in the case study. 2015). argues that human beings and their social worlds cannot be studied in the same way as physical phenomena due to the need to take account of complexity (Saunders et al. it may be selected purposively because it provides an opportunity to observe and analyze a phenomenon that few have considered before. An explanatory case study is likely to use a deductive approach. to build and verify an explanation (Saunders et al. 2015). In such cases. or explanatory (Saunders et al. 2015). together with surveys and experiment strategy. 2015. and for different purposes: descriptive. the single case approach can also be adopted when there are no other cases available for replication (Zaidah. 2015). analyzing their data. 2015).2 Variations in Case Study Research Case studies can be designed as either single case or multiple case. Specifically. 2002). whilst the others will work inductively.. alternatively. and as another result  Benefits from the prior development of theoretical propositions to guide data collection and analysis. case studies are used inductively to build theory and generate theoretical hypotheses. or. Case studies have often been viewed as a useful tool for the preliminary. Yin (2003) proposes holistic and embedded approach. Flyvbjerg. 2007). exploratory stage of a research project. exploratory. In the same manner. or an extreme or unique case. as a basis for the development of the ‘more structured’ tools that are necessary in surveys and experiments (Rowley. and eventually serve as a complement to the larger deductive research (Saunders et al.. cases studies. 2005. Saunders et al.. with data needing to converge in a triangulating fashion. 2006).. For the single case studies.. The long and widespread use of case studies has resulted in them being designed in different ways: deductively as well as inductively. can be used not only for exploratory purpose but also descriptive and explanatory. As recognized by Yin (2003). On the other hand. extend or generate theory (Ridder et al. identifying themes and patterns in these data. 2015). many interpretivist researchers will focus on describing their case study abundantly which allows readers to make their own links to existing theory (Stake. As stated by Saunders et al. The former refers to a situation in which the researcher chooses to study the unit of 5 Related to Interpretivism: Philosophical stance that advocates humans are different from physical phenomena because they create meanings. (2015).  Relies on multiple sources of evidence. a single case is often used where it represents a critical case. interpretivist5 researchers tend to prefer richly detailed description of their case study research (Saunders et al..

although there are plenty of sources of evidence. interviews. Yin. if a result of the case study collection is incomplete  Exact – contains exact  Reporting bias – reflects names. the ability to look at sub-units that are situated within a larger case is powerful when considering that data can be analyzed within the sub-units separately. The strengths and weaknesses of those sources of evidence are described in the Table 2 below: Table 2 . several cases are examined to understand the similarities and differences between them (Baxter and Jack. 2003). 2008). many events. while in the latter approach. references. In literal replication. 2015). it can also be extremely time consuming and expensive to conduct (Baxter and Jack. or across all the sub-units. the holistic case study contains more than one sub-units of analysis. archival records. between the different sub-units. The rationale for using multiple cases focuses on whether findings can be replicated across cases (Saunders et al.. The evidence created from this type of case study design is considered robust and reliable. Yin (2003) introduces two terms of replication: literal and theoretical. the six commonly used ones in case study research are: documentation. 2015. the chosen set of cases produces contrasting results but for predictable reasons (Yin. however. in a multiple case study. While a holistic case study with embedded units only allows the researcher to understand one unique or critical case. 2003)..3 Data Collection Methods According to Yin (2003).analysis as a whole. cases are carefully chosen on the basis that similar results are predicted to be produced from each one (Saunders et al. direct observation. 3. 2008). At this point.Sources of Evidence with their strengths and weaknesses Source of Evidence Strengths Weaknesses Documentation  Stable – can be reviewed  Retrievability – can be repeatedly difficult to find  Unobtrusive – not created as  Biased selectivity. As Baxter and Jack (2008) contends. and physical artifacts. In theoretical replication. participant-observation. and (unknown) bias of author details of an event  Access – may be  Broad coverage – long span deliberately withheld of time. and many settings Archival records  [Same as those for  [Same as those for documentation] documentation]  Precise and usually  Accessibility due to privacy quantitative reasons 30 .

2003. detailed flow of analytical data. However. Interviews  Targeted – focuses directly  Bias due to poorly on case study topics articulated questions  Insightful – provides  Response bias perceived causal inferences  Inaccuracies due to poor and explanations recall  Reflexivity – interviewee gives what interviewer wants to hear Direct observations  Reality – covers events in  Time.. Yin. Eisenhardt. 2015). case study research may beneficially use some combinations of archival records and documentation. the benefits of the six sources of evidence can be maximized if these three principles are followed:  Use multiple sources of evidence. The use of multiple of evidence in case studies allows the researcher to address a broader range of historical and behavioral issues. In general. reflection and the use of research diaries and other research aids (Saunders et al. To achieve an in-depth inquiry and a rich. 2006. different forms of observation. ethnography6. As stated by Yin (2003). questionnaires. case studies do not imply the use of a particularly type of evidence and they can be done using either qualitative or quantitative evidence (or both) (Kohlbacher.consuming real time  Selectivity – broad coverage  Contextual – covers context difficult without a team of of “case” observers  Reflexivity – event may proceed differently because it is being observed  Cost – hours needed by human observers Participant  [Same as above for direct  [Same as above for direct observation observations] observations]  Insightful into interpersonal  Bias due to participant- behavior and motives observer’s manipulation of events Physical artifacts  Insightful into cultural  Selectivity features  Availability  Insightful into technical operations Source: Yin. 1989. interviews and focus groups. the most important 6 The study and systematic recording of human cultures (Merriam-Webster dictionary). as well as provides multiple measures of the same phenomenon. 1981). 31 .

so that in principle. Yin (2003) argues that.. when the data is not triangulated. In response to those criticisms. and these designs should cover: the main questions and propositions. advantage of this principle is the development of triangulation process focusing on the data sources. presentable database. (2) Case studies do not allow generalization to be made from a small number of cases. it should be apparent that the data collection follows the protocol and there is a clear link between the content of the protocol and the initial study questions. An outcome which strengthens the reliability of the research. When the data is triangulated. This principle is to increase the reliability of the information in a case study. Nevertheless. and lastly. Therefore. the case study report may not present adequate data which would render independent inspection. Yin (2003) discussed those criticisms in three main points: (1) Case studies are lack of rigor of natural scientific designs. case studies have their own drawbacks. the database should reveal actual evidence. 3. links between data and propositions. and procedures for interpretation of data (Easterby-Smith et al.  Maintain a chain of evidence. in some cases. the unit of analysis. 32 . 2012). he suggests that all case studies should have clear designs produced before any data is collected.4 Criticisms on Case Study Research Like any other research strategy. each source of evidence is analyzed separately and conclusions are compared from different analyses (non-convergence). the utilization of multiple sources of evidence is often time consuming and requires the researcher to be able to carry out full variety of data collection techniques. other researchers can review the evidence directly and not be limited to the written case study reports. the events or facts of the case study are supported by more than a single source of evidence (convergence). In this respect.  Create a case study database. and increases the transparency of the findings is a well-organized collection of the evidence base (Rowley. also indicate the circumstances under which the evidence was collected. (3) Case studies often produce a big amount of documentation which requires more efforts into data management. he recommends every case study project should strive to develop a formal. 2002). the report must contain sufficient citation relevant to the database.

The questionnaire sought to obtain following information:  Working profile of the respondents. A questionnaire was developed (see Appendix 1) consisting 12 questions of which there were 8 close-ended and 4 open-ended questions. the interviews were conducted with two Black Belts who were involved in coaching activities for Green Belt certification program. a survey (adopted from Timans et al. The 5-point Likert scale was adopted with “Never use” as the lowest and “Frequently use” as the highest.4. the year when their training started and what training method used (workshop or online training).  Training program which the respondents have been through.  The respondents’ personal opinions on (1) what two problems they’ve experienced in their daily work and how they would use Lean Six Sigma tools to tackle those problems. what are their job functions and their years of experience in Allied Engineering. The employees were asked to rate how often they were using Lean Six Sigma tools from a list of various tools and techniques. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 4. including name of sub-business unit they are working in. RQ2: What are employees’ perspectives on the company’s Lean Six Sigma program? To answer this question. (2012) focusing on the use of Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques was distributed to employees who were holders of Green Belt and Black Belt certificates. along with two project managers and one software engineer.  The usage of tools rated by Likert scale. RQ1: How Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques are being applied by the company’s employees? To answer the RQ1. and (2) whether the Lean Six Sigma certification is necessary for them to fulfill their jobs. including type of certification they’ve achieved.1 Research Design This single case study uses mixed methods of data collection and analysis to find possible answers for the research questions and satisfy the research’s objectives. The interviews were designed as semi-structured 33 . This was to obtain more insights onto the application of Lean Six Sigma toolset perceived by certified/trained employees working at Automation Solutions division.

another literature review is also needed at this step. 2003 . RQ3: What are the most suitable measures for evaluating effectiveness and efficiency of the company’s Lean Six Sigma efforts? The insights acquired through survey and interviews will be used to determine what evaluation or approach is the most suitable.interviews and focused on exploring different angles from engineering and managerial perspectives over Lean Six Sigma application in real-life practices in regards of:  What tools and techniques of Lean Six Sigma they were mostly using and if they were encouraging their peers to use them as well.  How the company’s Lean Six Sigma program has contributed to project success regarding operation and quality performance. Primary Data Interviews Survey CONCLUSIONS Secondary Data Documents Figure 3 .2 Data Collection Sources and Techniques The case study had used a collection of both primary and secondary data using multiple sources of evidence. 34 . The use of multiple sources of evidence is proven to effectively enables data triangulation evaluation (Yin. On the other hand.Sources of Evidence with convergence approach Source: generated by the researcher.  What operation areas or processes that would need more improvements. 4. 2003). The approach is demonstrated in Figure 3. adapted from Yin.

The preliminary data collection has served as a foundation for identifying suitable research methods used to answer the research questions as well as for the development of a possible framework measuring how effectively and efficiently Lean Six Sigma is implemented. current implementation status and objectives. A generated link to the survey was sent out to Automation Solutions’ employees through the company’s internal network from September 21st to October 12th. The process for the collection of primary data is described as follows: Preliminary data collection Collect data through the Analyze distribution of online survey Collect data through in-depth Analyze interviews Draw conclusions and suggestions for improvements Figure 4 . The research focuses on speculating total value or savings received from Green Belt and Black Belt projects in the year 35 . The survey questionnaire was digitally designed on SurveyMonkey7 web application. which were implemented concurrently. The discussion consists of questions concerning the company’s current Lean Six Sigma implementation status. 2016.Research process for primary data The secondary data was obtained through the company’s in-house conducted research with regards to the results of Lean Six Sigma implementation. The interviews were conducted under semi-structured format and audio recorded for documentation of transcription. and reveals concerns over that whether the employees are actively and effectively using the Lean 7 Accessed through https://www.The research started with a preliminary data gathering in the purpose of finding out basic information about the company regarding its Lean Six Sigma experience. The data was collected through a discussion with a quality manager responsible for improving Lean Six Sigma processes in Automation Solutions particularly. The primary data was gathered directly through interviews and an online survey.surveymonkey.

In statistical terms. Almost never – score 2. 36 .3 Data Analysis Methods 4. median is used to determine average or center scores instead of mean numbers. The observation values are then of ordinal. the sample must meet the following conditions:  The two investigated groups must be randomly drawn from the target population. Using histograms and calculation of standard deviation. The skewed and ordinal data set is also the reason for the application of Mann-Whitney U-test. with genuinely small to complete absence of errors. 4. to examine statistical difference between workshop and online training for a specific group of job function whose sample characteristics satisfy the test’s assumptions. there is independence within groups and mutual independence between groups.  The data measurement scale is of ordinal or continuous type. the researcher has found the data set is not normally distributed. Firstly.3. referred as a non-parametric version of the independent samples t-test (Nachar. relative or absolute scale type.minitab. the raw data was extracted from SurveyMonkey. According to Nachar (2008). The data associated with the usage of Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques was coded by assigning scores to each of the five Likert-scale point: Never use – score 1.Six Sigma toolset to achieve their projects’ goals. Almost every time – score 4. Frequently use – score 5. identify the relationships and comparison between variables. Sometimes – score 3.  Each measurement or observation must correspond to a different participant. 8 A free 30-day trial version was downloaded from https://www.1 Descriptive Data Analysis The descriptive data analysis was performed using Microsoft Excel and Minitab Statistical Software8 to examine quantitative data collected through the survey. Furthermore. 2008). Meanwhile. then properly coded and arranged onto Excel-format tables in a way that it could be importable for Minitab as well. the 2016’s speculated cost savings from Six Sigma projects are used as possible outputs for the demonstration of Lean Six Sigma efficiency calculations. A range of statistical methods including basic data analysis and statistical significance test were utilized to describe the phenomenon. mode and histograms are used to identify the most frequent ratings granted for each tool/technique. and whether the Lean Six Sigma effort is not useful to them. Those concerns are also an encouragement and inspiration for this case study research. in order to verify hypotheses of the test.

2013). themes Source: adapted from Braun and Clarke (2006). sorting interesting and important ideas associated with the research questions.Process of data analysis using thematic analysis method Phase Description Familiarizing with data Transcribing interview records. (2015). The transcription was then stored carefully in a private cloud storage. Reviewing themes Checking if the themes work in relation to the coded extracts and entire data set. 2015). 37 . thematic analysis offers a logical way to analyze large qualitative data sets. This method has been described as a foundation of qualitative descriptive method for identifying. Searching for themes Using concept maps to identify the patterns and interconnection between the coded features. transcribed and coded before analyses in which thematic analysis was used. collating sorted pieces of data relevant to each code. 2006.. According to Saunders et al. reading and re-reading the data. analyzing and reporting patterns within data (Braun and Clarke. explanations and theorizing. The qualitative thematic analysis process is described as follows: Table 3 . Firstly. Vaismoradi et al. Defining and naming Generating definitions and names for each theme.2 Thematic Analysis Qualitative data collected from interviews was audio-recorded. after each interview. Vaismoradi (2013) and Daley (2004). The approach aims at seeking themes and relationships of cases and issues that eventually led to possible answers for the research questions.3. hence appropriate for this interpretivist study where the researcher focuses on exploring different perspectives of Lean Six Sigma application. Generating codes Coding features of the data systematically across the data set. leading to rich descriptions. It is also a flexible approach as it is not tied to a particular philosophical position (Saunders et al.4. the researcher prepared the relative transcription and gave each transcription file an anonymous code which briefly describes with whom and when the interview was conducted..

To maintain the anonymity of the company and justify the company’s use of the research results. all volunteering participants of the interviews had been informed properly about audio-recording process and the original voice files. 2015). Under this agreement. 4. In the following step. an Information Exchange Agreement has been signed between the researcher and Allied Engineering. Later on. Next. In detail. the researcher kept re-reading the transcripts and filtering important information and interesting ideas using highlighting method. 38 . Furthermore. The researcher. no transcript is inserted in the research report and they will be provided exclusively under requests directly from Allied Engineering or in case of academic perusals from the university. and the data has been kept at the strictest confidentiality. and finally gave each conceptual theme an appropriate definition. the researcher started coding all highlighted words and phrases using ‘in vivo’ source of codes. no personal identical information was given or saved in both surveys and face-to-face interview transcriptions. has been granted access to Allied Engineering’s internal data including employees’ information and a report containing financial results.4 Ethics It is important that all researches must be conducted and handled ethically and lawfully.During the interview period. This process was done by taking the research question as guidance. as an external one.. which derives from actual terms used by the interviewees (Saunders et al. these codes were categorized by topics and arranged in form of concept map where the patterns of ideas and interconnection between coded terms were clearly shown. were managed by the researcher only. the researcher reviewed the concept map once again to ensure it is in relation with the coded features as well as the research question. Therefore. real identity of the company is hidden in the thesis report using an anonymous name. together with their transcripts.

software engineers (27%).1 Application of Lean Six Sigma Tools and Techniques 5. 27% of them have 1 to 2 years of experience working in the company. 39 . 9 There were 3 types of Green Belt certificates listed in the questionnaire (see Appendix 1).1 Summary of Respondent Profile Of 320 employees of Automation Solutions division. Majority (80%) of respondents had obtained certification through workshop training and the rest (20%) had attended online training.Chart of Count of Job Function There are 51 Green Belt9 certified and 5 Black Belt certified employees had participated in the survey. When being asked if the Lean Six Sigma certification program is necessary for the employees to perform their daily jobs. The respondents were mainly from four job functions: mechanical engineers (20%) electrical engineers (23%). they are all called “Green Belt” in the report. 16% 20% 14% 23% 27% Mechanical Engineers Electrical Engineers Software Engineers Project Managers Other Figure 5 . project managers (14%). while 34% of them have 3 to 5 years of experience and around 25% have more than 10 years.5%. but to simplify it and given the differences between those types of certificates are small. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 5.1. See Figure 5.5. Those are defined as “Other” and will be excluded from analysis due to its pretty small sample size. quality managers and special laboratory engineers. there were 56 people participated in the survey which results in the response rate of 17. As shown in Figure 6. The rest is varied from business managers. the result was surprising: 70% disagreed.

Most of the frequent ratings are 1. As the produced data set is skewed.0 for the least used tools. Each of them was rated by the employees with scores granted from 1 (for “Never use”) as the lowest and 5 (for “Frequently use”) as the highest. See Appendix 2. 2% 25% 27% 12% 34% Less than 1 year 1 . All distributions of the tools’ scores are skewed to the right. it may indicate a fact that the employees of Automation Solutions division were not using the Lean Six Sigma tools/techniques often in their daily jobs. Since no tools and techniques rated 4.1.0 and above.Chart of Count of Years of Experience 5. and histograms and mode calculations were for depicting most frequent ratings. except Design FMEA. and 3.0 for the most used ones.2 years 3 . Figure 7 .2 Analysis Results and Discussion The list of 55 tools and techniques was extracted from the company’s internal training materials.10 years More than 10 years Figure 6 .Histogram of Design FMEA on Minitab 40 . the average rating of each tool/technique is determined by median instead of mean. See its histogram in Figure 7.5 years 6 .

looking at their average scores (calculated by taking average of the median ratings). Among those. it is recognizable that the Foundational and Stability-related tools are more preferably used in comparison with the others. and (2) Allied Engineering is a R&D center hence Lean systems for manufacturing and operation systems are not useful. 5S and Kaizen are Lean tools.As briefly shown in Figure 8.Chart of tools and techniques rated by median When the tools and techniques are grouped into 7 categories (see Appendix 3).50 Figure 8 .0 which are Control Plan. there are only 6 out of 55 tools/techniques rated 3. 41 . Thought Process Map. Design FMEA.0 might indicate two possibilities “have no use at all” or “unfamiliar”. The tools which are rated 1.50 1. Voice of Customers and Thought Process Map are so-called “soft” Six Sigma tools. This should be seen as normal situation because of following reasons: (1) Most analysis and advanced statistics tools are used by very engineering and technical types of job.00 2.00 3. 5S and Kaizen.50 2. Control Plan.50 3.00 1. Lean Scheduling Systems Process Capability Analysis Hypothesis Testing Theory of Constraints Change Management Sample Size Monte Carlo/Crystal Ball Resource & Workload Management Activity Analysis Cause & Effect Matrix Project FMEA Rapid Problem Solving Data Analysis Pugh Concept Selection Functional Map 5 Whys Thought Process Map Control Plan . while Design FMEA is presumed as more “technical” one. Voice of Customers. which are not the majority in the whole population. 0.

17 Flow 1. (2012).0 on Likert scale). Timans et al. although their study also reveals modest average ratings for the usage of each tool (below 4.Groups of Tools and Techniques with Average Scores Categories of Tools/Techniques Average score Foundational 1.5% of them (3 people) are quite new to Lean Six Sigma as their years of experience are ranging from 1 to 2. Besides. All these project managers had attended intensive training workshops for obtaining Green Belt certificates. 37. further investigation on each embedded unit is presented in the following.38 Lean Systems 1.5% think the certification is not necessary. they have already had 3 to 5 years and 6 to 10 years of experience. Obviously. Most of them seem to have high seniority in Allied Engineering processes and culture.94 Analysis 1. 42 . which respectively account for 37. despite the similar approach on obtaining usage level of tools. there are some differences which make comparison between two studies statistically impossible. while in this research.00 Referring back to the study conducted by Timans et al.Table 4 .00 Pull 1. However. in order to obtain deeper understanding. whereas this research aims at only one single business division in a bigger organization.0 or 5. Another major point which prevents the comparison between the two studies is the different research designs. On the other hand.5% and 25%. Timans and his colleagues used mean to determine the “middle” or average points of the tools’ scores. (2012) targeted a large amount of companies for the survey. when focusing on only the most used tools. 62. median is the only appropriate choice since the data is not normally distributed. Project Managers There were 8 employees who are currently project managers had filled the survey. Since the found phenomenon does not have any precedents.0 as the most frequent ratings while this case-study research shows the opposite results. around 50% of the surveyed tools were given the score 4.17 Advanced Statistics 1.97 Stability 1.

0 and above.Mostly used tools by Project Managers Although this group is active in applying Lean Six Sigma. 40% 60% 1-2 years 3-5 years Figure 9 . etc. 25% (3 out of 12) of those mostly applied tools are from Lean: Kaizen. which about half of them don’t think Lean Six Sigma tools can help resolve.0). only two Six Sigma tools which are Project FMEA and Project Charter/Project Plans usually put in use (rated 4.5 4 4. some of the project managers are supposedly keen on using tools such as FMEA and root cause analysis. resources management. However. Additionally. project managers apply 12 tools (out of 55) which are rated 3.5 Figure 10 . When being asked to list two most common problems they often confront in their daily jobs. Still. they reported issues regarding communication. risks.5 2 2.Chart of Count of Years of Experience of Project Manager job function As seen from Figure 10. Kaizen 5S VSM Change Mngt Baseline Rsc & Workload Mngt Thought Process Map VOC Control Plan 5Whys Project Charter/Plan Project FMEA 0 0. they don’t use many of the tools they have learned to tackle problems. 43 .5 3 3. 5S and Value Stream Mapping (VSM). tight schedule.5 1 1.

which specifically are Design FMEA. 27% have been working in Allied Engineering for 3 to 5 years.10 years 10 years plus Figure 11 . Besides.Mostly used tools by Mechanical Engineers Mechanical engineers tend to use more Lean Six Sigma tools in comparison with other job functions. there are 4 Lean and 11 Six Sigma tools.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 4 4.0 and 3 tools scored 4. 18% 37% 27% 18% 1-2 years 3-5 years 6 .0.Chart of Count of Years of Experience of Mechanical Engineer job function Visual Mngt Rapid Problem Solving Process Capability Analysis Kaizen 5S Data Analysis Pugh Thought Process Map Functional Map Concept FMEA VOC Control Plan Poka-Yoke VarProp Design FMEA 0 0. while 18% for 6 to 10 years and the remaining (18%) for less than 2 years. Unlike project managers who seem to use more management and process-related tools/techniques. VarProp and Poka-yoke.Mechanical Engineers Out of 11 mechanical engineers who joined the survey.5%) agree that the certification is necessary. there are 12 tools scored 3. all those engineers had been trained with professional trainers and less than half of them (45. the mechanical engineers use more advanced and statistical tools such as Pugh 44 . only one has Black Belt certificate and he is among those who have more than 10 years of experience (37%).5 3 3. For this group. Amidst those.5 Figure 12 . Moreover.

92. VarProp. the group has more senior-level individuals. An electrical engineer stated in the survey that the training is good but the certification brings him no value. They reportedly find it difficult to cope with human-related problems such as bad communication. Data analysis and Process Capability Analysis. Similar to mechanical engineers. when it comes to practices in real-life problems. there are only 6 tools scored 3. and apparently.matrix. in fact. 69. they often say “no” to Lean Six Sigma. 45 . 38% (5 out of 13) have been working in the company for 3 to 5 years whilst the same amount of people has more than 6 years of experience. scored 4. See Figure 12.0. As shown in Figure 13. and communication. changes. Secondly. which is Design FMEA. among 13 electrical engineers joining the survey. Lean Six Sigma application usually is abandoned when dealing with issues related to resource management. As seen from Figure 14. Design of Experiments (DoE) and Design FMEA to resolve technical issues associated with tolerances and design quality. or changes in requirements in which they believe that Lean Six Sigma is inapplicable. the engineers often apply VarProp. is contrast with what is shown in the group’s profile. The engineers think the toolset is not effective enough for them to tackle all problems and. Firstly. they prefer to use their own logic or own way of thinking which is not relying on Lean Six Sigma tools/techniques.2% agree with him.Mostly used tools by Electrical Engineers This result. since they don’t think neither the toolset nor the training program is in correlation with what they have to deal with every day.3% went through offline training (workshop) which is believed to deliver better result than online training. However. Specifically. in many cases.0 and one tool. this group use statistical tools such as Reli-Weibull and Sigma Score. 5S Sigma Score Reli-Weibull Pugh Thought Process Map Functional Map Design FMEA 0 1 2 3 4 5 Figure 13 . Electrical Engineers Electrical engineers are evidently not interested in applying Lean Six Sigma tools/techniques. Nevertheless. delays.

Thought Process Map is the only tool they use and no other tool rated higher than 3. Lean Six Sigma seems to be ineffective and inapplicable for them. In their opinions.Chart of Count of Years of Experience of Electrical Engineer job function Software Engineers There are 15 software engineers participated in the survey and a majority of them (47%) has 3 to 5 years of experience. As per the survey.10 years 10 years plus Figure 15 . He also argues that coding involves if-then logic rather than statistics-driven approach as seen in Six Sigma.10 years 10 years plus Figure 14 . demanding quick responses and adaptation to changes. Therefore. However.Chart of Count of Years of Experience of Software Engineer job function This group of job function is a special case as about half of its population (53. as per an assumption made by the 46 .3%) have received Green Belt certification through online training. where tasks are divided into smaller iterations. 93.0.3% say certification is not necessary. they abandoned almost all tools they had learned in the past when obtaining certificates. See Figure 15. which has quite different characteristics compared to other engineering jobs existing in the company. 18% 37% 27% 18% 1-2 years 3-5 years 6 . 18% 37% 27% 18% 1-2 years 3-5 years 6 . Reasonably. Therefore. projects are managed using Agile methodology. As per an interview with a randomly chosen software engineer. the Lean Six Sigma toolset that they have been trained does not fit the requirements of their work.

05. the Mann Whitney U-test – a statistical significance test was performed to test this hypothesis: There is a statistically difference in Lean Six Sigma tools/techniques utilization rate perceived between online and workshop training for software engineers.06 1.laerd.20 training Workshop 1.1480.7% confidence interval (CI) for the median difference in tools/techniques utilization rate ranging from -0. Thus.1476 which is greater than the significance level (alpha) of 0.28 1. 10 Confidence level/Confidence interval refers to the probability that value of a parameter of the population lies within a certain range or margin of error (Saunders et al..php (Accessed on December 1st. the statistical power of the performed test may be rendered because the sample size of each independent variable is small (less than 10). The data set used for the test is presented in the Table 5.11 1. The Mann Whitney U-test was run on Minitab at 95% confidence level10.00 training The result produced from Minitab shows that the median difference in tools/techniques utilization rate between online and workshop training is statistics/anova/how-to/kruskal-wallis-test/interpret-the-results/key-results/ (accessed on December 1st.05. 11 ETA is the given name for median in Minitab.1297. respectively. W of 51. Table 5 . However. This alpha number means 5% risk of concluding that a difference exists when there is no actual difference12.8519 to 0. The independent variables are “online training” and “workshop training”. 2015).17 1. in the case of p-value > 0. the hypothesis is rejected.minitab. 2016) 12 explained by Minitab: http://support.2222 (point estimate for ETA1- ETA211) with 95.30 2.0 is result from Wilcoxon test (also a non-parametric test based on the concept of calculating rank totals of positive and negative differences) and the statistical significance of this test is 0.24 2.Data set prepared for Mann Whitney U-test Online 1.28 1.87 1.43 test-using-minitab. The final result of the Mann Whitney U-test is a p-value that workshop is more effective than online training.50 1.07 1. whereas the dependent variables are the overall mean scores of tools/techniques utilization rate calculated for each software engineer’s response.72 1. 47 .43 1. which means there is no statistically difference in Lean Six Sigma tools/techniques utilization rate perceived between personnel attending online and workshop training. 2016). with sample sizes are 8 and 7 for online training and workshop training. https://statistics.

On the other hand. and the other two are Green Belt project leaders. After the survey. Moreover. 5. was sent to Allied Engineering from the researcher. the second’s aims at product design activities for new product development and/or for new features of existing products. In detail. It seems contradictory to a fact that Allied Engineering is a long-term practitioner of the methodology.2. a Python script was performed to randomly select a few of potential candidates. There were four employees had agreed to join.2 Managerial Perspectives on Lean Six Sigma program 5. The Black Belt engineers have already been working in Allied Engineering for more than 10 years with highly technical knowledge and skills. if looking at each job function separately. The other two groups.1 Interviewees’ profile As per assumption that Lean Six Sigma is perceived differently whether it is from mindset of a technical or managerial type of employees. This situation could be a sign that the philosophy of Lean Six Sigma is not perceived evenly well by all personnel. an additional interview/discussion was conducted with a Green Belt-certified software engineer. Both are from different sub- business units with different orientation. the results also reveal that having significant seniority level (long years of experience) does not equally mean higher usage of tools.Generally. but not the Six Sigma belt certification. They are also involving in Green Belt training program as coaches and in certification process as assessors. don’t prefer the tools much probably because they often encounter difficulties in adapting or translating the tools into their work. And. an interview request. interviews were intentionally conducted with two distinct types of jobs: engineering and project management. On their side. Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques are not often put in use as well as not preferred by the employees. training is considered necessary by the respondents. who then received internal invitations to the interviews. it is noticeable that mechanical engineers and project managers are those who use Lean Six Sigma toolset proactively. The first interviewee’s daily work is particularly focusing on production testing and writing testing software. electrical and software engineers. Two of them are Black Belts responsible for coaching designers and testers. the results derived from the survey provide an impression that. the lack of a suitably working roadmap for Lean Six Sigma application in software development field may be a cause of low utilization of tools by this specific group. in the purpose of clarifying why software engineers refuse to apply Lean Six Sigma tools/techniques. together with criteria. However. 48 . who has 2 years of experience and attended online training.

more ideas and findings were unveiled using thematic analysis. Table 6 . one for mechanical engineering projects and he is also managing a group of project leaders.The Green Belt personnel with more than 5 years of experience are both working as project managers.Summary of categorized content and concepts Category Related concepts Training Well-structured training Ineffective online training Losing knowledge Lean Six Sigma tools/techniques Strong focus on tools/techniques application Application of Lean Lack of toolset for software development Processes Bureaucratic processes Business focus 49 . 5. which can be found in Table 6. they delivered quite divergent perspectives on Lean Six Sigma.2). The former seems to have maintained knowledge on Lean Six Sigma. has faced diminishing memory of the tools. and the other for hardware and software-related projects. Although they have the same job characteristics. As far as the interviews went.2. while the latter. together with a concept map diagram (Figure 16) showing their relation. The result is presented under a list of major categories and their related coded concepts.2. still his experience and skills remained. due to features of his projects.2 Content Analysis and Discussions The original approach for the interviews is to discover current situation of Lean Six Sigma implementation and the effectiveness of the program in the company’s operation activities by focusing on the utilization of tools and techniques. This process has been done by reviewing back and forth the interviews’ transcripts and by the use of ‘in vivo’ coding as described in detail in the Research Design (Section 4.

they have loosened the requirement that only those working on hardware and software engineering functions are compulsory to take the training and preparation for certification. It was that almost all employees must have Green Belt certificates as their first job goal when entering the company. However.2. there is no examination for it. Some may have to do the practices for all chosen tools/techniques. training is the most crucial factor to the successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma. given the Green Belt certification should be obtained within the first year of employment. including personnel in administration functions such as IT. but the trainees must find a way to apply properly the tools and techniques in their actual works and write a report on their Lean Six Sigma application. some may do this as a team so each of them will need to present the result of application on fewer tools/techniques. the employees have choices to select and apply only 6 or 4 tools for their Green Belt certificates. Procurement. etc.2. for Black Belt certificates. Figure 16 . The reason behind the removal of that requirement is that it was not viable in cases of long-term projects. in the year 2016. depending on job functions. 50 . However. Regarding certification. This certification procedure was a bit different two years ago. financial achievement is still compulsory. Later. Allied Engineering has also recognized that and drawn a strong focus as well as investment on training. when the trainees also had to set and achieve a financial target (value added or savings) for their projects as a crucial point of the certification criteria.1 Training Training as a critical successful factor for Lean Six Sigma implementation According to a systematic literature review done by Albliwi and Antony (2013).Concept map 5.

The Black Belts confirmed this based on their own observation made while coaching new employees for their Green Belt certificates. In detail. line managers usually take part in their employees’ Lean Six Sigma learning process by promoting tools/techniques useful for the projects based on their own practical experience. After that. especially in the case of more advanced technical tools needed for engineering jobs. Depending on how scarce of the training resources.” When being asked about the capability in using Lean Six Sigma tools of the online trained employees. As per the interviews. It is important to note that the mentors should work in the same job function as the mentees. the Black Belts and Green Belts all agreed that workshop training brings better results compared to the online one. The mentors are senior-level personnel responsible for guiding the new employees on how to apply the tools/techniques in specific projects in a way that it aligns with the company’s current processes.. the new employees are assigned a mentor or a coach for their Lean Six Sigma journey. When you have only the online training. each new employee has to attend either an intensive 2-day workshop with a skilled trainer.] The online training is good for starting but not for practicing. The Black Belt testing engineer said: “It’s not the wrong usage of the tools. some groups of personnel (mostly software engineers) have to enroll in online courses accessible through the company’s internal learning portal. often face obstacles to understand and use the tools in a correct way. who have learned Lean Six Sigma virtually.Focusing on the Green Belt training. despite the fact that the workshops usually require more time and budget. This mentorship is complimented by the interviewees as a good approach from the training program. The intensive 2-day workshop training. The coaches mainly act as instructors who most of the time explain the employees the technical use of the tools/techniques. Also. The most appropriate training method for Lean Six Sigma The company has implemented two methods of training: workshops and online course. but I would say issues coming from training [. This coaching/mentoring job is handled by Black Belt people as a part of their roles. when being asked what common issues or challenges that the employees often oppose while applying Lean Six Sigma tools. It is obvious to them that the personnel. which is believed by the interviewees to be more effective and efficient. or an in-house designed online course. it’s hard to ask somebody if you don’t understand now. is not always possible and available for everyone. the Black Belt product designer answered: 51 .

hence it seems not matter to them what training method is better. practicing and preparing reports on their practices in order to gain the certificates. In such manner. The face-to-face training is much more efficient. it usually happens that he. In the case of project managers. online and workshop training do not show much difference in effectiveness. You cannot focus or you don’t want to focus on it.” On the other hand.“It was poor. Another root cause of fading Lean Six Sigma knowledge is that the existing Lean Six Sigma toolset does not fully support the company’s software development projects. As one of the Green Belts described. Allied Engineering requires newly hired employees to take on training and preparation for certification within one year after their arrival. one of the two Green Belt project managers stated: “I personally think the online training is useless. You take the training when you have time. the employees somehow lose the logic thinking of Lean Six Sigma. it’s challenging for them to meet a good opportunity to apply the tools in comparison with the designers.” In addition to this. in the case of software engineers. when the employees have only one year for training. because their jobs are not much engineering-oriented. Therefore. Specifically. given the result from the previously performed Mann Whitney U-test. There was an investigation on that and the result showed the online training is not effective at all. Losing knowledge issue The interviewees mentioned that. It might be because the software engineers are generally not keen on using Lean Six Sigma tools/techniques. In the case of product designers. thus the designers don’t use many technical tools they are expected to use. The short one-year time is seen by the interviewees as a culprit of not having opportunities for Lean Six Sigma application. the actual design phase often takes a small fraction of the whole project time. He also went on to suggest that the company should establish some refreshment trainings for the employees after their certification period. As mentioned in 52 . according to the interviewed Black Belt designer. as a coach. and for most of the time they are working on paperwork or in touch with marketing to collect product requirements. has to repeat explanations on how the tools should be explored and utilized. new employees often do not have too many chances to apply what they have learned during their first year in the company. they tend to blindly apply the tools wherever possible without considering whether the chosen tools are correctly used for the best situations or not. It is not consistent.

a more official development of tools for software-related projects is essential. In addition to that. When the interviewees were asked what tools/techniques they are mostly using as well as recommending to their colleagues. he has discarded it under an argument that it is not useful for him as a programmer. Capability Analysis.  The growing expectations of customers. Another example is from the Green Belt software engineer. He honestly said: “I use limited function of Six Sigma. He had obtained his certificate 6 years ago through workshop training. Basically. most employees (especially engineers) prefer to use statistical and advanced tools/techniques. He had chosen statistics (on Minitab) as a Lean Six Sigma technique for his certificate. Agile methodology is actually what he and his colleagues are adopting.a report done by Antony and Fergusson (2004). 2012).  The change of clients’ needs over time. The Green Belt who is managing both hardware and software projects is a typical example of this circumstance. the Black Belts were mainly mentioning technical tools such as Measurement System Analysis. 53 .2. Gillies (1997) asserted that software process is different from other processes. In addition. but at the time the interview was conducted.2 Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques One of successful factors of Lean Six Sigma is the ability to use the toolbox in a systematic and discipline manner (Antony and Kumar. and  Software process uses fault tolerance as opposed to design tolerance used in manufacturing. particularly with respect to adaptability. although the Lean Six Sigma tools/techniques can be modified or applied in different ways. as I only use it for measurement of projects”. Pugh Concept Selection.2. it is crucial to note that they have selected and designed their own toolset following DFSS roadmap. He stated. Project FMEA and Root Cause Analysis. the Black Belt testing engineer confirmed the absence of special tools and trainings dedicated for software people. the Green Belts were pointing out Value Stream Mapping. Design of Experiments and FMEA. For managing daily tasks.  The lack of knowledge about clients’ needs at the beginning. as the company is a R&D center developing highly engineering products. he found it difficult to recall Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques that he had known. 5. due to the following reasons:  Software has no physical existence. but later. particularly manufacturing.

Process Maps. also Ishikawa diagram. Value Stream Mapping which we were using a lot to optimize our process. In their opinion. I use some tools related to process such as Process Flow. there are tools that I was mentioning such as Process Flow. Thought Maps and again the Pugh Concept Selection as you have to find the suitable concept from a bunch of concepts. […] Using the experience with people I’m coaching. MSE because it’s mainly for test engineers or hardware engineers. So there are categories of tools which you can uniquely identify for some positions. people and R&D activities are heavily driven by Six Sigma methodology. […] FMEA for project management is the one I use the most because based on this we will be able to plan for everything that can go wrong in projects. deviation. tools or methods. I honestly don’t remember the Lean techniques. 5 Whys.” And here is how one of the Green Belt project managers applying Lean Six Sigma: “In my everyday work or at least when I was dealing with projects. a bit of problem solving with the root cause analysis.The Black Belt test engineer had described clearly how the tools/techniques are adopted in their daily work: “Mostly I use MSE13 to calculate Gage R&R.. If the person is mostly project-oriented. etc. although some Lean tools can be applied in the office and in R&D environment. Also. I use FMEA methods. Some soft tools such as Mind Mapping for the ideas when we do brainstorming during the preparation of FMEA. Also. There are some tools that the project leaders don’t need. some basic statistics if you calculate the power of some components. FMEA. Sometimes I participate some DoE activities which is more technical. 54 .. for example. and in the eyes of most employees.” Allied Engineering is in fact well known for being a Six Sigma-oriented company when processes. the same name as for Measurement System Analysis (MSA). and sometimes the reliability tools which predict the lifetime of some components and to predict errors in the future. Thought Maps. As one Green Belt said: 13 Measurement System Evaluation. Lean is only for production. basic statistics such as mean. And FMEA to find the weak part of the process. if the person is software or hardware designer. so I participate to get information but I don’t use it directly. still it does not show much impact. Cause & Effect matrix. it is mostly the Pugh concept selection to find the suitable micro process or the suitable software. Control Plans. Pugh concept selection.

including positive and negative ones. As the company realized it could not work that way. it would take you a very long time. Another proven example is from an interview with a software engineer when he described a common practice that the programmers continuously reviewing their codes and name the improvements “Kaizen commits”. They started doing it when they realized some issues kept repeating from project to project. It has to be adjusted with the context. Kaizen is still existing in some other forms. So we need our experience to be able to make a combination of things you can do 55 . When a new employee arrives. the process does not consider time priority. as described by the interviewees. the processes are as standardized as possible to minimize mistakes and misunderstandings between different divisions and job functions. as described by one of the project managers. do everything you should do and don’t forget anything. However. However. Before. 5S. 5S is only about keeping working desks clean which makes no sense in the case of designers. Value Stream Mapping. they have abandoned it. As in their points of view.2. A Green Belt manager well explained this issue: “I think we have a clear process which is very good in the way that everything is detailed. Value Stream Mapping is also quite in use mostly to improve certain processes.3 Processes Like any other big corporations.” There are some Lean tools which were mentioned during the interviews and commonly known such as Kaizen. it usually takes him months to understand the processes and know how to work with them. Kaizen was forced in the way that the employees had some Kaizen targets which required them to submit a certain number of improvement ideas per period. but forcing Lean in the office for me it’s a little bit nonsense. he must learn also all important and necessary processes in order to well perform his daily tasks.2. but the value of Lean is not here. if you follow the process as a new guy step by step. so someone who is quite new can follow it and can fulfill the project deliverables. It means. Something we do in production we cannot have in the office… actually we still can. besides getting trained for Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques. It is evident in the case of project management. Nevertheless. The company has adopted phase-gate approach to all projects and at the end of each phase or the end phase of a project. 5. For example. they often hold lesson learned sessions so that everyone can share all aspects of the project. the processes are very complicated which seemingly turns Lean Six Sigma efforts to be more challenging for especially new employees. 5S is also existing but both interviewed Black Belts thought it was useless. etc.“Lean is good in some cases.

The efficiency focuses on the application of Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques which results in the evaluated R&D value. hence most people decided to implement their improvement ideas without reporting them. and cancel things which are not necessary. another issue raised by one of the Green Belt manager is that the processes are designed in the way that it drives people’s focus away from real business targets. From his project management point of view. When an employee has an improvement idea. people should concentrate on delivering real value added. which means delivering high quality products to the customers. paperwork and documents which we are not sure for whom they are. as reviewed in a research article conducted in Finland by Ojanen and Vuola (2003).together. We have to do a lot of presentation. the overall value of R&D is measured using these metrics: 56 . As it is seen by him. in such case.3 Suggestions on Effectiveness and Efficiency Measurement Given the characteristics. 5. Sometimes we have too many processes that only to feed them risk information which prevents people from doing their jobs. you need enough experience to tell what to change and what can be combined. the Black Belt designer commented that it was too much burden on administration and paperwork needed alongside with actual engineering work.” An example of this issue is the Kaizen system. he has to submit it to the system and describe what the Kaizen is about and how it helps. For the effectiveness measurement. which is mentioned previously in the literature review. rather than focus solely on the processes and the application of the tools/techniques. a suitable framework for measuring the program’s performance exclusively for Allied Engineering is recommended by the author. Lastly. the integrated methods by Werner and Souder not only measure R&D effectiveness but also suggest means for improvement. The methodology used for measuring the efficiency is Data Envelopment Analysis.” Secondly. It means you do everything you need to do according to the process but in a more efficient way. the processes are too heavy in application of Lean Six Sigma tools. The effectiveness is suggested to focus on measuring overall R&D value of Automation Solutions business division using an integrated evaluation method proposed by Werner and Souder (1997). He said: “We are a big company and we have a lot of processes. current situation of the company and the need for more effective and efficient Lean Six Sigma implementation. In detail. This process in fact is time consuming. However.

Present value of revenue generated from
products introduced in the last 5 years
A = Effectiveness index = Present value of last 5 years cumulative R&D costs

Number of projects completed on time
during some representative period
B = Timeless index = Number of projects started in that period

Present value of expected future revenues from technologies
currently under the development
C = Future potential index = Number of projects started in that period

D = Peer rating audit of unfilled future needs that will inhibit the achievement of future
greatness, expressed on a scale from 0 to 100% (future risks/barriers).

O = Overall assessment of the value of R&D = A + [(C × B) ×D]

The overall assessment can be used to evaluate R&D value of each sub-business unit in
Automation Solutions so that the division’s management will be able to make performance
comparisons between the units and to also compare it against the organization’s business
objectives. Furthermore, the result from this evaluation will become output for the following
efficiency assessment.

The efficiency or productivity of the sub-business units is proposed to be evaluated using Data
Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methodology, inspired by a precedent research done at NASA
by David Meza and Ki-Young Jeong (2013). As per an academic report conducted by
Cvetkoska (2011), DEA is a non-parametric approach, based on linear programming technique,
used for evaluating the performance of complex entities called Decision Making Units (DMUs),
which convert multiple inputs into multiple outputs. DEA can be conducted using either a DEA
software or simply a statistical analysis program. According to s. The former bases the
evaluation on constant returns to scale, while the latter allows variable returns to scale. In
general, the approach focuses on maximizing the ratio between the weighted sum of outputs
and weighted sum of inputs:

∑𝑠𝑟=1 𝑢𝑟 𝑦𝑟𝑜
ho = ∑𝑚
𝑖=1 𝑣𝑖 𝑥𝑖𝑜

subject to:

Output = ∑𝑠𝑟=1 𝑢𝑟 𝑦𝑟𝑜 and ur > 0

Input = ∑𝑚
𝑖=1 𝑣𝑖 𝑥𝑖𝑜 and vi > 0

∑𝑠𝑟=1 𝑢𝑟 𝑦𝑟𝑗
≤ 1 (j = 1, 2, …, n)
𝑖=1 𝑣𝑖 𝑥𝑖𝑗

The model is designed to evaluate the relative efficiency of some DMUo, based on observed
performance of j = 1, 2, …, n DMUs (Bowlin, 1998). Each DMU is assigned a best set of
weights with values that may vary from one DMU to another (Cvetkoska, 2011). Because the
above mathematic problem is computationally intractable when addressed directly and it is a
fractional linear program, therefore, the linear programming formulation is necessary (Bowlin,
1998). The transformation result of the formulation is presented below:

Maximize: ∑𝑠𝑟=1 𝑢𝑟 𝑦𝑟𝑜

subject to: ∑𝑠𝑟=1 𝑢𝑟 𝑦𝑟𝑗 − ∑𝑚
𝑖=1 𝑣𝑖 𝑥𝑖𝑗 ≤ 0

𝑖=1 𝑣𝑖 𝑥𝑖𝑜 = 1

ur ≥ 0 and vi ≥ 0

For measuring the efficiency of Lean Six Sigma for the case study, multiple inputs – one output
approach is recommended. The inputs xi are median ratings of usage of Lean Six Sigma
tools/techniques, obtained through questionnaires as conducted in this research. On the other
hand, to simplify the measurement, the inputs can be mean score (calculated from ratings
acquired by the questionnaire) of 7 categorized groups of tools/techniques, where the categories
are based on Allied Engineering’s education material: Foundational, Flow, Advanced Statistics,
Analysis, Stability, Lean Systems and Pull. The output yr of each sub-business unit (DMUj) of
Automation Solutions, as stated previously, is their overall R&D values achieved. The linear
programming formulation for the efficiency of each DMU can be measured using a DEA
software, in R or Excel. After that, to be able to compare whether a sub-business unit is more
or less efficient than another one, there’s a need to test a hypothesis that efficiency ratings of
two DMUs are statistically significant (Bowlin, 1998). For this purpose, the previously
performed Mann Whitney U-test or any other non-parametric tests can be utilized.

To clearly demonstrate the DEA method, an example of a basic efficiency evaluation is
conducted using Excel Solver14. Inputs are mean score of 7 categorized groups of tools and

Following tutorials posted on (accessed on December 21st,

techniques by Green Belts and Black Belts. See Appendix 4. Output is the speculated total cost
savings from Green Belt and Black Belt projects, perceived by assuming the total cost savings
of 2016 is the same as of 2015. This was evaluated and provided by the company itself. It is
crucial to note that, this output is not derived from real recorded data due to these reasons: (1)
at the moment when the research happened, there was no proper records of benefits or cost
savings from both finished and almost-finished Six Sigma projects in 2016; and (2) calculation
of R&D value was not possible because of the complexity of obtaining financial data of either
3 or 5-year time course. Moreover, the reason for referring only to Green Belt and Black Belt
projects is because those are implemented separately in different scales in Allied Engineering
Czech Republic. The Black Belt personnel involve in mentoring and approval processes, while
Green Belts are working directly in local projects. Also, the total savings made by Black Belts
are from global scale projects in which the money is contributed directly to the headquarter
located in the US.

To begin, data is prepared on Excel sheets with weights assumed to be 1.0 (indicating no
difference in importance level of the tools) as shown in Table 7 below:

Table 7 – Excel data set for DEA

DMU Inputs Output
Foundational Flow Advanced Lean Analysis Stability Pull Total yearly
Statistics System value
Belt 1.80 1.00 1.17 1.00 1.38 1.78 1.00 208,543.50
Belt 2.87 1.33 3.50 1.83 3.38 2.44 1.00 1,432,070.00

Weight 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00

A basic DEA problem is solved in linear and non-negative variables setting in Excel Solver
with required precedent calculations shown below:

Table 8 - Weighted input and output

DMU Weighted output Weighted Input Efficiency W.Output - W.Input
Green Belt 208,543.50 9.13 22,841.57 208,534.37
Black Belt 1,432,070.00 16.35 87,588.38 1,432,053.65

The result returned by Excel Solver is presented in Table 9. It shows that Green Belt projects
are operated inefficiently (0.44), whereas the Black Belt projects reach full efficiency (1.0).

for the future.Results from Excel Solver DMU Weighted output Weighted Input Efficiency W.00 Since this is simply a demonstration on how DEA method can be implemented for efficiency assessment of Lean Six Sigma program.00 0. 60 .991452991 1.44 1 0.Input Green Belt 0.99 2.W.Output .Table 9 .56 Black Belt 2. a more proper evaluation is still necessary.44 -0.

The toolset is tailored to fit well in R&D environment. which focus on data-driven decision making as well as continuous improvement in product quality and customer satisfaction. Besides. the case company. it allowed comparisons. while mechanical engineers and project managers are proactively using the toolset and consider Lean Six Sigma as a necessary continuous improvement program. this research has put focus on discovering how Lean Six Sigma is implemented in a typical and successfully proven engineering enterprise in the Czech Republic. Lean Six Sigma is perceived differently between various engineering and managerial job functions. along with quantitative data analysis with an appropriate hypothesis testing as well as thematic analyzing practices used for examining qualitative content. Nevertheless. Training has been seen as the most critical successful factor of the company’s Lean Six Sigma program. CONCLUSION AND FURTHER RECOMMENDATION As an exploratory and descriptive study. As the critical literature review process taken place throughout both empirical and practical parts of the research. (2) What are employees’ perspectives on the company’s Lean Six Sigma program?. As a result. Their education program is well designed and extensive with professional coaching system. and (3) How the company can assess whether the current Lean Six Sigma program is implemented effectively and efficiently? The answers for those questions were found using survey and interview method learned from previous similar studies. The research aimed to answer following questions: (1) How Lean Six Sigma methodology and its tools and techniques are being applied by belt functions?. electrical engineers and software engineers often find obstacles in adapting Lean Six Sigma 61 . which eventually helped define a suitable measurement framework for evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the company’s Lean Six Sigma efforts. generally is an experienced and genuine practitioner of Lean Six Sigma methodology. and validations of the found results against other scholars’ known findings. named Allied Engineering. while managerial positions seemingly favor Lean’s concepts and techniques to identify wasteful activities and improve processes. where Six Sigma’s statistical tools are often put in use by technical engineers. reflections.6. RQ1: How are Lean Six Sigma methodology and its tools and techniques being applied? The research revealed that. Allied Engineering. the exploratory characteristic of the research has created a substantial space for the researcher to acquire good insights on the company’s situation and challenges. employees at all junior and senior levels are familiar with the company’s Lean Six Sigma working practices. In spite of having good foundation for Lean Six Sigma learning.

extreme programming.into their daily work.) are derived from Lean philosophy (Norrmalm. Given the fact that most employees attending the research’s survey considered certification is not necessary for their daily work. when an already Lean Six Sigma trained employee would like to enhance his/her career path and expertise. the Green Belt certification can take place only upon requests initiated by local managers. it is a common issue that their tools and techniques are not designed to fit the Agile exercises of software projects from the beginning. Since both Lean and Six Sigma are originated from manufacturing environments. on their Lean Six Sigma journey. Although the belt system is used to develop in-house expertise. Therefore. RQ2: What are employees’ perspectives on the company’s Lean Six Sigma program? The company’s current education and belt system are handing heavy emphasis on having certified employees. 2011). RQ3: What are the most suitable measures for evaluating effectiveness and efficiency of the company’s Lean Six Sigma efforts? Understanding Allied Engineering’s circumstances and their desire on continuously improving the Lean Six Sigma program. or alternatively. Apart from that. the company has confronted critical challenges. it was confirmed that the good application and usage of tools/techniques are not only relying on how well trained and certified an employee is. it can easily turn into a bureaucratic exercise if the focus is on such things as the number of trained Black Belts and Green Belts instead of bottom-line savings (Antony. but also depending on his/her long-term experiences in the job. the company is recommended to keep training as obligatory but lay the Green Belt certification onto the employees’ interests and benefits with requirements of realization of financial savings. the Agile approaches of software development (such as scrum. etc. 2004). The effectiveness is measured using an integrated R&D performance assessment method proposed by Werner and 62 . a measurement framework aiming to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of their Lean Six Sigma implementation has been formulated. Moreover. just as what has been implemented for the Black Belt. There has not had a complete guidance on how Lean Six Sigma toolset could be applied in software development functions. while the synergy between Lean and Six Sigma has been well discussed and proven by many scholars. However. identifying risks and managing resources. it is worth considering that the company takes Lean’s waste concept and Kanban approach as bedrocks to facilitate software development process. then Six Sigma’s techniques are added along the way to aid decision making procedure. In this case. based on the interviews carried out with Lean Six Sigma coaches as well as managers.

Nevertheless. There were some difficulties reaching personnel working in top management for interviews because of busy business period. This framework is not only for the use of Allied Engineering itself. and output is the R&D value derived from the effectiveness measures. 2.Souder (1997). it is worth-the-effort experience which apparently enhances her knowledge and skills in qualitative analysis. Despite that. The lack of usable financial data for the effectiveness and efficiency measurement is explained by the fact that it is the company’s policy for not offering this type of sensitive information to an outsider. Although the extensive amount of content collected from the interviews was quite a challenge for the author to process. at the end of the cooperation. the amount of data gathered was sufficient to conduct findings and satisfy the research’s objectives. this should not prevent the found results of the study from being a useful reference for future research. LIMITATION OF THE STUDY The study has faced the following obstacles: 1. the author had a great opportunity to directly present her findings to the company’s executive board. but it can be extended further in future research. Due to limited time frame of the cooperation between the researcher and the case company. 7. It is a single case study which by nature does not allow generalization. for other companies or organizations who are also interested in Lean Six Sigma. However. the collection of larger sample sizes for the survey was unmanageable. 63 . and most importantly. 4. 5. 3. and the efficiency is evaluated under the application of Data Envelopment Analysis. with input as the usage of tools/techniques obtained by surveys which are demonstrated in previous section. where she had collected valuable feedback and insights.

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..................................................................60 70 ....Process of data analysis using thematic analysis method .......................... LIST OF TABLES Table 1 ..Sources of Evidence with their strengths and weaknesses .............................................................................................59 Table 8 .....................................................30 Table 3 ....................47 Table 6 ............................Weighted input and output .......................................15 Table 2 ............................................Data set prepared for Mann Whitney U-test .............Results from Excel Solver ...............................................................59 Table 9 ......................................49 Table 7 – Excel data set for DEA .........Design for Six Sigma roadmap .......................Groups of Tools and Techniques with Average Scores ......Summary of categorized content and concepts .......42 Table 5 ....................37 Table 4 ..................................................

.....................................................................................Chart of Count of Years of Experience of Electrical Engineer job function ...............Mostly used tools by Mechanical Engineers........35 Figure 5 ..................................................46 Figure 16 ............ LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 ..............................45 Figure 14 ..........................................................Mostly used tools by Electrical Engineers .......................................................Chart of Count of Years of Experience of Mechanical Engineer job function .........Concept map .............43 Figure 11 ........................41 Figure 9 .......................................40 Figure 8 ...........................................Sources of Evidence with convergence approach ..................Mostly used tools by Project Managers ..........Research process for primary data .............................................44 Figure 13 .................................44 Figure 12 .........Chart of Count of Years of Experience ........................................................50 71 .....Chart of Count of Job Function................................34 Figure 4 ..........................................39 Figure 6 .........Histogram of Design FMEA on Minitab ....................................5 Figure 2 .............The Toyota Production System ...................40 Figure 7 ........................Chart of Count of Years of Experience of Project Manager job function ......46 Figure 15 ..........................43 Figure 10 ....................................13 Figure 3 ....Chart of Count of Years of Experience of Software Engineer job function .........................................Chart of tools and techniques rated by median .......The three-sigma rule .........

Seiketsu or standardize 5. Seiton or straighten 3. Seiri or sort 2. Change Management Understanding how to manage the transition of changes and the capacity of a system to change. Baseline A snapshot of the state of inputs/outputs frozen at a point in time for a particular process. Flow Understanding how material flows through a system either many at a time (batch) or few (flow). Batch vs. Overproduction. Control Plan The intent of a process control plan is to control the product characteristics and the associated process variables to ensure capability (around the identified target or nominal) and stability of the product over time. why the failure has occurred in order to get to the root cause/causes of the problem. 5S 5S is a system for instilling order and cleanliness in the workplace. A correlation coefficient can take values between -1 and +1. Cause & Effect A matrix prioritizing the key process steps and inputs based on Matrix key customer requirements. person and machine. five times. Processing Activity Analysis A tool used for measuring actual value-added time of product. A -1 indicates 72 . The 7 wastes consist of: Defects. Waiting. Cell Design A concept to design an effective work area for flow. Control Charts A procedure used to track a process with time for the purpose of determining if special or common cause problems exist. Inventory. The S’s stand for: 1. Seiso or shine 4. GLOSSARY 5 Whys The 5 why’s typically refers to the practice of asking. The tool is used to understand where improvements should be made to move toward a flow process. Analysis of Variance A statistical procedure that can be used to determine the (ANOVA) significant effects in a factorial experiment. Correlation A statistic that describes the strength of a relationship between two variables is the sample correlation coefficient. Motion. Shitsuke or sustain 7 Wastes The 7 wastes are at the root of all unprofitable activity within the organization. Transportation.

A zero indicates no correlation. Hypothesis Testing Consists of a null hypothesis (H0) and alternative hypothesis (HA) where for example. mode. usually created within a Effects Analysis spreadsheet. Data Analysis Simple data analysis of mean. Through a hypothesis test a decision is made whether to reject a null hypothesis or not reject a null hypothesis. Identify the potential breakdowns in the information flow and the impact it has on the system. Inventory and Buffers A method of strategically maintaining inventory levels to service system or customer Kaizen Japanese term that means continuous improvement. Project and Process. system or service.” poka- yoke is actually the first step in truly error-proofing a system. while a +1 indicates a perfect positive correlation. Understand where linkage needs to occur. There are three types of FMEA categorized based on area of use: Concept. When a null hypothesis is rejected. Design of Experiments Experiment methodology where factor levels are assessed in a (DoE) fractional factorial experiment or full factorial experiment structure. median. Design. Measurement System The evaluation of measuring instruments to determine capability Analysis (MSA) to yield a precise response. Most typical there is no risk assessment when we fail to reject the null hypothesis. Error-proofing is a manufacturing technique of preventing errors 73 . Mistake Proofing A means of providing a visual or other signal to indicate a (Poka-yoke) characteristic state. and then to create plans to mitigate the risk of failure. taken from the words ‘Kai‘ that means continuous and ‘zen‘ that means improvement. Make improvements to address the breakdown in information flow. perfect negative correlation. Examine the system from the and Systems holistic perspective – Extended Value Stream Map. Functional Map A pictorial representation of the product. to help practitioners anticipate what might go wrong (FMEA) with a product or process. Failure Modes and A qualitative and systematic tool. variance and standard deviation. However. there is Alfa risk of error. Often referred to as “error-proofing. Systems Lean Supply Chains A holistic look at leans systems. Understand the interactions of the system. a null hypothesis indicates quality between two process outputs and an alternative hypothesis indicates non- equality (a change). Lean Culture Reduction or elimination of waste Lean Scheduling A tool to effectively schedule work through processes. Ensure the solutions identified do not sub-optimize the system. an appropriate sample size could be determined such that failure to reject the null hypothesis is made with Beta risk of error.

effectiveness and motivation. 74 . Cpk is a measurement of the distance from mean to the closest tolerance limit divided by the 3σ value of the data spread Project A project charter is the first step in the Six Sigma methodology. Analyze. Systems Queue Theory A modeling technique based upon the allocation of requirement to resources. Measure. and e is random error. Pull and A material flow method that pull product through the system Replenishment rather that pushes work into the system. Improve. Regression Data collected from an experiment are used to empirically quantify through a mathematical model the relationship that exists between the response variable and influencing factors. it can break it by reducing team focus. Invariably delivered as a computer simulation it provides a prediction of resource requirements. y = bo + b1x + e. Reliability-Weilbull Life data analysis where the practitioner attempts to make Analysis predictions about the life of all products in the population by fitting a statistical distribution to life data from a representative sample of units. Several concepts are evaluated according to their strengths and weaknesses against a reference concept called the datum (base concept). and the charter can make or break a successful project. Monte Carlo/Crystal A simulation tool often used in Analyze phase of DMAIC Ball Numerical Evaluation Used in engineering design to compare design alternatives. x is the regressor. Control). bo and b1 are coefficients. and tools so that an operation literally cannot be performed incorrectly. by designing the manufacturing process. Cp is a measurement of the allowable Analysis tolerance spread divided by the 6σ value of the data spread. y is the expected response. team-based process for Selection concept generation and selection. Pugh Concept A tool used to facilitate a disciplined. It can make it by specifying necessary resources and boundaries that will in turn ensure success. The datum is the best current concept at each iteration of the matrix. It will indicate whether the resources will meet with the anticipated level and distribution of demand. generally mapped against time and business process cycles. Charter/Project Plans It takes place in the Define step of DMAIC (Define. In a simple linear regression model. equipment. Rapid Problem A methodology used to quickly identify and mitigate the root Solving cause(s) of a problem and helps to turn it back to standard. of Metrics (NEM) Process Capability Cp and Cpk indicators.

which are sequenced. and how the resulting output data will be used. parts. It helps to balance capacity and demand just as promote flow in non-manufacturing processes. it is a living document that will change throughout the project and has no set format. optimization of quality and optimization of cost. Simulation Planning An engineering activity of planning to identify what is to be simulated. Value Added and Value Added Activity: an activity that changes the product. SIPOC is a simple process mapping tool used to map the entire chain of events from trigger to delivery of the target process. Sample Size The number of observations made or the number of items taken from the population. Set Up Reduction A set of tools used to reduce the amount of time it takes to change over from one activity to another.Resource & Workload A tool to understand the correct amount of resources to meet Management demand. Value Stream Value stream mapping is a paper and pencil tool that helps its Mapping (VSM) user see and understand the flow of material and information as a product or service makes its way through the value stream. It breaks down the work into elements. the degree of simulation fidelity required. Theory of Constraints Identification and management of bottlenecks to create efficient process flows. Non-value Added material or information (for the 1st time) to meet customer requirements. Non-Value Added Activity: all other activities that take time or resources and/or does not satisfy customer requirements. VarProp A special tool used for single function and multiple functions analysis. sensitive analysis. organized and repeatedly followed. Sigma Score A quality that is calculated to describe the capability of a process to meet a specification. Total Productive A Lean concept used to increase time between failure or life of Maintenance machinery. additionally. activities and indicators of a production or other system’s performance so that 75 . SIPOC An acronym for supplier-input-process-output-customer. Thought Process Map A visual representation of a person’s or team’s thoughts that act as a roadmap to progress through DMAIC. for examining quality of design. Visual Management The placement in plain view of all tools. Takt Time The rate at which a finished product needs to be completed in order to meet customer demand. Standardized Work Detailed definition of the most efficient method to produce a product (or perform a service) at a balanced flow to achieve a desired output rate.

Voice of Business The term used to describe the stated and unstated needs or (VOB) requirements of the business/ http://www. everyone involved can understand the status of the system at a Voice of Customer A process used to capture the requirements/feedback from the (VOC) customer (internal or external) to provide the customers with the best in class service/product quality.php/dictionary Others: http://www.htm 76 http://www.isixsigma. Sources used for Glossary: Allied Engineering’s education materials iSixSigma Dictionary: LeanEmpire Dictionary: http://leanempire.

Please be assured that your responses will be kept strictly confidential. What is your job function? Business Management Customer/Product Support Electronic Engineering Mechanical Engineering Software Engineering Finance Information Technology Integrated Supply Chain Procurement Six Sigma Plus Project Management Marketing/Sales 77 . (*) Compulsory questions * 1.7 minutes to complete. APPENDIXES APPENDIX 1 – Survey Questionnaire Thank you for agreeing to take part in this important survey to help improve our company's certification program. This survey should take only 5 . Which sub-business or unit are you working in? (The real names of these business units have been hidden in this report upon the company’s request) Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5 Unit 6 Unit 7 Other (please specify) * 2.

What type of Lean Six Sigma certification do you currently have? Green Belt Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) Core Green Belt Design For Six Sigma Hardware Green Belt Core Black Belt Master Black Belt * 5. What type of training method had you been through to obtain your certification? Online Training Workshop * 6. Please choose the Lean Six Sigma tools/techniques which you are using for your daily work and rate how often you use them Almost every Never use Almost never Sometimes Frequently use time 5 Whys 7 Wastes Cause & Effect Matrix 78 . Years of experience in the company Less than 1 year 1 – 2 years 3 – 5 years 6 – 10 years 10 years plus * 4. Other (please specify) * 3. In which year have you done your training? Before 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 * 7.

Almost every Never use Almost never Sometimes Frequently use time Control Plan Voice Of Customer (VOC) Voice of Business (VOB) Design FMEA Concept FMEA Project FMEA Process FMEA Functional Map Project Charter/Project Plans SIPOC Thought Process Map Value Added and Non-value Added Activity Analysis Batch vs. Flow Cell Design Resource & Workload Management Set Up Reduction Takt Time Monte Carlo/Crystal Ball Pugh Concept Selection Regression Reliability-Weibull Analysis Sample Size VarProp Baseline Change Management Queue Theory Simulation Planning 79 .

Almost every
Never use Almost never Sometimes Frequently use
Theory of

Value Stream Map

Analysis of
Variance (ANOVA)


Control Charts

Data Analysis

Hypothesis Testing

System Analysis
Evaluation of

Sigma Score



Lean Culture

Mistake Proofing
Process Capability
Rapid Problem

Standardized Work

Total Productive
Maintenance (TPM)

Visual Management

Inventory and
Lean Scheduling
Lean Supply Chains
and Systems
Pull and


8. Apart from the above-listed tools, are there any other tools that you are using? Please
write down.

* 9. What two main problems did you encounter when working on your projects?

* 10. Did you apply any Lean or Six Sigma tools to tackle those problems? If yes, what
tools and how? If no, why?

* 11. Do you think having Lean Six Sigma certifications is necessary for you to fulfill
your daily jobs?


12. Any other information you want to clarify or share?

Source: Allied Engineering’s internal data and Timans et al. (2012)


APPENDIX 2 – Detailed List of Tools and Techniques with Statistics
Tools and Techniques Median Most frequent rating
Control Plan 1.14 3.00 3
VOC 1.23 3.00 3
Design FMEA 1.60 3.00 1&5
Thought Process Map 1.26 3.00 1&3
5S 1.31 3.00 1&3
Kaizen 1.23 3.00 3
5 Whys 1.01 2.00 1&3
Concept FMEA 1.51 2.00 1
Process FMEA 1.15 2.00 1
Functional Map 1.25 2.00 1
Project Charter/Project Plans 1.40 2.00 1
Value Added and Non-value
Added 0.94 2.00 1
Pugh Concept Selection 1.19 2.00 1&3
VSM 1.01 2.00 1
Control Charts 1.23 2.00 1
Data Analysis 1.45 2.00 1
Sigma Score 1.42 2.00 1
Mistake Proofing (Poka-yoke) 1.36 2.00 1
Rapid Problem Solving 1.16 2.00 2&3
Standardized Work 1.34 2.00 1
Visual Management 1.51 2.00 1
Project FMEA 1.30 1.50 1
Lean Culture 1.08 1.50 1
7 Wastes 0.74 1.00 1
Cause & Effect Matrix 1.11 1.00 1
VOB 1.06 1.00 1
SIPOC 0.95 1.00 1
Activity Analysis 0.85 1.00 1
Batch vs. Flow 0.46 1.00 1
Cell Design 0.43 1.00 1

Resource & Workload Management 1.62 1.62 1.00 1 Measurement System Analysis 1.26 1.00 1 Pull and Replenishment Systems 0.35 1.00 1 Change Management 1.00 1 Correlation 1.24 1.00 1 Set Up Reduction 0.44 1.29 1.23 1.00 1 Simulation Planning 0.00 1 Sample Size 1.00 1 VarProp 1.00 1 Inventory and Buffers 0.82 1.28 1.00 1 Theory of Constraints 0.00 1 ANOVA 1.23 1.97 1.67 1.00 1 83 .85 1.00 1 Numerical Evaluation of Metrics 1.00 1 Takt Time 0.00 1 Reliability-Weilbull Analysis 1.00 1 Monte Carlo/Crystal Ball 1.18 1.00 1 Hypothesis Testing 1.00 1 TPM 0.00 1 Queue Theory 0.43 1.37 1.32 1.49 1.25 1.00 1 Lean Scheduling Systems 0.00 1 Baseline 1.28 1.33 1.58 1.33 1.00 1 Lean Supply Chains and Systems 0.00 1 Regression 1.00 1 Process Capability Analysis 1.

95 1 Value Addedd and Non-value 0.43 1 Resource & Workload Management 1.37 1 Sample Size 1.06 1 VOC 1. Flow 0.17 84 .23 3 Control Plan 1.97 Flow Activity Analysis 0.14 3 Cause & Effect Matrix 1.11 1 7 Wastes 0.26 3 VOB 1.25 2 Project Charter/Project Plans 1.74 1 5 Whys 1.40 2 SIPOC 0.30 1.01 2 Average score 1.19 2 Regression 1.33 1 Reliability-Weilbull Analysis 1.15 2 Design FMEA 1.82 1 Average score 1.01 2 Concept FMEA 1.94 2 Added Average score 1.51 2 Process FMEA 1.APPENDIX 3 – List of Tools and Techniques by Categories with Statistics Tools Standard Deviation Median Foundational Thought Process Map 1.97 1 Theory of Constraints 0.85 1 Batch vs.17 Lean Systems Baseline 1.58 1 Takt Time 0.23 1 VarProp 1.43 1 Average score 1.28 1 Queue Theory 0.29 1 Set Up Reduction 0.46 1 Cell Design 0.62 1 Simulation Planning 0.33 1 Pugh Concept Selection 1.00 Advanced Statistics Monte Carlo/Crystal Ball 1.5 Functional Map 1.60 3 Project FMEA 1.32 1 Change Management 1.85 1 VSM 1.

35 1 Control Charts 1.31 3 Kaizen 1.51 2 TPM 0.26 1 Average score 1.28 1 Data Analysis 1.44 1 Lean Supply Chains and Systems 0.18 1 Measurement System Analysis 1.08 1.67 1 Lean Scheduling Systems 0.00 Source: Categories adapted from Allied Engineering’s education materials 85 .62 1 Pull and Replenishment Systems 0.16 2 Standardized Work 1.23 2 Correlation 1.34 2 Visual Management 1.Analysis ANOVA 1.5 Mistake Proofing (Poka-yoke) 1.36 2 Process Capability Analysis 1.42 2 Average score 1.25 1 Rapid Problem Solving 1.49 1 Average score 1.45 2 Hypothesis Testing 1.23 1 Sigma Score 1.23 3 Lean Culture 1.94 Pull Inventory and Buffers 0.24 1 Numerical Evaluation of Metrics 1.38 Stability 5S 1.

17 Statistics Reliability-Weilbull Analysis 1.00 Monte Carlo/Crystal Ball 1.00 Advanced Regression 1.00 86 .00 ANOVA 1.00 Foundational 1.00 1.00 Project Charter/Project Plans 2.00 Change Management 1.00 Flow 1.00 Concept FMEA 2.00 Control Charts 2.00 Batch vs.00 VSM 1.00 SIPOC 1.00 Theory of Constraints 1.00 VOB 1.00 Project FMEA 1.00 Resource & Workload Management 1.00 Analysis 1.00 Hypothesis Testing 1.00 Control Plan 2. Flow 1.00 Lean Systems 1.00 Correlation 1.00 VarProp 1.00 Cause & Effect Matrix 1.00 Added Activity Analysis 1.00 Sample Size 1.00 Pugh Concept Selection 2.00 Cell Design 1.80 Process FMEA 2.00 Design FMEA 3.00 Takt Time 1.1 – Green Belt: Category Tools Median Average score Thought Process Map 3.00 7 Wastes 1.00 Measurement System Analysis 1.00 Baseline 1.00 Simulation Planning 1.APPENDIX 4 – Tools/Techniques with Average Ratings by Belt Function A4.00 VOC 3.00 Value Addedd and Non-value 1.00 Queue Theory 1.00 Set Up Reduction 1.38 Data Analysis 2.00 5 Whys 2.00 Functional Map 2.

00 Control Plan 3.00 Batch vs.00 Cause & Effect Matrix 2.00 A4.00 Pull 1.00 Cell Design 1.00 Reliability-Weilbull Analysis 3.00 87 .00 7 Wastes 2.00 Foundational Concept FMEA 5.00 Kaizen 3.00 Standardized Work 2.00 TPM 1.00 5 Whys 2.00 Functional Map 4.00 Activity Analysis 1.00 Pull and Replenishment Systems 1.00 Takt Time 2.00 Mistake Proofing (Poka-yoke) 2.00 Lean Supply Chains and Systems 1.00 Flow 1.00 1.00 VOB 2.00 5S 3.00 SIPOC 2.00 3.00 Set Up Reduction 2.78 Rapid Problem Solving 2.00 Lean Culture 1. Numerical Evaluation of Metrics 1.00 Stability Process Capability Analysis 1.00 Monte Carlo/Crystal Ball 3.00 Design FMEA 5. Flow 1.00 VOC 2.00 Visual Management 1.2 – Black Belt: Category Tools Median Average score Thought Process Map 4.50 Statistics Regression 4.00 Project FMEA 2.00 Lean Scheduling Systems 1.00 Project Charter/Project Plans 3.00 Inventory and Buffers 1.00 2.00 Sigma Score 2.33 Resource & Workload Management 1.00 Advanced Pugh Concept Selection 4.87 Process FMEA 3.00 Value Addedd and Non-value Added 2.

44 Rapid Problem Solving 4.00 VarProp 4.00 TPM 1.00 Pull 1.00 Lean Scheduling Systems 1.00 VSM 2.00 Lean Supply Chains and Systems 1.00 Measurement System Analysis 3.00 Lean Culture 2.00 Lean System 1.00 Sigma Score 4.00 Mistake Proofing (Poka-yoke) 3.00 Baseline 3.38 Hypothesis Testing 3.00 5S 2.00 Correlation 4.00 Pull and Replenishment Systems 1.00 Change Management 2.00 Numerical Evaluation of Metrics 2.00 ANOVA 3.00 Kaizen 2.00 Stability Process Capability Analysis 3.00 Theory of Constraints 1. Sample Size 3.00 Visual Management 2.00 Analysis 3.00 88 .00 Queue Theory 1.83 Simulation Planning 2.00 Data Analysis 5.00 Inventory and Buffers 1.00 2.00 Control Charts 3.00 Standardized Work 3.