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The 2017 conference aims to highlight that both Lean and Six Sigma have roles to play in developing higher education institutions’ processes by improving operational efficiency and creating a student-centric approach for higher education to better fulfill the educational mission. LSS is a powerful operational strategy that increases process performance, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction and improved bottom-line results in hard savings. The objective of LSS is to transform higher education institutions (HEI) from separate reactive operations, which are generally functionally oriented, into cross-functional process-focused organizations to meet the demands of 21st-century education. Although a number of manufacturing and service organizations are utilizing the power of this integrated methodology, HEIs have been slow to introduce and develop this operational excellence methodology. There is a clear misconception across many public sector organizations that Lean Six Sigma is suited solely to manufacturing companies. However, the situation within the higher education sector is very similar to that of firms within the manufacturing and service sector: fierce competition, limited budget availability, greatly reduced public funding, and students adopting a consumer approach to their learning.

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2017