The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

UT Lean Enterprise Summer Program

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What is Lean Enterprise?

Lean enterprise is the practice of creating more value for consumers while using fewer resources and eliminating waste. The concept of Lean has become a feasible solution for organizations to transform themselves and become more competitive.

What is the Lean Enterprise Systems Program?

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering has worked with several companies and organizations, such as Boeing, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Link Belt, Newell/Rubbermaid, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Denso, Toyoda-Koki TRW Automotive, and Volvo Construction Equipment, implementing lean practices by applying the right tools for the right processes and developing a sustainable culture.

Thanks to this experience, we have developed a four-week summer program for students interested in learning about Lean and gaining experience in the methodology and applications.

What Will You Learn?

A completely new way and paradigm shift in how to become a leader that designs processes in an organization. This approach is based on the fact that we can increase productivity and, at the same time, improving the quality of life of employee via stress level reduction.

Real-world experience

You won’t just spend time in classes. You and your tram will have the chance to take the lessons you’ve learned and work with UT faculty and research staff to apply lean concepts in project in a real-world setting being exposed to cases where you can implement transformational change. This allow you to understand the real-world and implement the technical component.

You also will have the opportunity to work in a multicultural environment with students from Brazil, China, Mexico, South Africa, just to name a few, allowing you to understand different value systems.

The summer program is divided into five modules:

  1. Fundamentals of Lean Enterprise Systems. You will be introduced to lean and six sigma concepts and learn how to implement improvements within an enterprise environment.
  2. Define a System Based Problem. You will learn how to identify an enterprise’s critical path and illustrate it using value stream mapping (VSM) to design the desired improved system.
  3. Continuous Improvement Alignment with Desired Organizational Outcomes. You will learn the concepts of flow, variation and disruption and how it connects to the performance metrics systems of the organization.
  4. Reliability of Lean Systems. A “reliable solution” is required to possess four types of reliability in the Sustainable Lean approach – People, Material, Equipment, and Schedule (PMES). The imposition of this requirement guarantees a solution in which equipment is available, a scheduling system is in place, material is provided to the right process at the right time, and  workforce capabilities and skills are factored into the definition of reliable systems. Using reliability engineering, you’ll be able to ensure long-term success of your proposed improvements.
  5. Sustain Systems. The final step towards sustainability of Lean – anticipating and addressing employee resistance and ensuring that their quality of life has improved – is asserted in this module. You will learn how employee resistance can be understood through the lens of Lean culture, basic competence of the workforce, and regional and national culture.

What to Expect?

Distance Education

Your first week in the summer program will be spent in online classes delivered to your hometown.

Classes at UT

After your first week, you’ll travel to the U.S. and spend the remaining four weeks at UT. You’ll have access to UT facilities for research, homework, relaxation, and leisure. You’ll also take day trips to local sites and landmarks of the region.

Academic Certificate

Upon your successful completion of the summer program, you will receive a certificate acknowledging your fulfillment of course and project requirements.


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System