Step 1: Gather 6 articles about other process improvement approaches (such as Lean
Management, Lean Six Sigma, Agile Management, Re-engineering, Total Quality
Management, Just-In-Time, Kaizen, Hoshin Planning, Poka-Yoka, Design of
Experiments, and Process Excellence, and more). The articles should cover the same
topic or maybe 2 topics. For example:
a) gather 3 articles on Design of Experiments and 3 on Lean
b) gather 6 articles on Just-In-Time.
Step 2: Compare the six sigma approach to process improvement to the approach in
the 6 articles.
a. How are the approaches similar? Give examples from your 6 articles.
b. How are the approaches different? Give examples from your 6 articles
c. When to use six sigma versus the approaches in the six articles? Use support from
the 6 articles
d. Type or scale of process improvement results achieved
e. General observations
The entire project will have a minimum of 3000 words.
1) Minimum 6 pages single spaced. Many journal articles are 12-14 pages single
2) Respectable journal research or case study – not a sales pitch, see Is it a Journal?
discussion below for guidance. Case studies are highly encouraged. A case study tells
a story of how a company went through some aspect of process improvement.
3) Electronic or hard copy is fine. Hard copy must be submitted to me by mail.
4) Article topics should focus on the main topic. The article should focus on Lean as
the main topic and not an article that just happens to mention Lean.
1. Use Arial font size 12
2. One inch margins on all sides.
2. Line spacing = single
3. Submit the comparison in Microsoft Word or PDF format.
4. Cover page should include course name, your name, date, title and author of article.
Cover page should be in the same file as the report.
5. The articles should be submitted with your report.
Grades depend on the depth, detail and relevance of the responses.
This project is intended to give you a chance to study something within our class that
interests you. Students who follow all the guidelines provided here should score very
well on this project. Following guidelines is the best way to get an A! If you have
questions, please send me email.
Caution: Topics that are cutting edge may not show up in scholarly journals (see
guidelines below for scholarly journals). So, I suggest selecting a topic that has been
around for 3-4 years.
Is it a journal?
When you are searching for papers to write a journal review for my classes, these are
some basic thoughts to keep in mind:
1. If you are looking at the print version of a journal, are there advertisements? If yes, it
is likely not a journal.
2. Look at the number of pages. If it is shorter than 6 or 7 pages, it most likely is not a
3. Look at the name of the source, if it has ‘Journal’ in it, it is most likely (but not always:
see rules 1 and 2 above) a journal.
Typical Problems and Suggestions
1. Is it a good source for a review? Are the topics TRULY related? This is the biggest
problem for most students. Make sure that the articles are related to your topic.
2. I suggest soliciting the help of your reference librarian for help in accessing your
journal articles. With their help, your search time will be greatly reduced.
3. Many students will not score well on this project because they did not submit real
journal articles. Instead, they will use whatever articles they can find using a Google or
Yahoo search. Most articles found this way will not be good enough. I suggest sending
me a reference listing via email for the article in advance, so I can give you feedback on
whether the article is worthy of our class review project.
4. Many students lose points because they copied all or a portion of their key points
word for word from the article and did not put the key points in their own words. I want
students to read the articles, give their own analysis on the important ideas and write
this analysis in their own words.
5. Many students lose points for submitting key point analysis that is too brief. Many of
these articles are 10-12 pages long, so a 2-3 sentence description of a key idea is not