Lean Enterprise Excellence
The Master of Business in Lean Enterprise Excellence is an executive education programme providing participants with knowledge, know-how, know-why, and skills in lean enterprise excellence so they can add value as recognised lean leaders and continuous improvement champions in organisations.
This Lean Black Belt standard was co-designed in collaboration with leading lean practice organisations from across services, manufacturing, healthcare, and construction sectors. A graduate of this programme will be considered a Black Belt in Lean. The School of Business, WIT, equates the concept of Black Belt to Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Ireland. Graduates will receive a letter from WIT's School of Business stating that their capability equates to Black Belt in Lean standard upon completion of the associated project modules/assignments to the required level.
This programme is distinctive in enabling participants attain in-depth understanding of wider organisational contexts, cross-sectoral applications, manufacturing and service orientations, and the critical but hugely challenging 'soft' elements. Thus participants examine lean philosophy and thinking; lean leadership; lean strategy deployment and hoshin kanri; systems thinking, the learning organisation, and knowledge management; organisational culture and employee engagement; and change management and lean transformation.
The programme provides a balanced approach between the academic and the practical, and includes extensive industry collaboration via live-laboratory projects; site visits; guest speakers; and contributors to ongoing events. There is extensive and deep peer learning amongst and between participants from diverse services and manufacturing sectors, and from public and private organisations at various stages of their respective lean journeys. Via various academic paper assignments and the research dissertation project, the programme advances participants' research and writing skills, as well as their knowledge-base on contemporary lean thinking, management, and exemplary practices.
Graduates have gone on to advance themselves to key positions as site Lean/Continuous Improvement/Operational Excellence Leaders/Champions; many have been headhunted by other organisations; and some have become Lean Consultants/Trainers.
Exit award: Postgraduate Diploma in Business in Lean Enterprise Excellence
There is a programme exit mechanism available after the first year of the programme for those who do not wish to complete the full Masters. In such a case a student would exit with a Level 9, 60 Credit, Postgraduate Diploma in Business in Lean Enterprise Excellence. The request to exit needs to be made in January of Year 1.)
The programme reflects on foundational learning from scientific management, quality management, world-class manufacturing, change management, the Toyota Production System (TPS) and The Toyota Way; and we are distinctively aligned to the Shingo Model/Approach wherein we examine and synthesise the principles, systems, and culture and behaviours integral to lean enterprise and operational excellence.
Programme participants examine the "hard" elements, including lean tools and techniques like Process Mapping and Value Stream Mapping, A3 Problem-Solving, 5S, and so on; plus Black Belt level six sigma business analytics; as well as completion of live-laboratory continuous improvement projects.
In addition, our Lean Masters is distinctive in enabling participants attain in-depth understanding of wider organisational contexts, cross-sectoral applications, manufacturing and service orientations, and the critical but hugely challenging "Soft" elements. Thus participants examine lean philosophy and thinking; lean leadership; lean strategy deployment and hoshin kanri; systems thinking, the learning organisation and knowledge management; organisational culture, employee engagement, change management, and lean transformation.
Our programme provides a balanced approach between the academic and the practical, and includes extensive industry collaboration via live-laboratory assignment projects; site visits; guest speakers and contributors to ongoing events.
This practical and applied industry-academia engagement comes in several forms:
1.via the employer-based Continuous Improvement Project (CIP) wherein participants individually develop and deliver on an agreed CI project, integrating and applying their learning from throughout year 1 of the programme;
2.via a group-based live-laboratory assignment wherein participants work in groups to examine a real-world and live problem within a partner company and apply a lean mind-set, plus appropriate lean tools and techniques, to analyse and understand the situation and problem, and to present countermeasures and recommendations to improve processes, reduce waste, and bring real gains to the partner company; and
3.guest speakers and contributors to optional events like the Annual Lean Practitioner Seminar Series and the Annual Lean Enterprise Excellence Forum.
The second year of the programme involves students undertaking a single module in Research Methods & Techniques during the first semester. Students then undertake self-directed work and independent learning on their chosen research projects, supported by their assigned Supervisor who guides them through the research and write-up processes. Students deliver a major Dissertation as the capstone output of the second year. As part of this process, the Annual WIT Lean Research Symposium provides participants with an opportunity to present their research in a scholastic and collegial environment, and receive feedback from their peers and faculty.
Participants will have full access to WIT's online resources, including Moodle, WIT's virtual learning environment (VLE), as well as academic databases and other online library facilities. Recommended books and other readings will be provided by each Lecturer for their respective modules.
Upon successful completion of all 90 Credits, a student will be conferred with the qualification of 'Master of Business in Lean Enterprise Excellence' from Waterford Institute of Technology.
Community of Learning & Practice
Programme participants and alumni are part of a regional, national, and global community of learning and practice in Lean
Key WIT events include the Annual WIT Lean Practitioner Seminar Series, and the Annual WIT Lean Enterprise Excellence Forum (www.witleanforum.com).
To be considered for entry onto the Master of Business in Lean Enterprise Excellence applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
•Applicants should have a Level 8 qualification, in any discipline, along with a minimum of 3 years' relevant industry experience; and where applicants do not have a previous Level 8 qualification they will be considered on the basis of a recognition of prior learning (RPL) application to a Level 8 standard or equivalent and provided they have a minimum of 5 years' relevant industry experience.
•Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to present evidence of competence that meet the Institute's English Language Requirements for Postgraduate Programmes.
All modules must be passed and each module is assessed by assignment, incorporating continuous assessment (graded) and formative assessment (un-graded). There are no end-of-term summative examinations.
Semester 1 and Semester 2 modules are all worth 5 Credits each. The CIP is worth 20 Credits and is an organisation-based gemba project wherein participants develop and deliver a real-world improvement project within their organisations. The CIP is worked on across the entirety of the first year, and represents a year 1 capstone project with final deliverables in Semester 3.
In year 2 participants undertake a dedicated research year commencing in Semester 4 with a module on research methods and techniques, with a research proposal being a key output. They then go on to undertake a research project based on their proposals, and deliver a dissertation as the year 2 capstone project.
Year 1 - 60 Credits
Semester 1 (Sep - Dec)
Lean Enterprise Excellence
Lean Strategy & Sustainability
Lean Tools & Techniques 1
Lean Business Analytics 1
Semester 2 (Jan - Apr)
Lean Tools & Techniques 2
Lean Business Analytics 2
Semester 3 (May - Sep)
Continuous Improvement Project (CIP) (20 Credits)
Note that Semester 1 and 2 modules are 5 Credits each.
Year 2 - 30 credits
Semester 4 (Sep - Dec)
Research Methods & Techniques (10 Credits)
Semesters 5 & 6 (Jan - Aug
Lean Masters Dissertation (20 Credits)
2 years part-time.
The programme commences in mid-September with a full day comprising initial induction plus opening CIP Workshop. The Semester 1 modules are delivered in block-release mode each Monday evening (18:00 – 22:00), plus 4/5 Saturdays (09:00 – 16:00/17:00).
There is another full day in mid-January for the second CIP Workshop. The Semester 2 modules are delivered in block-release mode each Monday evening (18:00 – 22:00), plus 4/5 Saturdays (09:00 – 16:00/17:00). There is also a full day in mid-May for the third CIP Workshop.
Semester 3 entails a full day in mid-June for the fourth CIP Workshop; self-directed work and independent learning for the remainder of the summer period; culminating in a final full day of CIP Presentations at the start of September.
The single Semester 4 module is delivered in block-release mode each Monday evening (18:00 – 22:00).
Finally, January through August of the second year sees participants focused on their research projects for the Lean Masters Dissertation, which involves extensive self-directed work and independent learning on their chosen research areas of interest. Participants will have the support and guidance of their assigned Supervisors to mentor them through the research and write-up process.
Programme fee details are available on the Postgraduate Fee Schedule displayed on our website at www.wit.ie/pgfees
Post Course Info
Ireland is a recognised global leader in Lean and Operational Excellence and there thus exists a high demand nationally and internationally for graduates with Lean knowledge, know-how, and skills. Graduates of the WIT Master of Business in Lean Enterprise Excellence will be highly valued within their employer organisations, and highly sought-after in general.
In addition to the extensive knowledge acquired, the applied nature of the programme and real-world individual and group problem-solving provides participants with invaluable experience and skills, and ensures they are workplace-ready. The vast majority of programme participants are employer-funded, and this reflects the importance that organisations place on developing their people in Lean.
Graduates have gone on to advance themselves to key positions as site Lean/Continuous Improvement/Operational Excellence Leaders/Champions. Many have been headhunted by other organisations; and some have become Lean Consultants/Trainers.
Graduates interested in advancing an academic/research path in this space can undertake a Doctoral (Level 10) programme via a structured Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or via the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA).