A key takeaway from each year's Engineering Lean & Six Sigma Conference is how revelations coming down the pike will affect future research, your industry sector, and your job.

The following track descriptions provide additional details about the topics and resources that attendees will be able to explore during the Engineering Lean & Six Sigma Conference.

ELSS & AI Program Speakers & Presentations

ELSS 2020 Program Matrix

Track Descriptions

Lean Six Sigma Applications and Training Track

Presentations in this track will share how Lean Six Sigma can be used to achieve world-class performance in a wide variety of applications and industries. Meanwhile, new applications may require specialized process knowledge and careful selection and modification of Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques to be successful. Topics include:

Manufacturing – This sub-track showcases how Lean Six Sigma is utilized in the manufacturing world to eliminate wastes of time, money, materials, energy, and other resources, as well as to eliminate waste due to variation and rework. Talks in this track will also examine the challenges faced in the everyday application of Lean Six Sigma in manufacturing, the actions taken to overcome challenges, the business case for each challenge, and real-world examples of implementations by those directly involved.

Healthcare – Healthcare organizations are not new to quality and cost-control initiatives, but powerful Lean Six Sigma tools are, in most organizations, only beginning to be applied. The purpose of this sub-track is to share the fundamental challenges, success factors, and benefits in the implementation of Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques in the context of healthcare.

Logistics, Supply Chains and Retail – Today's Logistics and Supply Chain industry suffers from inefficiencies in freight movement, materials management, inventory control, quality sustainment, information management, and many other areas. Lean Six Sigma application in the supply chain sector or Retail (which is one of the most competitive of businesses in the U.S.)  has the potential to revolutionize this industry. Experts from various segments of the supply chain or retail sector are invited to share their successful lean Six Sigma implementation stories and know-how with conference participants.

Service Systems, Government and Nonprofit – Service Systems (such as; food service, technical service, banking service, telecommunication service, repair services & other business services) and  Governments at all levels are under intense pressure to use resources more efficiently, and they have both been adopting Lean Six Sigma concepts to improve their bottom line. Nonprofit organizations face the same challenges as the for-profit sector regarding quality and productivity, but the nonprofit world has constraints that are not present in the general business world. This sub-track will include case studies and lessons learned in services, government and nonprofit organizations that support collaborative discussions and feedback from different perspectives among all practitioners.

Lean Six Sigma Training – In many ways, education professionals in industry must build a bridge between learning in the "gemba" (where the work takes place) and the classroom. The use of seminars, workshops, and continuing education are key elements for building a learning organization. In this sub-track, we invite presenters to share their unique approach to supporting Lean Six Sigma learning that takes place in their organization.

Lean Six Sigma in the Age of Big Data – Thanks to their flexible nature, Lean and Six Sigma methodologies allow organizations and practitioners to combine with other tools in order to yield even better results. In this sub-track, we invite presenters to share case studies and lessons learned from projects where they included the use of big data, Cloud computing, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in lean Six Sigma projects.

Lean Six Sigma Research and Education Track

Problem-solving and process improvement education and research spans a wide array of techniques, concepts, and disciplines. There is increasing emphasis on cross-disciplinary approaches that address barriers to effective Lean Six Sigma implementation and long-term sustainability through a culture of continuous improvement. This track will explore education and basic research with a focus on clear and practical recommendations for advancing pedagogy and improving the conceptualization, effective implementation, and sustainability of Lean Six Sigma initiatives. Topics include: 

Process Improvement – Process improvement initiatives rely on fully integrated systems for communication, waste reduction, responsiveness, as well as effective inventory management, etc. This sub-track invites research that explores innovative strategies for improving existing processes that utilize approaches such as modeling and simulation, effective performance measurement and evaluation, benchmarking, and enhanced value change management.

Product and Service Design/Development – Designing for Lean Six Sigma is an effective means of incorporating the voice of the customer (value maximization) into the design of a system or process, and this work typically focuses on waste reduction, value specification and optimization, as well as flow optimization and continuous improvement. This sub-track welcomes research that explores innovative approaches for translating customer needs into measurable design parameters within systems and/or process oriented applications, as well as strategies for waste identification and reduction in new product development and service operations.

Creating and Sustaining a Lean Six Sigma Culture – A 2007 Industry Week survey suggested that over 70 percent of Lean implementation attempts result in failure. This failure is often attributed to focus solely on tool implementation at the expense of cultural change. This sub-track invites research that explores strategies for introducing and maintaining a culture of Lean, Six Sigma, and/or continuous improvement. Consideration includes, but is not limited to, the integration of cross-disciplinary strategies for change management, conceptualization and learning, behavioral, and related theories for socio-technical systems management. 

Lean Six Sigma Education and Academic Applications – The next generation of workers and managers are increasingly being exposed to Lean Six Sigma. This exposure is occurring in companies, colleges, and K-12 classrooms. These learning environments present special challenges to the lean educator. In addition, Lean educators in schools and universities have a unique opportunity to apply what they teach to their own organizations, and many do. This sub-track explores the current state of Lean Six Sigma education, the use of games and simulations to advance the education process, as well as applications of Lean Six Sigma within academic organizations, especially involving students and student team.

Emerging Topics & the Future of Lean Six Sigma – The future of continuous improvement methodologies has often been questioned; current methodologies may be losing inertia within academia and industry. This trend could be an opportunity for promoting innovation within this field. Industrial engineering has been considered the main field of knowledge to embrace continuous improvement due to its technical capability; which is not being used fully by methodologies like Lean Six Sigma and Industry 4.0 emerging digital concepts. This sub-track welcomes research focused on creating new ideas for the development of successful tools and methods in Lean Six Sigma.

Data Science Teaching into Lean and Six Sigma – With different phases of DMAIIC, data is critical for finding solutions. With data science growing in every industry, this sub-track welcomes ideas on how to incorporate data science teaching into lean and Six Sigma. This can include types of data science used in the measure and analyze phases, along with dashboards used in the control phase and other data science ideas that can be incorporated in Lean and Six Sigma.