Introduction to Lean Six Sigma Methods

Lecture Notes

All lectures are courtesy of the individuals listed on the title pages, and are used with permission. Session 3–7 contains materials from two offerings of this course.

LEGO® Simulation

Sessions 2–1, 2–3, and 2–5 are comprised of Lego® simulations. In-class materials are not available on MIT OpenCourseWare. For the enterprise track, the following paper and presentation describe the simulation and student reactions.

McManus, Hugh, Eric Rebentisch, Earll Murman, and Alexis Stanke. “Teaching Lean Thinking Principles Through Hands-On Simulations.” Presented at the 3rd International CDIO Conference, MIT, June 11–14, 2007.

Paper (PDF)

Presentation (PDF)

Supporting Materials

LAI Lean Academy Glossary (PDF)

Topics By Session

Day 1
1–1 Why am I here? (PDF – 1.4MB)

Virtual Assessment of Lean User Experience (VALUE): A guide to assessing your level of lean enterprise knowledge (PDF)

Virtual Assessment of Lean User Experience-Proficiency Index Level (VALUE PIL): A guide to assessing your level of lean healthcare knowledge (PDF)

These assessments can be taken before or after taking the Introduction to Lean Six Sigma Methods course.

1–2 The start of your Lean journey (PDF – 4.3MB)  

Lean thinking part I (PDF – 1.1MB)

Lean thinking part II (PDF)

Sasha & Andy hot dogs time exercise (PDF)
1–4 New Balance® plant tour (PDF) Plant tour notes (PDF)
1–5 People: The heart of Lean (PDF – 2.0MB)  
1–6 Value stream mapping basics (PDF)
Day 2 Enterprise Option
2–1 Lean enterprise simulation,
segments I, II, and III
2–2 Lean supply chain basics (PDF – 1.2MB)  
2–3 Lean enterprise simulation, segment II  
2–4 Lean engineering basics (PDF – 1.5MB)  
2–5 Lean healthcare simulation III  
Day 2 Healthcare Option
2–1 Lean healthcare simulation I: Baseline performance (PDF)  
2–2 Continuous process improvement (PDF – 1.5MB)
2–3 Lean healthcare simulation II  
2–4 Improving the enterprise (PDF – 1.0MB)  
2–5 Lean healthcare simulation III  
Day 2 Common
2–6 Accounts payable I: Case study introduction (PDF)

Case study: Accounts payable at Rockwell Collins (PDF)

Accounts payable at Rockwell Collins questions (PDF)

This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Current state value stream map (PDF)

(These three documents are courtesy of Phil Jones, Sylvia and Clement T. Hanson Professor of Manufacturing Productivity, Tippie School of Management, University of Iowa, and are used with permission.)

Day 3
3–1 Accounts payable II: Value stream analysis  
3–2 Variability simulation (PDF)

Variability simulation spreadsheet (XLS)

Spreadsheet instructions (PDF)

Accounts payable variability mats (PDF)


Lean for healthcare: An overview (PDF – 7.7MB)

Biography for guest speaker, Susan Sheey (PDF)


3–4 A3 thinking (PDF)  
3–5 Quality tools and topics (PDF – 1.6MB)

M&M checklist (PDF)

M&M spreadsheet (XLS)

3–6 Six Sigma basics (PDF)  

Leading improvement across a complex aerospace enterprise (PDF)

Biography for enterprise speaker, Dick Lewis (PDF)



Applying Lean in an academic medical center: Lessons learned (PDF)

Biography for enterprise speaker, Eric Dickson (PDF)


Introductory slides for Rockwell Collins’ Lean transformation (PDF)

Lean transformation video notes (PDF)