Module Catalogues

Lean Thinking

Module Title Lean Thinking
Module Level Level 2
Module Credits 2.50
Academic Year 2021/22
Semester SEM1

Aims and Fit of Module

This module aims to:
(1). Provide an understanding of the components of a contemporary lean operations strategy and the benefits and challenges of applying lean principles within business operations.
(2). Develop students’ understanding of the philosophies/principles and application of lean thinking and provide a working knowledge of the supporting tools and techniques used.
(3). Provide a practical opportunity to work as a team addressing lean principles and implementing and evaluating lean tools and techniques through the use of a physical simulation of a multi-product operations environment.
(4). Provide students with opportunities to view current industrial practice.

Learning outcomes

A Demonstrate an understanding of the philosophy and principles of lean thinking
B Demonstrate a working knowledge of the main tools and techniques used in the application of lean initiatives.
C Demonstrate understanding of the application of lean tools and techniques within their appropriate operational contexts.
D Relate theory to industrial practice and recent developments in manufacturing and the service industries.
E Develop problem solving skills by applying lean tools to live case studies.

Method of teaching and learning

The teaching philosophy of the module follows very much the philosophy of Syntegrative Education. This has meant that the teaching delivery pattern, which follows more intensive block teaching, allows more meaningful contribution from industry partners. This philosophy is carried through also in terms of assessment, with reduction on the use of exams and increase in coursework, especially problem-based assessments that are project focused. The delivery pattern provides space in the semester for students to concentrate on completing the assessments.
The module is delivered through a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials. A wide range of textbooks are suggested as supplementary reading and video cases are used to support the lecture material.
An on-going, physical 'continuous improvement' operations simulation provides an environment in which students have an opportunity to work together to apply lean tools and techniques in order to transform a (simulated) organization from its prevailing batch production configuration to one which is lean and aligned to customer demand.
Reference to journal/conference articles provides students with access to current developments and applications as well as background to the key concepts, tools and techniques.