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2019/2020  KAN-CCMVV1678U  Business Process Excellence

English Title
Business Process Excellence

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 100
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Fagansvarlig
    Günter Prockl - Department of Digitalisation
Please find contact information for Student Hub, student Guidiance Services etc. on My.cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • Organisation
  • Supply chain management and logistics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 11-02-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • Put key challenges and pitfalls associated with the major activities and processes in different industrial or service environments into the perspective of lean/six sigma management.
  • Apply the relevant tools from a repertoire of lean strategies and six sigma instruments to analyse and solve problems within business processes.
  • Organise a well-structured process from analysis to generation of solutions.
  • Explain root causes of the problems applying lean management, lean thinking, six sigma, and network management views.
  • Present argumentation from a lean/six sigma management point of view that supports action oriented conclusions based on the analysis of a given case.
  • Reflect on the consequences of applying different solution approaches on a given issue.
Course prerequisites
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.
Christopher, M., Logistics and Supply Chain Management – Creating Value-adding networks, 2010, Financial Times
Business Process Excellence:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
* if the student fails the ordinary exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have to hand in a revised product for the re- take or a new project.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

In the global business environment, small and large international firms need to manage their own operations as well as networks of suppliers and customers in order to 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 other related instruments.

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.

Description of the 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.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be based on the performance with respect to in class workshops and case studies.
Student workload
Teaching 33 hours
Readings, preparation, home assignment 173 hours
Further Information

The course is a part of the minor in Supply Chain Intelligence - An applied perspective

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 11-02-2019