Lean Sigma dissertation proposal

Topics: Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing Pages: 7 (1455 words) Published: April 12, 2014
Building Dissertation 443
Topic Proposal

LEAN SIX SIGMA: Analysis of its use within the Supply Chain of Oil and Gas Construction projects in Western Australia
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Daniel Foley
Building Dissertation 443
27th March 2014

Word Count: 933
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Curtin University of Technology

By submitting this assignment, I declare that I have retained a suitable copy of this assignment, have not previously submitted this work for assessment and have ensured that it complies with university and school regulations, especially concerning plagiarism and copyright.

27th March 2014 Daniel Foley


Building Dissertation 443
Topic Proposal

Lean Six Sigma: Analysis of its use within the Supply Chain of Oil & Gas Construction projects in Western Australia.
A high performing supply chain that is both efficient and reliable is a major contributor to the success of a construction project (Erikson 2010, 394). For high levels of performance to be attained there must be “continuous improvement in all facets of the supply chain ” (Senthil and Bharathi 2011, 8). Without continual improvement and effective management the supply chain will cause construction projects to fail as they will not “finish on time, within budget, or at a quality level accepted by the customer” (Al-Aomar 2012, 300).

The need to analyse the application of Lean Six Sigma to the supply chain of oil and gas construction projects in Western Australia is due to the region possessing multiple gas fields. The infrastructure and requirements of developing these gas fields is complex with their construction requiring sophisticated supply chains that are required to operate in difficult geographic and environmental conditions (Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association 2014). These factors, combined with the previously stated necessity to improve output and efficiency, is compounded by organisations within supply chain’s possessing “many different levels of technical and managerial experience” (London 2007, 1). When this is applied to oil and gas construction projects such as those currently underway in Western Australia, which includes projects such as Gorgon and Wheatstone, (Budgets that range from 27 – 60 billion dollars) the financial implications of not continually improving are large and definite (Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association 2014).

Continuous improvement is a “broad process centred on incremental innovation” (Drohomeretski 2013, 802). Lean Six Sigma is a method of continual improvement that targets “eliminating waste and improving flow” (Cudney 2010, 5). Lean Six Sigma, along with other methods of waste removal and flow improvement are techniques that were pioneered by Toyota and Motorola (Cudney 2010, 5). Supply chains can particularly benefit from continuous improvement methods such as Lean Six Sigma as they “tend to accrue waste and non-value added activities” (Barac, Milovanovic and Andelkovic 2010, 321).


Building Dissertation 443
Topic Proposal
Lean Six Sigma “is process and data driven” (Grips, 2005, 1).Its use of data allows for accurate performance measurement to occur which ensures continuous improvement as “performance measurement is crucial to improve supply chain management” (Cabral, Grilo and Cruz-Machado 2012, 4832).

Lean Six Sigma is based on the 5 rudimentary principles of:
1. “Value – Specify value in the eyes of the customer
2. Value stream – Identify all the steps in the value stream and eliminate waste 3. Flow – Allow the value to flow without interruptions
4. Pull – Let the customer pull value from the process
5. Continuously improve in pursuit of perfection” (Taghizadegan 2006, 49).

The application of Lean 6 Sigma to operations such as those that occur within an oil and...

References: Al-Aomar ,Raid. 2012.” A lean construction framework with Six Sigma rating.” International Journal
of Lean Six Sigma, 3 (4):299-314
Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association. 2014. Australian LNG Projects. Accessed
March 15, http://www.appea.com.au/oil-gas-explained/operation/australian-lng-projects/.
Barac, Nada, Goran Milovanović and Aleksandra Anđelković. 2010. “Lean Production and Six Sigma
Quality in Lean Supply Chain Management.” FACTA UNIVERSITATIS – Economics and Organization 3
Cudney, Elizabeth A. 2010. Implementing Lean Six Sigma throughout the Supply Chain: The
Comprehensive and Transparent Case Study
Erikson, PE. 2010.”Improving construction supply chain collaboration and performance: a lean
construction pilot project.” Supply Chain Management – an International Journal 15(5): 394-403.
Gripman, Bill. 2005. “Lean 6 Sigma – How we do business (quality management principles).” Navy
Supply Corps Newsletter 68 (3).
London, Kerry. 2007. Construction and Supply Chain Economics. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis.
Senthil,Kumar and Subburethina Bharathi. 2011. “Continuous supply chain collaboration: Road to
achieve operational excellence.” Management Science Letters 1 (2): 149.
Taghizadegan, Salman. 2006. Essentials of lean six sigma. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Whitten, G.D., K.W. Green, and P.J. Zelbst. 2012. “Triple-A supply chain performance. “International
Journal of Operations & Production Management 32 (1-2)
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