Lean Six Sigma (LSS): An Implementation Experience


Management and Entrepreneurship

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The purpose of this study is to show how Lean and Six Sigma (LSS) improvement events were implemented to improve the performance of a home furnishing manufacturing operation. Each LSS improvement event was conducted at the targeted shop by an experienced facilitator with a team of workers from the shop. An improvement event consisted of a host of activities involving five phases which were completed over an eight-week period. The first four weeks included four phases: 1) planning and discovery; 2) training and opportunity finding; 3) refinement and preparation; 4) implementation and changes. The last four weeks included one phase: 5) enhancement and transfer of ownership. The facilitator was responsible for the first phase and the workers were responsible for all other phases, although the facilitator also played an important role in those phases. With some variation, the workers spent 100% of their time in activities related to phases 2 and 4, and 20% of their time in activities related to phases 3 and 5. Important to both practitioners and academicians, we discuss many implications of LSS event implementation and include directions for future research.