Lean and Six Sigma in policing: austerity, driver or distraction?

International Journal of Emergency Services

ISSN2047-0894

Publication date: 7 May 2019 

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to widen some of the recent discussion which focusses on austerity being the driver for introducing continuous improvement (CI) methodologies, such as Lean and Six Sigma, into policing.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply over 80 years combined experience in policing and CI to analyse academic and practitioner literature to summarise the drivers for change and the progress of Lean and Six Sigma in policing and the UK Public Sector.

Findings

The paper concludes that there are significant gaps in the literature and while there are undoubted challenges, there are overlaps between the strategic direction of policing and the approaches of Lean and Six Sigma.

Lean Six Sigma: yesterday, today and tomorrow

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN0265-671X

Publication date: 7 August 2017 

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to share the experiences and perspectives of three practitioners from two continents on the subject of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) from both academic and industrial viewpoints. The authors of the paper have each been working on the topic of LSS over the past 15 years and have contributed over 150 journal and conference papers to the topics of lean and Six Sigma.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is to synthesize the practical experiences and research conducted by three authorities on the topic of LSS. In addition, relevant secondary data have also been used in the sections where and when appropriate.

Findings

The authors initially present the history of LSS emphasizing the importance of integration of the two most effective process excellence methodologies over the past 30 years. The authors also report the current trends of LSS in organizations as well as the emerging future trends. They argue that LSS will continue to grow and evolve across the globe for several years.

Practical implications

The paper is intended to be equally useful to both academics and practitioners who are interested on the topic of LSS. From a pure practical standpoint, the paper provides an overview of the past, present and future trends of LSS as a powerful business strategy and problem-solving methodology for all industrial sectors, irrespective of their size and nature. The documentation of the history and recent developments in LSS should be useful to researchers in academia.

A Global Study Into the Reasons for Lean Six Sigma Project Failures: Key Findings and Directions for Further Research

Jiju Antony, Fabiane Letícia Lizarelli, Marcelo Machado Fernandes

Research outputContribution to journal › Article

1Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A low success rate of improvement projects is one of the causes of the discontinuity of lean six sigma (LSS) initiatives in companies. It is essential to identify and evaluate the reasons why LSS improvement projects fail in order to enable LSS, Lean, and six sigma sustainability. This article presents the findings from a global survey conducted with 201 LSS experts around the world in both the service and manufacturing sectors. The results of this article point out the significant failure rates for LSS projects and alert that projects had higher termination rates in the measure and analyze phases [define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC)]. Failures occur primarily at the corporate level. The main causes of project failures identified were the lack of commitment by top management, resistance to change, inadequate rewards and recognition mechanisms, inconsistent monitoring and control of the projects, and poor communication. This article shows that there are some minor differences in terms of ranking of these factors between the manufacturing and service sectors, but there is a significant difference in terms of continent and belt level (master black belts, black belts, and green belts).
Original language English
Journal IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Early online date 4 Sep 2020
Publication status E-pub ahead of print - 4 Sep 2020

Development of a roadmap for Lean Six Sigma implementation and sustainability in a Scottish packing company

Verónica Flor Vallejo, Jiju Antony, Jacqueline Ann Douglas, Paul Alexander, Michael Sony

Research outputContribution to journal › Article

Abstract

Purpose: Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a continuous improvement methodology that has been adopted by several companies as a strategy to increase their competitive advantage. However, due to the misuse of LSS theory in practice, a high rate of implementation failure results. There is a need for a structured and standardised framework to describe how the LSS initiative should be implemented and sustained over time. As a result, this study aims to develop a practical, user-friendly and accurate LSS road map for a Scottish manufacturing small and medium enterprise.

Design/methodology/approach: The approach was to analyse existing literature on lean and Six Sigma that included road maps and critical success factors (CSFs) in order to design an in-company, quantitative survey instrument. The aim of the survey was to evaluate employees' perceptions on the importance of LSS CSFs for the successful implementation and sustainability of a continuous improvement initiative. Based on the literature and results from the data collected, an LSS reference guide - in the form of a road map - was designed to support LSS implementation and sustainability.

Findings: A customised LSS reference guide in a road map format for the Scottish SME was proposed. This road map was developed by adopting existing successful road maps from the literature into consideration and then adapting them to fulfil the company's particular perspective on CI. This study complements current literature on LSS road maps and corroborates LSS CSFs as crucial for successful LSS implementation and sustainability, regardless of the type of company and/or culture. However, a degree of importance is ascribed to the organisation's culture.

Research limitations/implications: Whilst a survey was used as the data collection instrument future interviews with employees would enhance the understanding of the organisational culture and hence further improve the road map.

Originality/value: The authors developed a practical and strategic roadmap for a Scottish packaging small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) which can be used by other similar SMEs. The proposed LSS road map can be replicated and/or adapted for companies in their application of LSS. The methodology by which this study's road map was designed can be used as a guide in the development of further CI road maps.

Original language English
Journal TQM Journal
Early online date 15 May 2020
Publication status E-pub ahead of print - 15 May 2020

18 steps to six sigma project success

Marcelo Machado Fernandes, Jennifer Hurst, Jiju Antony, João Batista Turrioni, Messias Borges Silva

Research outputContribution to specialist publication › Article

2Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Master Black Belt (MBB) or Six Sigma program leader must provide and coordinate different ways of identifying new continuous improvement initiatives to be evaluated as potential new improvement projects.4 The MBB should avoid portfolio biases by drawing on sources that are as varied as possible, from workers on the shop floor to the CEO's staff.5 For example, MBBs should be sitting at the table with senior executives to properly understand their voices and translate them into significant projects, as well as walking the processes (gemba walk) to collect improvement opportunities straight from the shop floor. Step five is an individual evaluation of each PSSP, which should be performed by the MBB.12 The individual evaluation is based on criteria found in the Six Sigma literature: link to customer requirements" link to business strategy" potential financial return"' 16 available resources considering the project scope" and potential for ending in a short period of time" Step six involves evaluating PSSP interactions by investigating interdependences among PSSPs. According to the Six Sigma literature, SSPPM is dynamic in many ways. Management can rebalance a new portfolio based on how well current projects are performing. [...]portfolio communication should not be the last step in the main process.
Original language English
Pages 16-23
Number of pages 8
Volume 52
No. 2
Specialist publication Quality Progress
Publication status Published - Feb 2019

A directed content analysis of viewpoints on the changing patterns of Lean Six Sigma research

Bryan RodgersJiju Antony, Zhen He, Elizabeth A Cudney, Chad Laux

Research outputContribution to journal › Article

3Citations (Scopus)
13Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper, builds on previous studies that explored the research patterns over 15 years, is to consider the current status of the integration of Lean and Six Sigma. More specifically, this research addresses whether Lean and Six Sigma are stronger together and explores the reasons why Lean researchers and practitioners may be less likely to integrate Six Sigma in their work.

Design/methodology/approach
The research utilises a survey of 25 established and respected academics and practitioners from 16 countries. The questionnaire is analysed using a direct content approach and coded in NVivo.

Findings
The findings suggest that challenges may lie in the perception and understanding of statistics as well as short-term rather than long-term focus on improvement. The findings also suggest that academics and practitioners believe that Lean Six Sigma has developed over time and will continue to develop and improve as a methodology rather than being replaced with a new methodology.

Research limitations/implications
The survey has a sample size of 25, albeit all respondents are established and very experienced practitioners and academics.

Practical implications
For organisations that are introducing or refreshing their continuous improvement initiatives, this research identifies some of the challenges and provides the opportunity to address them to maximise the opportunities for success and sustainability.

Originality/value
The value of this paper is that it further addresses the debate over the integration of Lean and Six Sigma for many organisations which still employ Lean alone, but beyond this it explores how they will continue to develop and whether they are a permanent edition to the quality management landscape or a transition to something else.

Original language English
Pages (from-to) 641-654
Number of pages 14
Journal TQM Journal
Volume 31
Issue number 4
Publication status Published - 8 Jul 2019

Application of Lean Six Sigma in IT support services – a case study

E. V. Gijo, Jiju Antony, Vijaya Sunder M.

Research outputContribution to journal › Article

5Citations (Scopus)
83Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose: Lean Six Sigma (LSS) has been accepted globally across the service sector as a management strategy for achieving process excellence. In the past one decade, the application and success of LSS in services is remarkable across Information Technology (IT) organisations. However academic research has seldom derived implications from this practitioner’s science of improving processes. The purpose of this paper is to feature the application of LSS in the system maintenance department of a manufacturing firm. Design/methodology/approach: The research reported in this paper is based on a case study carried out in system maintenance department using the Six Sigma Define-Measure-Analyse-Improve-Control (DMAIC) approach and its application in reducing complaint resolution time. Findings: The LSS article presented here highlights a real-world case study of how LSS DMAIC methodology help reduce the complaint resolution time from 12.5 to 8.5 h (~30 per cent improvement) and the corresponding standard deviation from 28 to 17.4 days. This study also has resulted in reducing the turn-around-time of all the core processes in the organisation. The indirect financial savings estimated as a result of this overall impact was around INR2.5m. Research limitations/implications: The research was restricted to studying the impact of LSS in one organisation. The validity of the results can be improved by including more organisations and more case studies from the IT support services. Originality/value: This could serve as a resource for both practitioners to derive useful implications and to academicians as it contributes to the LSS body of knowledge towards theory testing.

Original language English
Pages (from-to) 417-435
Number of pages 19
Journal TQM Journal
Volume 31
Issue number 3
Early online date 13 Feb 2019
Publication status Published - 8 May 2019

Lean and Six Sigma practices in the public sector: a review

Research outputContribution to journal › Article

9Citations (Scopus)
338Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical analysis of publications relating to the use of continuous improvement (CI) methodologies, such as Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma over a 17-year period, to identify the themes and gaps, while informing the development of a future research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach
The systematic literature review identified 121 papers published between 2000 and 2017 from searches of over 1,400 peer-reviewed academic journals and also identified the application of Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma across the public sector.

Findings
This research compares the scale and breadth of the public sector with the application of CI methodologies and finds that such application is unstructured and, in some areas, sporadic. The research identifies common themes and research gaps including areas such as lack of shared understanding of Lean, gaps in strategy development and leadership and an overfocus on tools alone.

Research limitations/implications
The methodology is focussed on the journals rated in the ABS Journal Guide 2015, which allowed manual searches for accuracy and relevance to the area of investigation. It is recognised that this may exclude some articles which have been published in other journals but allowed for a structured and detailed investigation. The research identifies some very clear gaps which can inform future research agendas.

Practical implications
The paper details the implications and challenges to the public sector, generally, and to executive leadership, specifically, and, in particular, covers the common issues and concerns, which in turn will assist public sector organisations in implementing, reviewing or refreshing their CI initiatives.

Originality/value
No similar work has been conducted and while some individual areas such as health and education have been the subject of more focus, this research explores the public sector as a whole and considers the patterns of research in that context.

Original language English
Pages (from-to) 437-455
Number of pages 19
Journal International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Volume 36
Issue number 3
Early online date 11 Feb 2019
Publication status Published - 4 Mar 2019

Lean business models in healthcare: a systematic review

Kristen A. Ramori, Elizabeth A. Cudney, Cassandra C. Elrod, Jiju Antony

Research outputContribution to journal › Article

3Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper includes the systematic literature review on lean business models used in the healthcare industry to aid in reducing waste, costs, and improving overall patient care and satisfaction. A systematic literature review was conducted to analyze lean business models used in the healthcare industry regarding lean thinking in healthcare, object technology, Six Sigma and quality models, organisational culture and lean implementation, healthcare delivery method study, clinical services redesign program, process improvement cost model, vendor managed inventory, supply chain innovation, strategic customer service orientation, and the model of care in the healthcare industry. The systematic review of the literature on lean business models suggests that the models such as several process improvement cost models, lean thinking models, managerial process improvement, and models of care can be used in the healthcare industry to reduce waste and costs and improve patient satisfaction. Sustaining competitive advantage for accountable care organisations was also found to help in accomplishing the value demands required by customers and competitors. This paper can be used as a guide for implementing lean business models and lean practices and the review can be used to help organisations see the benefits in using lean practices in the healthcare industry.

Original language English
Journal Total Quality Management and Business Excellence
Early online date 16 Apr 2019
Publication status E-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2019

Ten commandments of Lean Six Sigma: a practitioners’ perspective

Jiju Antony, Sandeep Gupta, Vijaya Sunder M., E. V. Gijo

Research outputContribution to journal › Article

15Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide lean and six sigma professionals and researchers of tomorrow with Ten Commandments of Lean Six Sigma (LSS). Design/methodology/approach: The Ten Commandments of LSS are based on several years’ experience of four authors who act as researchers, LSS Master Black Belts, consultants, practitioners and trainers on various topics of Lean, Six Sigma and general quality management and continuous improvement. Findings: The Ten Commandments in our opinion include: alignment of LSS initiative with organisational strategy, LSS project selection and prioritisation, selection of top talent for the project execution, leadership for LSS, effective training and design of appropriate curriculum for different LSS roles, development of reward and recognition system, LSS sustainability, Linking LSS with Organisational Learning and Innovation, Linking LSS with Environmental Management System Standards and finally LSS and Big Data. Research limitations/implications: The key features outlined in this paper are based on the practitioners of LSS. The authors of this article are planning to pursue a global study to critically evaluate these commandments by various practitioners of LSS. Originality/value: The senior managers and executives of various businesses can use these commandments of LSS as a guide to achieve and sustain competitive advantage.

Original language English
Pages (from-to) 1033-1044
Number of pages 12
Journal International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management
Volume 67
Issue number 6
Publication status Published - 9 Jul 2018