Search results

1 – 10 of 90
Article
Publication date: 19 February 2019

Milad Haerizadeh and Vijaya Sunder M.

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the applicability and impact of Lean Six Sigma (LSS), a contemporary quality excellence methodology, for improving education system in…

1717

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the applicability and impact of Lean Six Sigma (LSS), a contemporary quality excellence methodology, for improving education system in a reputed University in Iran.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper follows a case study approach illustrating how theory has been put into practice, explaining how to implement the LSS define-measure-analyze-improve-control framework in a field-setting in a higher education institution (HEI), and to highlight the subsequent challenges occurred and lessons learned during the implementation.

Findings

The key finding from the study is the confirmation of LSS applicability in education systems. The goals of the LSS team were to baseline student satisfaction levels and improve the overall rating by 10 percent; to decrease student advising wait times by 15 percent; and increase enrollment by 5 percent. The application of the LSS methodology has delivered promising results to improve the education system of the University by achieving the set goals. Further, the implementation of LSS has demonstrated student-facing benefits of improved quality on the education system.

Research limitations/implications

LSS implementation in HEIs is relatively a new topic for research. Hence, this case study adds to the body of knowledge with directions to progress future research in this area.

Practical implications

The outputs of the case study have provided greater stimulus within the facilities for wider full-blown deployment of LSS as a strategic resource for problem solving. Additionally, this case study sets the foundation for many other future projects, and to trigger interest among the HEIs in their journeys for quality excellence.

Social implications

Higher education sector being a socially responsible field of service, LSS offers continuous improvement benefits, highlighted as part of this paper.

Originality/value

The applicability of LSS in HEIs is relatively an upcoming research area with immense potential and value. This paper would serve as a valuable means for both researchers and practitioners working in HEIs, in terms of understanding the systematic application of the LSS methodology, and implications in a real-world situation.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Vijaya Sunder M. and Sanjay Mahalingam

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the applicability and implementation of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). LSS is considered as…

1581

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the applicability and implementation of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). LSS is considered as the most recent service quality practice which has proved its success in manufacturing and service sectors. Though there is plenty of literature available with regard to the application and benefits of LSS in services sectors (like Banking, healthcare, information technology sectors, etc.), there is apparently no evidence in the literature about the implementation of LSS in HEIs.

Design/methodology/approach

A five-phased approach is followed. A multiple case-study method is used in this paper to explore this implementation of LSS in two select international University colleges. LSS toolkit comprising of define-measure-analyze-improve-control phases is used for the execution of the projects. Featuring student teams in LSS project management adds novelty to the approach.

Findings

The paper empirically validates the application of LSS in HEIs. Further, it highlights the practical challenges and benefits of LSS in the HEI setup. An in-depth empirical analysis of LSS toolkit application, LSS change management and using student teams in LSS project management are the highlights of this paper. The paper concludes that LSS is applicable and could provide positive benefits to HEIs.

Research limitations/implications

LSS application in HEIs is perhaps a new research area, which is at its nascence and upcoming in the researchers’ community. Hence, this paper would serve as a platform and provide directions for future scholars to ponder on the subject.

Practical implications

Since the cases are executed in the real-time setup of HEIs, the paper has several practical implications. First, the academia and practitioners’ collaboration in executing projects adds novelty. Second, the involvement of student teams from project selection to execution brings in practical perspectives alongside the academic education. Several other key lessons learned and benefits of LSS in HEI setup are presented as part of the paper.

Originality/value

LSS has been successful in the past few decades in the manufacturing and service sectors. However, its application in HEIs was very nascent, and few researchers even doubted its relevancy of application in HEIs. This study illustrates its importance and application to the higher education sector which is a highly responsible area of the service sector, for imbibing quality excellence, serving as an excellent resource for researchers and higher education professionals.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 35 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Vijaya Sunder M. and Jiju Antony

The purpose of this paper is to present the potent application of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in higher education services and to suggest a conceptual framework of deploying LSS in the…

3024

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the potent application of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in higher education services and to suggest a conceptual framework of deploying LSS in the higher education institutions (HEIs).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper aims to outline the importance of the quality excellence criterion in general through different constructs from the literature including TQM, Lean, Six Sigma and LSS. The paper further expands on the applicability of LSS in the HEI setting, with an understanding of HEI as comparatively different from the manufacturing sector from where LSS originated. The published literature on LSS and authors’ experience in the field of LSS (as practitioners) were used as sources for devising a conceptual framework for LSS deployment in HEIs.

Findings

The key finding from the study is the confirmation of LSS applicability in HEIs. The study also confirms that LSS is not anyone’s job but a key part of leadership agenda. The six-staged conceptual framework prescribed for the HEIs as part of the paper is the key contribution of this study. The model describes that LSS readiness is the foremost step in the LSS deployment journey in HEIs. The strategic perspectives of aligning the organisational vision for quality excellence need to be achieved by establishing a need for LSS through leadership. Then, developing an LSS deployment strategy becomes the next step. Educating the appropriate stakeholders (students) and team formation becomes the next important steps in the LSS deployment. Once the above steps are implemented in right way, identifying and implementing LSS projects becomes critical. The execution and closure of the LSS projects leads to quality excellence in HEIs.

Research limitations/implications

Since the framework prescribed here is a conceptual framework, it deserved a testing in the real-life context. This leaves an opportunity for future researchers to test and expand on the implications of the model. Though the LSS framework is customised for HEIs, the fundamental factors essential for any change management initiative holds correct for LSS as well, and hence these are not elaborated as part of this paper.

Originality/value

This paper would serve as an excellent resource for both academicians and LSS practitioners in HEIs, for deployment. The framework presented here is the original work contributed by the authors, as the first of its kind in the academic literature relevant to LSS in HEIs.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Raja Sreedharan V., Vijaya Sunder M. and Raju R.

The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on the critical success factors (CSFs) of various continuous improvement (CI) like total quality management (TQM)…

7662

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on the critical success factors (CSFs) of various continuous improvement (CI) like total quality management (TQM), Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma (LSS), and perform a content analysis (CA) leading to an agenda for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

CA is based on literature review of 41 papers published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. A four-stage methodology is used by the authors, with Stage 1 featuring relevant material collection; Stage 2 presenting a descriptive analysis; Stage 3 outlining the category selection; and Stage 4 featuring the material evaluation using clustering and Pareto analysis.

Findings

The CA revealed various research implications and directions for the future. The number of studies in the literature regarding CSF assessment is found to be far from substantial while compared to CI implementation. Assessment methodologies developed have been ranging from qualitative to quantitative models. Key gaps were identified and directions for CSF assessment are proposed which requires further validation.

Research limitations/implications

Only articles that appeared in peer-reviewed journals were analyzed; conference papers, reports, manuals and white papers from practice were excluded. Another limitation of the paper would be the scope of CA limited to four CI constructs – TQM, Lean, Six Sigma and LSS. Research implications indicate that the future studies in this domain would be intensive toward analyzing the vital CSFs for enterprise organizational excellence and not merely process excellence.

Practical implications

This review study can serve as a resource for both researchers and practitioners to understand the importance of CSFs and positioning CSFs for the successful implementation of CI programs.

Originality/value

The CA on the existing literature on CSFs for CI presents a unique, systematic effort to identify an agenda for future research. This study is the apparently the first of its kind on CSF assessment.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 May 2019

Vijaya Sunder M., L.S. Ganesh and Rahul R. Marathe

The evolution of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) within the operations management theory has enjoyed significant success in both manufacturing and services. Though the applicability of LSS…

1891

Abstract

Purpose

The evolution of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) within the operations management theory has enjoyed significant success in both manufacturing and services. Though the applicability of LSS is evident in the services sector through various publications, academic research on the use of LSS in the Banking and Financial Services (BFS) is limited, and hence deserves greater attention. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the application of LSS in consumer banking in real-time setting.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study method is used to study the application of LSS in two consumer banks with stage 1 featuring identification of appropriate consumer banks where LSS projects could be undertaken, and suitable LSS readiness assessment was performed. In stage 2, LSS project opportunities were identified in the select banks through stakeholder engagement. Finally, in stage 3, LSS projects were executed for process improvements in a real-time setting.

Findings

The case studies provide evidence of the successful application of LSS in consumer banking and the associated multiple benefits. The extent of applicability and appropriate managerial implications in project management context are elaborated. An LSS project selection criterion is recommended as a part of the study. Further, the study explains five important managerial implications in BFS context, with an outlook for future research.

Research limitations/implications

Practitioner research shows that BFS organizations have changed their ways of working by adapting LSS over the last decade. However, the academic research concerning the applicability of LSS in BFS is apparently limited, and none of these are specific to “consumer banking.” This study serves as a strong foundation for future research in this area, which is at its nascence and upcoming in the researchers’ community. However, strong generalizations should not be made as this study is limited to two cases.

Practical implications

Since the cases are executed in the real-time setup of consumer banks, the paper has several practical implications. First, the paper confirms the applicability of LSS in consumer banking and concludes that LSS project management is merely a sub-set of LSS deployment. Second, LSS needs to be understood using a “systems thinking” perspective in order to move away from a narrow project-only approach. An LSS project selection criterion is recommended as a part of the study, which could serve as a managerial resource. Other managerial implications include effective management of stakeholders and change leadership as essential elements of LSS project management in banks.

Originality/value

LSS has been successful in the past few decades in the manufacturing and service sectors. However, its application in BFS is limited. This study illustrates the applicability of LSS in consumer banks, which deals with high volumes of data, customer bases and associated financial transactions.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Vijaya Sunder M.

The purpose of this paper is to present various quality constructs, their application, success and shortcomings, in higher education (HE) services.

3523

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present various quality constructs, their application, success and shortcomings, in higher education (HE) services.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper aims at reviewing the quality constructs in higher education services through a general review. The paper is organised to highlight different quality practices which higher education institutions have followed from 1990s till date. The paper is scoped to discuss about total quality management (TQM), Kaizen, Six Sigma, Lean and Lean Six Sigma (LSS) comparing their value addition and shortcoming in imbibing quality into the higher education. Publications indexed in Scopus database are considered for the review. The focus of the search in the selected publications was to identify the success and shortcomings of various quality constructs in HE services.

Findings

The requirement for a quality construct in higher education industry is an important finding of the paper. Alongside this, the reasons behind the shortcoming of quality practices used in higher education system were highlighted. The findings include the opportunities for future research for imbibing quality culture in HE.

Research limitations/implications

The literature discussed in the part of the paper is restricted to TQM, Kaizen, Six Sigma, Lean and LSS. Though the usage of such quality practices in HE originated in 1990s, there is no one robust sustainable practice till date, which proved to be a pacesetter. This paper validates this assertion, which helps both academicians and practitioners with a new perspective.

Originality/value

This paper would serve as an excellent resource for both academicians and practitioners to understand the history of quality which contributed to the improvement in HE services, and how the quality excellence has evolved over the years. The paper concludes with a discussion on opportunities for future research to develop quality frameworks for HE services.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 65 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2019

Raja Sreedharan V., Vijaya Sunder M., Vandana Madhavan and Anand Gurumurthy

Nowadays, firms are keen on improving the quality culture in the organizations. The proven success of Lean and Six Sigma has given rise to the synergetic Lean Six Sigma (LSS…

Abstract

Purpose

Nowadays, firms are keen on improving the quality culture in the organizations. The proven success of Lean and Six Sigma has given rise to the synergetic Lean Six Sigma (LSS) approach that has been catching fire in the past one decade. However, there exists a gap between the understanding and implementation of LSS in the organizations, especially in the emerging economies. Taking this as a valuable opportunity, the purpose of this paper is to present a development of LSS training module.

Design/methodology/approach

This study starts with a literature review of LSS to reinforce the understanding of the research subject in scope of manufacturing sector. Then, an online questionnaire was designed and used to collect responses from 181 companies located in the Indian sub-continent. Subsequently, the results obtained from the survey were analyzed using COARSE approach.

Findings

This study reveals two key findings and associated contributions. First, it was found that the overall awareness of LSS within the responded manufacturing firms is about 70.4 percent. Second, there is no single standard training module that exists in any of the sampled firms to cater to their quality programs. Hence, in order to improve the LSS awareness which could subsequently help managers as a resource for creating an efficient workplace, this paper presents a structured LSS training framework.

Research limitations/implications

Although this paper presents the importance of LSS and associated awareness level among the responded firms, more empirical evidence is required to generalize the model findings. Second, this study is scoped to firms that work out of the Indian sub-continent, and this provides a future opportunity to expand the scope of this research toward a global study for a comparison between emerging and developed economies. Third, this study is limited to manufacturing firms and hence paves an opportunity to research on a similar theme in services context as well.

Practical implications

Before embarking on an LSS journey, an organization can use the LSS training module proposed in this study to assess the employee awareness on LSS. Furthermore, organizations that already have a mature LSS practice can incorporate the LSS training module for periodic evaluation of the employees for effective change management.

Originality/value

The training module presented in this paper is the original contribution by the authors. This is no association to any single identifiable organization or associated funding. The direct practical implication of its application in real time is the value that managers could derive from the proposed LSS training framework.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 January 2019

Raja Sreedharan V., R. Raju, Vijaya Sunder M. and Jiju Antony

Many organizations have reported significant benefits after the implementation of Lean Six Sigma (LSS). Embracing LSS requires asking some important questions: How Lean Six Sigma…

1418

Abstract

Purpose

Many organizations have reported significant benefits after the implementation of Lean Six Sigma (LSS). Embracing LSS requires asking some important questions: How Lean Six Sigma Readiness (LESIRE) can be measured? How can an organization identify the barriers for LESIRE? Answers to these questions are critical to both academicians and practitioners. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This study illustrates the development process of a Lean Six Sigma Readiness (LESIRE) evaluation model to assess an organization’s readiness for LSS deployment using the fuzzy approach. The model was developed from 4 enablers, 16 criteria and 46 attributes of LSS, identified through a literature review.

Findings

To demonstrate the efficiency of the model, this study testing the LESIRE evaluation model in three Indian SMEs. Using experts’ ratings and weight, the researchers calculated the Fuzzy Lean Six Sigma index (FLSS) which indicates the LESIRE level of an organization and the Fuzzy Performance Importance Index (FPII) that helps to identify the barriers for LESIRE.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations of this study are that it did not consider the failure factors of LSS for model development and the LESIRE was only tested in manufacturing industries. Thus, future researchers could focus on developing a model with failure factors. The results obtained from the SMEs show that LESIRE is capable of assessing LESIRE in an industrial scenario and helps practitioners to measure LESIRE for the future decision making process.

Practical implications

The LESIRE model is easy to understand and use without much computation complexity. This simplicity makes the LESIRE evaluation model unique from other LSS models. Further, LESIRE was tested in three different SMEs, and it aided them to identify and improve their weak areas, thereby readying them for LSS deployment.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this study it proposes a LESIRE model that evaluates the organization for FLSS and FPII for LESIRE, which is essential for the organization embarking on an LSS journey. Further, it improves the readiness of the organization that is already practicing LSS.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 May 2019

Jiju Antony, Vijaya Sunder M., Raja Sreedharan, Ayon Chakraborty and Angappa Gunasekaran

Fostered by a rapid spread beyond the manufacturing sector, Lean philosophy for continuous improvement has been widely used in service organizations, primarily in the healthcare…

3774

Abstract

Purpose

Fostered by a rapid spread beyond the manufacturing sector, Lean philosophy for continuous improvement has been widely used in service organizations, primarily in the healthcare sector. However, there is a limited research on the motivating factors, challenges and benefits of implementing Lean in healthcare. Taking this as a valuable opportunity, the purpose of this paper is to present the key motivating factors, limitations or challenges of Lean deployment, benefits of Lean in healthcare and key gaps in the literature as an agenda for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used the secondary data from the literature (peer-reviewed journal articles) published between 2000 and 2016 to understand the state of the art. The systematic review identified 101 articles across 88 journals recognized by the Association of Business Schools ranking guide 2015.

Findings

The systematic review helped the authors to identify the evolution, current trends, research gaps and an agenda for future research for Lean in healthcare. A bouquet of motivating factors, challenges/limitations and benefits of Lean in healthcare are presented.

Practical implications

The implications of this work include directions for managers and healthcare professionals in healthcare organizations to embark on a focused Lean journey aligned with the strategic objectives. This work could serve as a valuable resource to both practitioners and researchers for learning, investigating and rightly adapting the Lean in the healthcare sector.

Originality/value

This study is perhaps one of the comprehensive systematic literature reviews covering an important agenda of Lean in Healthcare. All the text, figures and tables featured here are original work carried by five authors in collaboration (from three countries, namely, India, the USA and the UK).

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 January 2018

Vijaya Sunder M., L.S. Ganesh and Rahul R. Marathe

The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on Lean Six Sigma (LSS) for services, construct a morphological analysis (MA) framework and identify research gaps…

4211

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on Lean Six Sigma (LSS) for services, construct a morphological analysis (MA) framework and identify research gaps to point to future research possibilities and priorities.

Design/methodology/approach

The MA framework is based on literature review of 175 papers published from 2003 to 2015, across 67 journals recognised by Scopus or ABS Academic Journal Quality Guide 2015. A three-phased methodology is used by the authors, with Phase1 featuring a five-stage systematic review protocol to identify relevant journal papers for review; Phase2 presenting a framework for classifying the reviewed papers in terms of their fundamental, methodological, chronological and sector-wise orientations; and Phase3 constructing an MA framework on the classified papers and identifying the research gaps.

Findings

The MA framework constructed based on six dimensions, namely, organizational context of applications, desired outcomes, implementation systems, LSS tools and techniques, integration with other management philosophies and evaluation methods, involving 40 focused themes, has revealed 355 distinct research gaps as opportunities for future research.

Practical implications

This paper confirms the existence of substantial scope and points to specific topics for further research in the area of LSS for services. The findings demonstrate the gaps in academic research on the subject. In addition, the study also helps organisational leaders and practitioners to look at LSS from a holistic perspective in the services context.

Originality/value

The MA framework of the existing literature on LSS for services presents a unique, systematic effort to identify research opportunities. In addition, a five-stage systematic review protocol is proposed in this paper. This could be valuable to researchers and practitioners in enabling them to systematically review the literature on research subjects of interest to them.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

1 – 10 of 90