Since the publication in 1996 of Lean Thinking (Womack and Jones), ‘Lean’ has established itself as the most effective and most widely adopted improvement methodology for operations in the world. With roots in the Toyota Production System and in earlier approaches, Lean has expanded vertically into accounting, marketing, HR, IT, design and R&D, and logistics, and horizontally into service, health, government, and banking. Lean is now integrated with other effective approaches including Systems Thinking and Six Sigma. The Buckingham degree is titled ‘Lean Enterprise’ rather than ‘Lean Operations’ . The focus, however, is on integrated operations rather than on learning a range of diverse disciplines or tools.
Whilst today not everyone agrees with the term ‘Lean’, the principles learned in this degree are now ‘mainstream’ in any aspiring operation.
Find out more about our Business School on http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/business.
The 22 month, part-time Buckingham MSc is specifically designed for practising managers working, or aspiring to work, in the delivery of services or products. The degree is in ‘enterprise’ because most organisations rely on the integration of employees, customers and suppliers to deliver value. This involves end-to-end value streams from understanding customer requirements, through design and operations and on to product or service delivery. Knowledge of accounting, quality, design, innovation, service are all necessary.
The typical age of participants is 30s and 40s. All participants have considerable experience and are contributors as well as recipients.
Buckingham has an ethos of student support, consistently leading the National Student Survey for student satisfaction. As a private university with a Royal Charter, Buckingham has great opportunities for innovation. The MSc is part of the Buckingham Lean Enterprise Unit (BLEU).
The staff of the programme are all experienced Lean, Systems, and Six Sigma practitioners as well as all having years of experience in hands-on Masters-level Lean teaching.
The philosophy of the programme is that Lean can only effectively be learned with hands-on practice. Hence, a considerable part of the programme is held on-site at plant and service locations. By the end of the programme, participants will have taken part in real exercises (not just case studies) in several organizations in several sectors.
Mentoring is an important part of learning about Lean. Detailed mentoring, feedback, and discussion are important incorporated aspects. Networking, of course, is also a valuable aspect that results from the class profile.
The student group is deliberately small to allow both practical hands-on participation and personal interaction with some of the leading practitioners in the UK.
During the first 13 months, students take eight 5-day modules, all of which are assessed by assignment. Extensive use is made of electronic meetings and mentoring. An iPad is recommended.
The modules are a set, one flowing into the next, building into an integrated system. Hence there are currently no elective modules. Several staff contribute on more than one module.
Modules on the course are as follows:
By the end of the programme participants will have taken part in real exercises (not just case studies) in several organisations and sectors.
Mentoring is a fundamental part of learning about ‘Lean’. Feedback and discussion are all important aspects of the programme. Networking is also a valuable aspect; our class profile and student group is deliberately small to allow both practical participation and personal interaction with some of the leading practitioners in the UK.
In year two, students write a dissertation and regular feedback sessions take place, both face to face at various locations and electronically.
Visit the MSc Lean Enterprise page on the University of Buckingham website for more details!