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Lean Enablers for Systems Engineering


  • Author
    Bohdan W. Oppenheim, Earll M. Murrnan, Deborah A. Secor

Systems Engineering (SE) is regarded as a sound practice but often burdened with waste, as documented in recent NASA, Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Department of Defense (DoD) studies. Lean thinking is the holistic work system credited for the extraordinary rise of Toyota. Lean thinking has been successfully applied in many work fields such as general manufacturing, aerospace. engineering, healthcare, service industries. The emerging field of Lean Systems Engineering (LSE) is the application of lean principles, practices and tools to SE and to the related aspects of enterprise management (EM) in order to enhance the delivery of value (which is defined as flawless delivery of product or mission with satisfaction of all stakeholders) while reducing waste.This paper contains four parts: 1) Historical background of the new field of LSE and a review of the fundamental concepts of Lean Thinking. 2) The development process of a new product called "Lean Enablers for Systems Engineering." 3) A list of the Enablers organized into six Lean principles. 4) Summary and conclusions. The Lean Enablers for Systems Engineering is a comprehensive checklist of 194 non-mandatory practices and recommendations forillulated as "do's" and "don'ts" of SE and containing tacit knowledge (collective wisdom) on how to prepare for, plan, execute, and practice SE and EM using lean thinking.
About the Shingo Institute

Housed at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, the Shingo Institute is named after Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo. Shingo distinguished himself as one of the world's thought leaders in concepts, management systems and improvement techniques that have become known as the Toyota Business System. Drawing from Shingo's teachings and years of experience working with organizations throughout the world, the Shingo Institute has developed the Shingo Model™ which is the basis for several educational offerings including workshops, study tours and conferences. It also awards and recognizes organizations that demonstrate an exceptional culture that continually strives for improvement and progress. Those interested in more information or in registering to attend the 30th International Shingo Conference may visit