DOI

10.5703/1288284317330

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to develop a better understanding of the hurdles in implementing Lean Six Sigma (LSS) for operational excellence in digital emerging technology companies. Design: We have conducted case studies of LSS implementations in six United States based companies in the digital emerging technology industry. Findings: Critical success factors (CSF) for LSS implementations in digital emerging technology companies are: (1) organizational leadership that is engaged to the implementation, (2) LSS methodology that is rebranded to fit existing shared values in the organization, (3) restructuring of the traditional LSS training program to include a more incremental, prioritized, on-the-job training approach, and (4) a modified LSS project execution methodology that includes (a) condensing the phases and tools applied in LSS projects, and (b) adopting more iterative project management methods compared to the standard phased LSS project approach. Implications: Implications comprise the awareness and knowledge of critical success factors and LSS methodology modifications specifically relevant for digital emerging technology companies or companies that share similarities in terms of focus on product development, innovation and growth, such as R&D departments in high-tech manufacturing companies. Limitations: The qualitative nature of our analysis and the geographic coverage of our sample limits the generalizability of our findings. Originality: Research on industry specific enablers for successful LSS implementation in the digital emerging technology industry is virtually absent. Our research informs practitioners on how to implement LSS in this and alike industries, and points to aspects of such implementations that are worthy of further attention from the academic community.

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The implementation of Lean Six Sigma for operational excellence in digital emerging technology companies

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to develop a better understanding of the hurdles in implementing Lean Six Sigma (LSS) for operational excellence in digital emerging technology companies. Design: We have conducted case studies of LSS implementations in six United States based companies in the digital emerging technology industry. Findings: Critical success factors (CSF) for LSS implementations in digital emerging technology companies are: (1) organizational leadership that is engaged to the implementation, (2) LSS methodology that is rebranded to fit existing shared values in the organization, (3) restructuring of the traditional LSS training program to include a more incremental, prioritized, on-the-job training approach, and (4) a modified LSS project execution methodology that includes (a) condensing the phases and tools applied in LSS projects, and (b) adopting more iterative project management methods compared to the standard phased LSS project approach. Implications: Implications comprise the awareness and knowledge of critical success factors and LSS methodology modifications specifically relevant for digital emerging technology companies or companies that share similarities in terms of focus on product development, innovation and growth, such as R&D departments in high-tech manufacturing companies. Limitations: The qualitative nature of our analysis and the geographic coverage of our sample limits the generalizability of our findings. Originality: Research on industry specific enablers for successful LSS implementation in the digital emerging technology industry is virtually absent. Our research informs practitioners on how to implement LSS in this and alike industries, and points to aspects of such implementations that are worthy of further attention from the academic community.