Lean six sigma journey in a UK higher education institute: Challenges, projects, and key lessons learned

Jiju Antony, Elizabeth A. Cudney

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    950 Downloads (Pure)


    Lean Six Sigma is a powerful methodology for achieving process efficiency and effectiveness resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction and improved bottom line results. Although a number of manufacturing and service organizations are utilizing the power of this integrated methodology, Higher Education Institutions have been slow to introduce and develop this process excellence methodology. The purpose of the paper is to critically evaluate Lean Six Sigma as a powerful business improvement methodology for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Higher Education Institutions. The paper will explore the fundamental challenges and critical success factors encountered with the introduction and development of Lean Six Sigma in administration at a Higher Education Institution based in Scotland. The paper also illustrates examples of the type of projects completed by the staff members at the institute as part of the Lean Six Sigma journey. The final part of the paper reveals some of the key lessons learned from the projects as well as the future directions of the journey. This paper makes an attempt to remove the myth that Lean Six Sigma is confined to manufacturing. It also demonstrates through relevant existing literature and authors' experiences that Lean Six Sigma is equally applicable to public sector organizations and, in particular, Higher Education Institutions. Although Lean has been adopted by a few Higher Education Institutions in the UK and abroad, very few Higher Education Institutions have adopted the integrated Lean Six Sigma approach for waste reduction and variability reduction, which leads to superior performance and enhanced student satisfaction.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2016 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
    PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2016
    Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition 2016 - New Orleans, United States
    Duration: 26 Jun 201629 Jun 2016


    Conference123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition 2016
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityNew Orleans


    • Higher education
    • Lean Six Sigma
    • Process excellence
    • Quality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Engineering


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