Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Industrial Engineering

Major Professor

Rapinder S. Sawhney

Committee Members

Haileab T. Hilafu, H. Lee Martin


The sustainability of lean systems for long term is a major concern across various organizations implementing lean manufacturing methods. This issue can be attributed to inadequate infrastructure, inefficient process management, unsuitable personnel management methods and strategic tools. There is a strong need for addressing the risks for lean system sustainability. The resolution of the risks from a 'soft side' (people) perspective has not been addressed. The primary focus of this study is on the people-related risks.

The current study elicits a five-phase approach to enhance the implementation of the lean system by accounting for these risks. The first phase classifies the requirements of the lean system into six subsystems and proposes the precedence of lean activities within each subsystem. The second phase identifies the risks for the sustainability of the subsystems by categorizing these risks into Personnel, Material, Equipment and Schedule. The third phase uses expert opinions based on a survey to quantify risks. The fourth phase addresses the resolution of the people-related risks. The mapping of these risks with the required skills in personnel is proposed. A Lean Personnel Alignment Model (LPAM) is presented to align the identified skills with lean requirements in order to sustain lean implementation.

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