June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.867.1 - 11.867.19
Lean Six Sigma as an Improvement Tool in Academia
Six Sigma is a quality management philosophy, problem solving approach, and statistical measure that helps organizations improve processes, reduce variation, and eliminate waste. It has been used successfully in the automotive, chemical, healthcare, high-tech, financial and retail industries. The Industrial Engineering and Management Systems Department at the University of Central Florida has incorporated service experiential learning opportunities into the curriculum within a Total Quality Improvement course. This course teaches the Six Sigma body of knowledge together with Lean Principles and provides hands-on Six Sigma project experience. This paper describes how a team of faculty and students used the Lean Six Sigma Technology to document and improve the pre-application process used by the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida.
In the Fall of 2004, the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida (UCF) started the implementation of a graduate pre-application process. The process was designed to serve as a screening tool to weed out unqualified applicants and as an early identification tool for top recruits. The college could then offer incentives for attending UCF, including but not limited to scholarships, fellowships and waived fees for students. The pre-application tool was designed and the database programmed by a Computer Science student within a month. End-users such as faculty, academic program administrators and prospective students were not involved in the process. In addition, the database went live without any beta testing. Complications such as inaccurate data, incomplete applications, and unpredictable system shutdowns ensued.
The Six Sigma Team from the Total Quality Improvement Course taught by Dr. S. Furterer at UCF used the Lean Six Sigma Technology to document the current process, identify opportunities for improvement, develop metrics for continuous improvement and finally document the revised process.
1.1 Problem Statement
Traditionally, a prospective graduate student, interested in applying to the College, would apply to the University Graduate Admissions Office. This office would then forward the information to the College. The College ended up processing thousands of applications despite the fact that hundreds of students did not meet basic qualifications. In an effort to increase the efficiency of Graduate Coordinators and the College Graduate Admissions staff, the Graduate Programs Coordinator implemented the pre-application process. This tool was designed for two reasons:
Coowar, R., & Furterer, S., & Akinrefon, T., & Battikhi, A., & Ferreras, A., & Gibson, K., & Lakkoju, R., & Meza, K. (2006, June), Lean Six Sigma As An Improvement Tool In Academia Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/873
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