Lean division

Operational Excellence Division

About the division

Formerly known as the Lean Division, the Operational Excellence Division collaborates with IISE to support the mission of the Institute, provide member value and promote the entire discipline. Members of this division are interested in advancing their knowledge of lean practices across industry domain. Focus areas include healthcare process improvements, non-traditional lean implementations, use of Six Sigma and value engineering methods as well as critical thought leadership on various strategic, operational and organizational initiatives. The division members host the annual operational excellence best practice award, the operational excellence teaching award and the operational excellence best student paper competition. The operational excellence division is perceived as the voice of technical specialty by developing, maintaining and disseminating a body of technical knowledge in domain of lean and continuous improvement practices.

Operational Excellence Division Bylaws

Operational Excellence Board of Directors

The IISE’s Operational Excellence Division will be answering to a new name after members voted to change the divisions moniker to Operational Excellence.

In the vote, 37 percent of division members casting ballotvoted for the new name, 29 percent for keeping the old name; 22 percent for Lean Six Sigma; and 12 percent for Continuous Process Improvement. The idea behind the change was to make the division more inclusive and welcoming to members who specialize in other areas of performance improvement.

The Lean Division has evolved over several years to encompass more than Lean and Six Sigma,” division president Valentine Boving told ISE. “We wanted to find a name that would embrace the quality pursuits of some of our other members’ perspectives, such as ISO and Baldrige criteria. The new Operational Excellence Division is more inclusive of the evolving quality applications for industry, service and academia. We welcome new members who find that our division is relevant to their interests and needs.

The new name was officially unveiled at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo 2019 in Orlando, Florida.

Operational Excellence Division awards/competitions

IISE's Operational Excellence Division offers a number of awards to recognize the contribution of individuals to advancing the knowledge and practice of lean concepts.

Operational Excellence Division Teaching Award

The Operational Excellence Division Teaching Award is given out annually to honor the services of a person or group of people who have developed curriculum and disseminated courses in the subject area. The division now invites nominations for the Annual Operational Excellence Teaching Award. The award will be given each year at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo, if there is a suitable recipient.

Past Winners

Click here for more information.

Operational Excellence Division Best Student Paper Competition

The annual IISE Operational Excellence Division Best Student Paper Competition will be held to honor outstanding papers in the field of lean research and practices. The papers should demonstrate or describe the use of techniques such as simulation, lean principle implementation, alternative designs, kaizen implementation, etc. Both undergraduate and graduate students and design teams are invited to submit papers. The award will be given each year at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo, if there is a suitable recipient. Three awards may be given upon recommendation of the selection committee. 

The winners must present their papers in the Lean Systems Track at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo.

Past Winners

Click here for more information.

Operational Excellence Best Practice Competition

The Operational Excellence Division of IISE administers its annual industry best practice award and invites applications from organizational teams for the Operational Excellence Best Practice Competition.

The Operational Excellence Best Practice Competition recognizes organizations for innovative and effective implementation of lean principles and practices that deliver exemplary business performance improvement. Every year the division conducts the award competition to promote successful implementation of lean by recognizing best in class industries and sharing their stories with others. This is a very prestigious award for a team and their industry.

The award will be bestowed to the top three teams and be presented at the upcoming IISE Annual Conference & Expo.

Past Winners

Click here for more information.

Operational Excellence Division Newsletters

February 2022
November 2021
May 2021

Archived Newsletters

Operational Excellence Features

Feature Article

Value Network Mapping by Shahrukh A. Irani

Kaizen - The systematic, organized improvement of processes by those who operate them, using straightforward methods of analysis. It is a "do it now" approach to continuous incremental improvement to create more value with less muda. Kaizen establishes what needs to be done and instills the principles of continuous improvement. Also call point kaizen, process kaizen or blitz.

Cycle time - The total time one piece of product or one transaction resides in a process activity. It includes the setup time, process time, waiting for other units processed in the batch until the batch is released to the next process step.

Search the IISE online dictionary of industrial engineering terminology.

Click here for lean definitions.

Ask the Expert

Question: What is the difference between Lean and Six Sigma methodologies?

Answer: Essentially, Six Sigma and Lean systems have the same goal. They both seek to eliminate waste and create the most efficient system possible, but they take different approaches toward achieving this goal. In simplest terms, the main difference between Lean and Six Sigma is that they identify the root cause of waste differently.

Lean practitioners believe that waste comes from unnecessary steps in the production process that do not add value to the finished product, while Six Sigma proponents assert that waste results from variation within the process.

Of course, there is truth in both of these assessments, which is why both Lean and Six Sigma methodologies have been so successful in improving overall business performance in a variety of fields. In fact, these two disciplines have proven to be especially successful when working in tandem - hence the creation of Lean Six Sigma.

Source: Villanova University 


Connect with the LinkedIn IISE Operational Excellence Division group

The IISE Operational Excellence Division has a LinkedIn group. Our group is a subgroup of the IISE LinkedIn group and is a great place to network, learn and share virtually with other lean practitioners from various backgrounds and across different industries. We have nearly 400 members and are looking forward to welcoming more members.

If you have not yet joined the group – click here to do so. Read quick tips on making this group a value-added resource for everyone.