Course Assignments

  1. Lean/Six Sigma Implementation Experience Self-Assessment (1-2 page individual paper) - 10% of final grade - due in session 3

  2. Single-Point Lesson - Development and Delivery (20-30 minute presentation by 2-3 person team, with supporting materials and instructor guide - 30% of final grade - due throughout the term

  3. Analysis of Socio-Technical Implementation Initiative (2-3 page single-spaced paper by 2-3 person team) - 30% of final grade - due in session 10

  4. Class participation, including case analysis, simulations and problem-sets - 30% of final grade

Additional Details on Course Assignments

Lean/Six Sigma Implementation Experience Self-Assessment

Based on the initial course readings and other life experiences, devise a concise set of dimensions against which to assess the knowledge and capability needed for lean implementation. Then, provide a brief assessment of your own knowledge and capability relative to these dimensions. Design this set of standards such that it might be useful to you when working in a manufacturing operation and informally assessing the knowledge and capability of associates, prospective new hires, and others.

Single Point Lesson (SPL) Quality Standards and Use Requirements

One key feature of this course will involve the development of a collection of single-point lessons that can be used in university and industry settings. Each single point lesson is designed to highlight a core learning point on the given topic and to build capability in that topic. A common framework will be used for all single-point lessons, which is as follows:

  • Part I: Introduction and Learning Objectives (1-2 minutes)
  • Part II: Key Concept or Principle Defined and Explained - including an overall y=f(x) formulation for the concept (3-5 minutes)
  • Part III: Exercise or Activity Based on Field Data that Illustrates the Concept or Principle (7-10 minutes)
  • Part IV: Common "Disconnects," Relevant Measures of Success, and Potential Action Assignment(s) to Apply Lessons Learned (7-10 minutes)
  • Part V: Evaluation and Concluding Comments (2-3 minutes)
  • Additional: Instructors Guide to accompany materials

The overall time for a Single-Point Lesson is 20-30 minutes. Each SPL will be focused on a specific concept or principle. A list of suggested topics for Single-Points Lessons is attached at the end of this syllabus. Each topic could have more than one Single-Point Lesson - though we will only be producing one Single-Point Lesson per topic during this semester. Others may be added in future years.

Each Single-Point Lesson will have the student team members and alums serving as coaches/mentors listed as the authors. Subsequent updates or revisions of the modules will list the new contributors as well as the original authors. While it is expected that exercises will be based on realistic data, it is also assumed that any proprietary information will be masked or transformed so that there are no difficulties in sharing the modules with others. All of the materials developed will eventually be made available through MIT's Open Courseware (OCW) and through the Engineering Systems Learning Center (ESLC). Of course, the materials will be immediately available to all students and alums serving as coach/mentors.

A time range is listed for each part of a Single-Point Lesson. This is flexible, but the total time should be capped at 30 minutes and all of the elements covered. In some classes, the time available for presenting the material may be shorter - as short as 15 minutes in some cases - so an exercise may need to be explained, but not conducted.

This Single-Point Lesson format allows the individual lessons to be combined in various ways as part of what might be termed an overall learning architecture. A common electronic template will be provided for the SPLs.

Socio-Technical Analysis

Select a lean/six sigma implementation case - either one in which you have past experience, one identified through contacts with alums, or one identified by you independently. Work as a 2-3 person team, with each team member interviewing at least one or two different stakeholders associated with the implementation (either in person or by phone). Focus on the forces and factors enabling the implementation, as well as the disconnects or barriers that limed or constrained the process. Prepare a paper that includes the following:

  • An implementation timeline, noting pivotal events
  • A list of all key stakeholders
  • An analysis of key enablers and barriers
  • Linkage to relevant metrics used by the organization
  • Linkage to relevant course concepts from classes or readings
  • A bibliography noting the interviews conducted (names of individuals and organizations can be masked), data utilized, and additional source materials cited or consulted