Using Six Sigma DMAIC for Lean project management in education: a case study in a German kindergarten

Jiju Antony, Tim Scheumann, M. Vijaya Sunder, Elizabeth A. Cudney, Bryan Rodgers, Nigel P. Grigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate how Lean can be applied in an educational environment to improve operational processes. The application of the Six Sigma methodology blended and supported by the application of various Lean tools is demonstrated in a case study of a kindergarten. Multiple tools, such as: the fishbone diagram; A3 reporting; ‘5 Why’s’; process mapping; waste analysis; and 5S amongst others led to a reorganisation of the preparation room. This produced overall reductions of 82.65% in excess motion, 75.49% in excess transport, and 60.66% in excess inventory. Furthermore, more than 45 min of preparation time were saved due to the reduction of non-value-added time. The challenges and barriers, as well as, areas of future applicability were also investigated. This case study provides practitioners valuable insights into the applicability of the Six Sigma framework for Lean implementation in a primary education setting. Further, insights regarding the future applicability and benefits in the respective field are provided. Finally, the challenges and barriers, as well as, its general future applicability are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1489-1509
Number of pages21
JournalTotal Quality Management and Business Excellence
Issue number13-14
Early online date12 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2022


  • case study
  • kindergarten
  • Lean
  • Six Sigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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