Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Industrial Engineering

Major Professor

Dr. Rapinder Sawhney

Committee Members

Dr John E. Kobza, Dr Tom Berg


Manufacturing organizations adopt operational excellence strategies to meet performance targets. While Lean Manufacturing (LM) is widely used in OPEX and is supported by many industries case studies, but faces two major challenges. First, there is an absence of a standard framework to implement LM. Second, the framework does not explicitly address employee engagement and quality of life in the continuous improvement process. This has led to low reported levels of sustainability of LM. People-Centric Operational Excellence (PCOM) has been presented as a response to challenges in LM. PCOM comprises four modules: problem definition, design of metrics, design of reliability-based solutions, and alignment of solutions with employee quality of life. However, PCOM is not supported by an implementation template and case studies for the framework are not well documented in the literature. This paper compares PCOM with LM using literature-driven criteria, develops an implementation-ready template for PCOM, and documents case studies in PCOM for the manufacturing sector. Moreover, this paper presents the conceptual basis for a new model, Comprehensive PCOM or CPCOM, that combines the strengths of LM and PCOM and provides an initial roadmap for its implementation.

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