Central European Journal of Operations Research

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 797–813 | Cite as

Portfolio analysis of a Lean Six Sigma production process

  • Eva Jordan
  • Janez Kušar
  • Lidija Rihar
  • Tomaž BerlecEmail author
Original Article


Customers require short delivery times and high quality products. Both requirements of customers can only be met if a company switches from a classically organized to a Lean Six Sigma production. Based on a value stream analysis that shows the size of the lead time and of process efficiency, overall equipment effectiveness and process efficiency allow us to determine a leanness index of a production process. The paper shows a measured procedure for the leanness of the production process based on a two-step portfolio analysis, consisting of a portfolio analysis of leanness for a production system and of a Lean Six Sigma process. The value of the leanness index and sigma process value in fact show the leanness of a six sigma production process. Portfolio analyses of leanness of the production process and the leanness of the Six Sigma process are shown in an example of the production of cooling covers.


Lean manufacturing Six sigma Lead time Continuous improvement Lean Six Sigma 



This work was partially supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia, Grant No. 1000-15-0510, and by the Slovenian Research Agency, Grant No. P2-0270. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers for good and constructive comments and suggestion.


  1. Anderson R, Eriksson H, Torstensson H (2006) Similarities and difference between TQM, Six Sigma, and Lean. TQM Mag 18(3):282–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Antony J (2006a) Six Sigma for service processes. Bus Process Manag J 12(2):234–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Antony J (2006b) World class applications of Six Sigma. Butterworth-Heinemann, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  4. Antony J, Setijono D, Dahlgaard JJ (2016) Lean Six Sigma and innovation–an exploratory study among UK organisations. Total Qual Manag Bus Excell 27(1–2):124–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Antosz K, Stadnicka D (2017) Lean philosopy implementation in SMEs—study results. Procedia Eng 182:25–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arcidaicono G, Pieroni A (2018a) The revolution Lean Six Sigma 4.0. Int J Adv Sci Eng Inf Technol 8(1):141–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arcidaicono G, Calabrese C, Yang K (2012) Minitab—leading processes to lead companies: Lean Six Sigma. Springer, ItaliaCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Arcidaicono G, Pieroni A (2018b) The revolution Lean Six Sigma 4.0. Int J Adv Sci Eng Inf Technol 8(1):141–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bayou ME, De Korvin A (2008) Measuring the leanness of manufacturing systems—a case study of the ford motor company and general motors. J Eng Technol Manag 25:287–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Breyfogle FW III (2003) Implementing Six Sigma, 2nd edn. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  11. Buchmeister B, Friščić D, Lalić B, Palčič I (2012) Analysis of a three-stage supply chain with level constraints. Int J Simul Model 11(4):196–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chaudhuri D (2012) Comparative study for Lean and Six Sigma for organizational improvement. Global Res Anal 1(4):28–29Google Scholar
  13. Chiarini A (2013a) Differences between Six Sigma applications in manufacturing and the service industry. Int J Prod Qual Manag 12(3):345–360Google Scholar
  14. Chiarini A (2013b) Relationships between total quality management and Six Sigma inside European manufacturing companies: a dedicated survey. Int J Prod Qual Manag 11(2):179–194Google Scholar
  15. Chiarini A, Vagnoni E (2014) A proposed audit pattern for the shop-floor processes in TQM, Lean Six Sigma and ISO 9001 environments. Int J Serv Oper Manag 18(2):159–178Google Scholar
  16. Coimbra EA (2013) Kaizen in logistics and supply chains. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Dawid H, Decker R, Hermann T, Jahnke H, Klat W, König R, Stummer C (2017) Management science in the era of smart consumer products: challenges and research perspectives. Central Eur J Oper Res 25(1):203–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Debevec M, Šimic M, Herakovič N (2014) Virtual factory as an advanced approach for production process optimization. Int J Simul Model 13(1):66–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dedhia NS (2005) Six Sigma basics. Total Qual Manag 16(5):567–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dogan O, Gurcan OF (2018) Data perspective of Lean Six Sigma in industry 4.0 Era: a guide to improve quality. In: Proceedings of the international conference on industrial engineering and operations management ParisGoogle Scholar
  21. Dora M, Kumar M, Van Goubergan D, Molnar A, Gellynck X (2013) Operational performance and critical success factors of lean manufacturing in european food processing SMEs. Trends Food Sci Technol 31:156–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gibbons PM, Burgess SC (2010) Introducing OEE as a measure of Lean Six Sigma capability. Int J Lean Six Sigma 1(2):134–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gurumurthy A, Kodali R (2009) Application of benchmarking for assessing the lean manufacturing implementation. Benchmarking Int J 16(2):274–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hilton RJ, Sohal A (2012) A conceptual model for the successful deployment of Lean Six Sigma. Int J Qual Reliab Manag 29(1):54–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hines P, Found P, Harrison R (2008) Staying Lean: thriving, not just surviving. Lean Enterprise Research Centre, Cardiff University, Cardiff, ISBN 0902810111Google Scholar
  26. Hitoshi T (2006) The synchronic production system. SPS Management Consultants, RockvilleGoogle Scholar
  27. Hoerl R, Gardner MM (2010) Lean Six Sigma, creativity, and innovation. Int J Lean Six Sigma 1(1):30–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Holweg M (2007) The genealogy of lean production. J Oper Manag 26(2):420–437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hu G, Wang L, Fetch S, Bidanda B (2008) A multi-objective model for project portfolio selection to implement lean and Six Sigma concepts. Int J Prod Res 46(23):6611–6625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Karlsson C, Ahlstrom P (1996) The difficult path to lean product development. J Prod Innov Manag 13(4):283–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kosztyán ZT, Hegedűs C, Katona A (2017) Treating measurement uncertainty in industrial conformity control. CEJOR 25(4):907–928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kušar J, Berlec T, Žefran F, Starbek M (2010) Reduction of machine setup time. J Mech Eng 56(12):833–845Google Scholar
  33. Loke SP, Downe AG, Sambasivan M, Khalid K (2012) A structural approach to integrating total quality management and knowledge management with supply chain learning. J Bus Econ Manag 13(4):776–800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Monden Y (1998) Toyota production system; an integrated approach to just-in-time, 3rd edn. Ga, Engineering and Management Press, NarcrossGoogle Scholar
  35. Morgan MJ, Liker KJ (2006) The Toyota product development system: integrating people, process and technology. Productivity Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Narayanamurthy G, Gurumurthy A (2016) Systemic leanness: an index for facilitating continuous improvement of lean implementation. J Manuf Technol Manag 27(8):1014–1053CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nicoletti B (2013) Lean Six Sigma and digitize procurement. Int J Lean Six Sigma 4(2):184–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. O’Rourke P (2005) A multiple case comparison of lean Six Sigma deployment and implementation strategies. ASQ World Conf Qual Improv Proc 59:581–591Google Scholar
  39. Ohno T, Bodek N (1988) Toyota production system: beyond large-scale production. Productivity Press Portland, OregonGoogle Scholar
  40. Potočnik P, Berlec T, Starbek M, Govekar E (2012) Self-organizing neural network-based clustering and organization of production cells. Neural Computing and Applications.
  41. Pranckevicius D, Diaz DM, Gitlow H (2008) A Lean Six Sigma case study: an application of the “5 s” techniques. J Adv Manag Res 5(1):63–79. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Saini U, Sujata M (2013) Lean Six Sigma—process improvement techiques. Int J Adv Res Comput Sci Softw Eng 3(11):68–73Google Scholar
  43. Smith B (2003) Lean and six sigma—a one-two punch. Qual Prog 36(4):37–41Google Scholar
  44. Snee RD (2010) Lean Six Sigma—getting better all the time. Int J Lean Six Sigma 1(1):9–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tapping D, Luyster T, Shuker T (2002) Value stream management, eight steps to planning, mapping, and sustaining lean improvements. Productivity Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Töpfer A (2007) Six sigma: Konzeption und Erfolgsbeispiele für praktizierte Null Fehler Qualität, 4. Auflage, Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Töpfer A (2009) Lean Six Sigma: Erfolgreiche Kombination von lean management, six sigma und design for six sigma. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Vinodh S, Vimal KEK (2012) Thirty criteria based leanness assessment using fuzzy logic approach. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 60:1185–1195. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wan HD, Frank Chen F (2008) A leanness measure of manufacturing systems for quantifying impacts of lean initiatives. Int J Prod Res 46(23):6567–6584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wilson G (2005) Six sigma and the product development cycle. Elsevier, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  51. Womack PJ, Jones TD (2003) Lean thinking Banish waste and create wealth in your corporation. J Oper Res Soc 48:1148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Womack PJ, Jones TD, Roos D (1990) The Machine that Changed the World, RA Rawson Associates Scribner. Simon & Schuster Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kekon d.o.oŽužemberkSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

Personalised recommendations