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2012/2013  KAN-CM_T74  Business Process Excellence

English Title
Business Process Excellence

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Changes in course schedule may occur
Friday 09.50-12.35, week 36-41, 43-46
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Fagansvarlig
    Günter Prockl - Department of Operations Management
Administration: Mette Kirkegaard- mki.om@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Management of Information and Knowledge Management
  • Supply Chain Management and Logistics
Last updated on 27-06-2012
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • demonstrate knowledge on the key challenges and pitfalls associated with the major activities and processes in different industrial environments and to develop arguments for appropriate solutions from a lean/six sigma management point of view.
  • understand the key challenges and are well equipped with a sound understanding of the standard problems associated with waste and defects in operations
  • analyze the root causes of the problems applying lean management, lean thinking, six sigma and network views
  • propose from a repertoire of possible lean strategies and six sigma instruments to solve these problems
  • develop arguments applying the most common terminology of the field
This course can be followed by any master level and by exchange students. It is recommended to read supporting chapters of a textbook within supply chain management, e.g.
Chopra S. and Meindl. P, Supply Chain Management, 2009, Prentice-Hall
Christopher, M., Logistics and Supply Chain Management – Creating Value-adding networks, 2004, Financial Times
Martin, J. (2006): Lean Six Sigma for Supply Chain Management, McGraw-Hill, 432 p.
Individual home assignment of max 15 A4 pages based on a case.
Business Process Excellence:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Winter Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below
Individual home assignment of max 15 A4 pages based on a case.
Course content

In today’s global business environment, small and large international firms need to manage their own operations as well as networks of suppliers and customers in order stay ahead in competition. One major issue in the management of such networks, also known as supply chain networks, is to enable continuous improvement of business processes and their performance. The overall goal is to obtain business process excellence by setting up zero-defect process chains providing value to their stakeholders.

Current business business process strategies to reach to a level of zero-defect process quality are lean management and six sigma. Lean is a business practice where creation of customer value and minimization of waste of resources is in focus of all efforts. Six sigma is a successful management strategy that seeks to improve business process quality by identifying, and removing root causes of execution variability and process errors – finally enabling that process outputs can meet client specifications or market demands.

The combination of these two strategies is what we call “achieving business process excellence” and this course offers insights to how international companies today implement and achieve this. The main elements of the course content are:

· History and definition of Business Process Excellence

· Business Process Strategy and Governance

· Voice of Customer, value and demand

· Integrated Flowcharts and Value Stream Mapping

· Voice of Process and Process Performance

· Root Cause Analysis and Fishbone Models

· Process redesign, pilot testing and implementation

· Kaizen, sustaining improvements

Besides these issues, students will also get training into the necessary analytical tools including data analysis using spreadsheets, KAIZEN and cost-benefit-analysis.

The course´s development of personal competences:

The course consequently focuses on student’s capabilities to apply lean thinking and related management approaches for analyzing major problems and pitfalls, identifying their underlying root causes, and presenting appropriate management solutions. Upon course completion, the individual student should be able to apply the lean and six sigma terminology and knowledge to describe and discuss key challenges related to basic functions, activities and processes in supply chains and management environments of various industries.

Teaching methods
The teaching will consist of lectures, discussions of case-studies, in-class exercises and where appropriate short games to open the view on specific key challenges in the field.
Expected literature


George, M. (2010): The Lean Six Sigma Guide to Doing More with Less, Wiley, 327 p.

Bass, I. (2007): Six Sigma Statistics with Excel and Minitab, McGraw-Hill, 374 p.


Brunet, A. B., New, S., 2003.: Kaizen in Japan: an empirical study. International Journal of Operations and Production Management 23 (12), 1426-1446.

Cox, A./Chicksand, D. (2005): The limits of lean management thinking: multiple retailers and food farming, European Management Journal, 23, 6, 648-662, 15 p.

Done, A., Voss, C. and Rytter, N.G., Best practice Interventions, Short term impact and long term outcomes, Accepted and completed, Forthcoming in Journal of Operations Management, 2011.

Holweg, M. (2007): The genealogy of lean production, Journal of Operations Management, 25, 2, 420-437, 18 p.

Levy, D. (1997): Lean Production in an international supply chain, Sloan Management Review, 38,2, 94-102, 9 p.

Liker, J.K. and David Meier, Toyota Talent: Developing People the Toyota Way, McGraw-Hill, 2007

Liker, J.K. and Michael Hoseus, Toyota Culture: The Heart and Soul of the Toyota Way, McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Liker, J.K., The Toyota Way: Fourteen Management Secrets from the World's Greatest Manufacturer, McGraw-Hill, 2004.

Mcadam, R./Lafferty, B. (2004): A multilevel case study critique of six sigma: statistical control or strategic change? International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 24,5, 530-549, 20 p.

Nonthaleerak, P./Hendry, L. (2008): Exploring the six sigma phenomenon using multiple case study evidence, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 28, 3, 279-303, 25 p.

Schonberger, Richard J., Best Practices in Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement – A deeper Look, Wiley and Sons, New Jersey, 2008

Shah, R./Ward, P. (2007): Defining and developing measures of lean production, Journal of Operations Management, 25, 4, 785-805, 21 p.

Towill, D./Christopher, M. (2002): The Supply Chain Strategy Conundrum: To be Lean Or Agile or To be Lean And Agile?, International Journal of Logistics: Research & Applications, 5, 3, 299-309, 11 p.

Wood, N. (2004): Customer Value: Applying the first principle of lean, Management Services, 48, 3, 14-17, 3 p.

Last updated on 27-06-2012