Improving a lean office simulation game through Six Sigma methodology

Liao, Yi-Ching
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As the market becomes more competitive, every company is trying to find ways to be more efficient and effective. As a result, lean thinking has gain the attention of the world. When initiating lean implementation, having a good training is imperative. Many lean education packages have been developed recently. Typically the packages come with lecture and a hands-on simulation game. The simulation practices offer much more fun and help people memorize longer than a plain lecture. However, the existing lean simulation games mostly focus on manufacturing systems. A good simulation game for lean office training is in demand. This research focuses on improving an existing lean office simulation game through Six Sigma methodology. The original game, the LOG, has been used by the University of Texas at San Antonio in the past few years. However the LOG has several weaknesses which limit its scope of application. For example, the flexibility of number of participants is limited and some activities have no obvious contribution to the training objective. In this research, a revision of the LOG is proposed which addresses the weaknesses categorized in four areas. The improvement was achieved by using Six Sigma's Defined-Measure-Analysis-Design-Verify (DMADV) methodology, which provides a structured means for redesigning the original game. The resulted is an improved simulation game with higher flexibility in number of participants and run time, and it delivers lean concepts more effectively. The revised game provides a better solution to help participants understand what lean is and how to implement lean in office operations.

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DMADV, lean, lean office, simulation game, Six Sigma
Mechanical Engineering