Hands-On Delivery of Lean Principles

The objectives of this project (supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number DUE- 0618669* are:

  • to develop hands-on curriculum materials demonstrated to improve students’ ability to apply lean ideas and to use data to effectively support decisions
  • to create an effective model for their use in a variety of academic setting.

Questions should be directed to Sharon Johnson.

Hands-On Simulation Approach

Curriculum modules have been developed that are based on a physical simulation called Time WiseTM, developed by Time Wise Management Systems, where participants assemble clocks using a multi-stage process to get hands-on practice applying lean principles.   The simulation is conducted in a group of 15-20 people, with each person assigned a different role (such as an assembler or production supervisor).  One round of the simulation takes approximately 15 minutes, and corresponds to a work shift.   The modular approach is flexible, to allow instructors to explore particular topics in greater depth consistent with different course goals.   Over multiple rounds of the simulation, generally over several course sessions, students apply lean principles to improve performance.  Participants

We seek faculty at partnering institutions who are interested in making a significant commitment to the project, and are seeking to implement the materials in a variety of settings including engineering and business programs, and 2- and 4-year colleges.  Those selected receive the simulation materials free of cost.  Our process involves a cycle of learning, where faculty at participating schools learn by attending workshops, implement with expert support, assess results, and can then participate in curriculum development. 

Lean Case Studies

We are also developing lean process design case studies to complement the simulation experience, to allow students to explore different applications (e.g., services, coordinating with small companies, product design) and contrast the tactics used in different situations.  Our process involves jointly developing cases with partnering faculty through Case Study Development Grants, which provide $5,000 stipends. Questions should be directed to Sharon Johnson.  

 *  This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE- 0618669. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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