Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

continuous improvement Related Abstracts

13 Use of Six-sigma Concept in Discrete Manufacturing Industry

Authors: Charles Mbohwa, Ignatio Madanhire

Abstract:

Efficiency in manufacturing is critical in raising the value of exports so as to gainfully trade on the regional and international markets. There seems to be increasing popularity of continuous improvement strategies availed to manufacturing entities, but this research study established that there has not been a similar popularity accorded to the Six Sigma methodology. Thus this work was conducted to investigate the applicability, effectiveness, usefulness, application and suitability of the Six Sigma methodology as a competitiveness option for discrete manufacturing entity. Development of Six-sigma center in the country with continuous improvement information would go a long way in benefiting the entire industry

Keywords: Efficiency, Competitiveness, discrete manufacturing, six-sigma, continuous improvement

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12 Data-Driven Decision Making: Justification of Not Leaving Class without It

Authors: Denise Hexom, Judith Menoher

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Teachers and administrators across America are being asked to use data and hard evidence to inform practice as they begin the task of implementing Common Core State Standards. Yet, the courses they are taking in schools of education are not preparing teachers or principals to understand the data-driven decision making (DDDM) process nor to utilize data in a much more sophisticated fashion. DDDM has been around for quite some time, however, it has only recently become systematically and consistently applied in the field of education. This paper discusses the theoretical framework of DDDM; empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of DDDM; a process a department in a school of education has utilized to implement DDDM; and recommendations to other schools of education who attempt to implement DDDM in their decision-making processes and in their students’ coursework.

Keywords: Special Education, Data-Driven Decision Making, continuous improvement, institute of higher education

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11 Continuous Improvement Model for Creative Industries Development

Authors: Rolandas Strazdas, Jurate Cerneviciute

Abstract:

Creative industries are defined as those industries which produce tangible or intangible artistic and creative output and have a potential for income generation by exploitingcultural assets and producing knowledge-based goods and services (both traditional and contemporary). With the emergence of an entire sector of creative industriestriggered by the development of creative products managingcreativity-based business processes becomes a critical issue. Diverse managerial practices and models on effective management of creativity have beenexamined in scholarly literature. Even thoughthese studies suggest how creativity in organisations can be nourished, they do not sufficiently relate the proposed practices to the underlying business processes. The article analyses a range of business process improvement methods such as PDCA, DMAIC, DMADV and TOC. The strengths and weaknesses of these methods aimed to improvethe innovation development process are identified. Based on the analysis of the existing improvement methods, a continuous improvement model was developed and presented in the article.

Keywords: creative industries, process mapping, continuous improvement, improvement model

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10 Improving Operational Excellence Adopting TPM Practices in an Indian Automobile Industry: A Case Study

Authors: Pardeep Gupta

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The purpose of this paper is to present a case study on TPM implementation methodology and to highlight the benefits achieved after TPM in an engineering industry XYZ Ltd. (name changed) situated in Mohali, Punjab. The improvements in key performance indicators (PQCDSM) after implementing the TPM proved that its implementation helped the company significantly to achieve higher productivity, customer satisfaction, morale, and profits. The manufacturing cost reduced by 30%, overall equipment efficiency increased from 63% in 2010 to 84% after three years and productivity improved by 67%. The Company has won the TPM Excellence Award, Category-A in 2013 and after that continued implementing second phase of TPM. The findings of the study govern that the strategic TPM implementation can significantly contribute for the realization of operational excellence in almost all types of industry.

Keywords: Productivity, Availability, overall equipment efficiency, continuous improvement, total productive maintenance, manufacturing excellence, TPM initiatives

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9 Towards a Competence Management Approach Based on Continuous Improvement

Authors: N. Sefiani, C. Fikri Benbrahim, A. Boumane, K. Reklaoui

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Nowadays, the reflection on competence management is the basic for new competitive strategies. It is considered as the core of the problems of the global supply chain. It interacts a variety of actors: information, physical and activities flows, etc. Even though competence management is seen as the key factor for any business success, the existing approaches demonstrate the deficiencies and limitations of the competence concept. This research has two objectives: The first is to make a contribution by focusing on the development of a competence approach, based on continuous improvement. It allows the enterprise to spot key competencies, mobilize them in order to serve its strategic objectives and to develop future competencies. The second is to propose a method to evaluate the level of Collective Competence. The approach was confirmed through an application carried out at an automotive company.

Keywords: Competence, Competence Management, continuous improvement, performance indicator, competencies’ approach, collective competence level

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8 The Core Obstacles of Continuous Improvement Implementation: Some Key Findings from Health and Education Sectors

Authors: Abdullah Alhaqbani

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Purpose: Implementing continuous improvement is a challenge that public sector organisations face in becoming successful. Many obstacles hinder public organisations from successfully implementing continuous improvement. This paper aims to highlight the key core obstacles that face public organisations to implement continuous improvement programmes. Approach: Based on the literature, this paper reviews 66 papers that were published between 2000 and 2013 and that focused on the concept of continuous improvement and improvement methodologies in the context of public sector organisations. The methodologies for continuous improvement covered in these papers include Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, process re-engineering, lean thinking and Kaizen. Findings: Of the 24 obstacles found in the literature, 11 barriers were seen as core barriers that frequently occurred in public sector organisations. The findings indicate that lack of top management commitment; organisational culture and political issues and resistance to change are significant obstacles for improvement programmes. Moreover, this review found that improvement methodologies share some core barriers to successful implementation within public organisations. These barriers as well are common in the different geographic area. For instance lack of top management commitment and training that found in the education sector in Albanian are common barriers of improvement studies in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Spain, UK and US. Practical implications: Understanding these core issues and barriers will help managers of public organisations to improve their strategies with respect to continuous improvement. Thus, this review highlights the core issues that prevent a successful continuous improvement journey within the public sector. Value: Identifying and understanding the common obstacles to successfully implementing continuous improvement in the public sector will help public organisations to learn how to improve in launching and successfully sustaining such programmes. However, this is not the end; rather, it is just the beginning of a longer improvement journey. Thus, it is intended that this review will identify key learning opportunities for public sector organisations in developing nations which will then be tested via further research.

Keywords: Public Sector, Total Quality Management, continuous improvement, obstacles

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7 Implementation of Lean Management in Non-Governmental Organizations: A Case Study on WrocłAw Food Bank

Authors: Maciej Pieńkowski

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Lean Management is nowadays one of the most dominating management concepts within industrial and service environment, providing compelling business benefits to many companies. At the same time, its application in the non-governmental organizations has not been extensively researched yet. Filling this gap will address clear necessity of efficient management system in NGO environment and significantly improve operational performance of many organizations. The goal of the research is to verify effectiveness of Lean Management implementation in the non-governmental organizations, based on Wrocław Food Bank case study. The case study describes a Lean Management implementation project within analyzed organization. During the project, Wrocław Food Bank went through full 5-step Lean Thinking processes, which consist of value identification, value stream mapping, creation of flow, establishing pull and seeking perfection. The research contains a detailed summary of each of those steps and provides with information regarding results of their implementation. The major findings of the study indicate, that application of Lean Management in NGO environment is possible, however physical implementation of its guidelines can be strongly impeded by multiple constraints, which non-governmental organizations are facing. Due to challenges like limited resources, project based activities and lack of traditional supplier-customer relationship, many NGOs may fail in their efforts to implement Lean Management. Successful Lean application requires therefore strong leadership commitment, which would drive transformation to remove barriers and obstacles.

Keywords: Lean management, continuous improvement, non-governmental organizations, lean thinking

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6 Proposal Evaluation of Critical Success Factors (CSF) in Lean Manufacturing Projects

Authors: Guilherme Gorgulho, Carlos Roberto Camello Lima

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Critical success factors (CSF) are used to design the practice of project management that can lead directly or indirectly to the success of the project. This management includes many elements that have to be synchronized in order to ensure the project on-time delivery, quality and the lowest possible cost. The objective of this work is to develop a proposal for evaluation of the FCS in lean manufacturing projects, and apply the evaluation in a pilot project. The results show that the use of continuous improvement programs in organizations brings benefits as the process cost reduction and improve productivity.

Keywords: Project Management, continuous improvement, lean thinking, critical success factors (csf)

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5 Knowledge Transfer among Cross-Functional Teams as a Continual Improvement Process

Authors: Juan Manuel Peña Aguilar, Luis Rodrigo Valencia Pérez, Sergio Mauricio Pérez López, Adelina Morita Alexander

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The culture of continuous improvement in organizations is very important as it represents a source of competitive advantage. This article discusses the transfer of knowledge between companies which formed cross-functional teams and used a dynamic model for knowledge creation as a framework. In addition, the article discusses the structure of cognitive assets in companies and the concept of "stickiness" (which is defined as an obstacle to the transfer of knowledge). The purpose of this analysis is to show that an improvement in the attitude of individual members of an organization creates opportunities, and that an exchange of information and knowledge leads to generating continuous improvements in the company as a whole. This article also discusses the importance of creating the proper conditions for sharing tacit knowledge. By narrowing gaps between people, mutual trust can be created and thus contribute to an increase in sharing. The concept of adapting knowledge to new environments will be highlighted, as it is essential for companies to translate and modify information so that such information can fit the context of receiving organizations. Adaptation will ensure that the transfer process is carried out smoothly by preventing "stickiness". When developing the transfer process on cross-functional teams (as opposed to working groups), the team acquires the flexibility and responsiveness necessary to meet objectives. These types of cross-functional teams also generate synergy due to the array of different work backgrounds of their individuals. When synergy is established, a culture of continuous improvement is created.

Keywords: Teamwork, knowledge transfer, continuous improvement, cognitive assets

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4 Developing a Framework for Assessing and Fostering the Sustainability of Manufacturing Companies

Authors: Ilaria Barletta, Mahesh Mani, Björn Johansson

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The concept of sustainability encompasses economic, environmental, social and institutional considerations. Sustainable manufacturing (SM) is, therefore, a multi-faceted concept. It broadly implies the development and implementation of technologies, projects and initiatives that are concerned with the life cycle of products and services, and are able to bring positive impacts to the environment, company stakeholders and profitability. Because of this, achieving SM-related goals requires a holistic, life-cycle-thinking approach from manufacturing companies. Further, such an approach must rely on a logic of continuous improvement and ease of implementation in order to be effective. Currently, there exists in the academic literature no comprehensively structured frameworks that support manufacturing companies in the identification of the issues and the capabilities that can either hinder or foster sustainability. This scarcity of support extends to difficulties in obtaining quantifiable measurements in order to objectively evaluate solutions and programs and identify improvement areas within SM for standards conformance. To bridge this gap, this paper proposes the concept of a framework for assessing and continuously improving the sustainability of manufacturing companies. The framework addresses strategies and projects for SM and operates in three sequential phases: analysis of the issues, design of solutions and continuous improvement. A set of interviews, observations and questionnaires are the research methods to be used for the implementation of the framework. Different decision-support methods - either already-existing or novel ones - can be 'plugged into' each of the phases. These methods can assess anything from business capabilities to process maturity. In particular, the authors are working on the development of a sustainable manufacturing maturity model (SMMM) as decision support within the phase of 'continuous improvement'. The SMMM, inspired by previous maturity models, is made up of four maturity levels stemming from 'non-existing' to 'thriving'. Aggregate findings from the use of the framework should ultimately reveal to managers and CEOs the roadmap for achieving SM goals and identify the maturity of their companies’ processes and capabilities. Two cases from two manufacturing companies in Australia are currently being employed to develop and test the framework. The use of this framework will bring two main benefits: enable visual, intuitive internal sustainability benchmarking and raise awareness of improvement areas that lead companies towards an increasingly developed SM.

Keywords: Sustainable Manufacturing, Life Cycle Management, maturity model, continuous improvement

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3 Continuous Improvement as an Organizational Capability in the Industry 4.0 Era

Authors: Lodgaard Eirin, Myklebust Odd, Eleftheriadis Ragnhild

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Continuous improvement is becoming increasingly a prerequisite for manufacturing companies to remain competitive in a global market. In addition, future survival and success will depend on the ability to manage the forthcoming digitalization transformation in the industry 4.0 era. Industry 4.0 promises substantially increased operational effectiveness, were all equipment are equipped with integrated processing and communication capabilities. Subsequently, the interplay of human and technology will evolve and influence the range of worker tasks and demands. Taking into account these changes, the concept of continuous improvement must evolve accordingly. Based on a case study from manufacturing industry, the purpose of this paper is to point out what the concept of continuous improvement will meet and has to take into considering when entering the 4th industrial revolution. In the past, continuous improvement has the focus on a culture of sustained improvement targeting the elimination of waste in all systems and processes of an organization by involving everyone. Today, it has to be evolved into the forthcoming digital transformation and the increased interplay of human and digital communication system to reach its full potential. One main findings of this study, is how digital communication systems will act as an enabler to strengthen the continuous improvement process, by moving from collaboration within individual teams to interconnection of teams along the product value chain. For academics and practitioners, it will help them to identify and prioritize their steps towards an industry 4.0 implementation integrated with focus on continuous improvement.

Keywords: Industry 4.0, Human-Machine-Interaction, continuous improvement, digital communication system, team perfomance

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2 Building the Professional Readiness of Graduates from Day One: An Empirical Approach to Curriculum Continuous Improvement

Authors: Sitalakshmi Venkatraman, Fiona Wahr

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Industry employers require new graduates to bring with them a range of knowledge, skills and abilities which mean these new employees can immediately make valuable work contributions. These will be a combination of discipline and professional knowledge, skills and abilities which give graduates the technical capabilities to solve practical problems whilst interacting with a range of stakeholders. Underpinning the development of these disciplines and professional knowledge, skills and abilities, are “enabling” knowledge, skills and abilities which assist students to engage in learning. These are academic and learning skills which are essential to common starting points for both the learning process of students entering the course as well as forming the foundation for the fully developed graduate knowledge, skills and abilities. This paper reports on a project created to introduce and strengthen these enabling skills into the first semester of a Bachelor of Information Technology degree in an Australian polytechnic. The project uses an action research approach in the context of ongoing continuous improvement for the course to enhance the overall learning experience, learning sequencing, graduate outcomes, and most importantly, in the first semester, student engagement and retention. The focus of this is implementing the new curriculum in first semester subjects of the course with the aim of developing the “enabling” learning skills, such as literacy, research and numeracy based knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). The approach used for the introduction and embedding of these KSAs, (as both enablers of learning and to underpin graduate attribute development), is presented. Building on previous publications which reported different aspects of this longitudinal study, this paper recaps on the rationale for the curriculum redevelopment and then presents the quantitative findings of entering students’ reading literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills degree as well as their perceived research ability. The paper presents the methodology and findings for this stage of the research. Overall, the cohort exhibits mixed KSA levels in these areas, with a relatively low aggregated score. In addition, the paper describes the considerations for adjusting the design and delivery of the new subjects with a targeted learning experience, in response to the feedback gained through continuous monitoring. Such a strategy is aimed at accommodating the changing learning needs of the students and serves to support them towards achieving the enabling learning goals starting from day one of their higher education studies.

Keywords: continuous improvement, student retention, enabling skills, embedded learning support

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1 Project-Based Learning Application: Applying Systems Thinking Concepts to Assure Continuous Improvement

Authors: Kimberley Kennedy

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The major findings of this study discuss the importance of understanding and applying Systems thinking concepts to ensure an effective Project-Based Learning environment. A pilot project study of a major pedagogical change was conducted over a five year period with the goal to give students real world, hands-on learning experiences and the opportunity to apply what they had learned over the past two years of their business program. The first two weeks of the fifteen week semester utilized teaching methods of lectures, guest speakers and design thinking workshops to prepare students for the project work. For the remaining thirteen weeks of the semester, the students worked with actual business owners and clients on projects and challenges. The first three years of the five year study focused on student feedback to ensure a quality learning experience and continuous improvement process was developed. The final two years of the study, examined the conceptual understanding and perception of learning and teaching by faculty using Project-Based Learning pedagogy as compared to lectures and more traditional teaching methods was performed. Relevant literature was reviewed and data collected from program faculty participants who completed pre-and post-semester interviews and surveys over a two year period. Systems thinking concepts were applied to better understand the challenges for faculty using Project-Based Learning pedagogy as compared to more traditional teaching methods. Factors such as instructor and student fatigue, motivation, quality of work and enthusiasm were explored to better understand how to provide faculty with effective support and resources when using Project-Based Learning pedagogy as the main teaching method. This study provides value by presenting generalizable, foundational knowledge by offering suggestions for practical solutions to assure student and teacher engagement in Project-Based Learning courses.

Keywords: Systems Thinking, Project-Based Learning, continuous improvement, teacher engagement

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