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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Engineering and Technology Management

E M 570 Systems Improvement: Integrating TOC, Lean, & SS

Course Description

This course aims to teach leveraging Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma to achieve integrated systems-level improvement. 

The Theory of Constraints (TOC) is used for identifying a system’s limiting factor and focusing efforts to eliminate that constraint in order to improve throughput, reduce inventory, or lower operating expenses.  Next, Six Sigma is a problem-solving methodology that uses the structured approach of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control to reduce variability. Finally, Lean is a management approach that focuses on continuous improvement and respect for people in order to improve the performance of a system by eliminating waste. 

Course Objectives

Students will learn to synergistically apply TOC to identifying what to improve, the Six Sigma structured problems solving approach to reduce variability, and Lean tools for reducing waste and managing continuous improvement.  They will also learn workforce engagement is the key to long-term system improvement.   

Learning Outcomes

Upon satisfactory completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply the Theory of Constraints to improve the throughput of a system 
  • Apply Lean Tools to reduce waste in a system 
  • Apply Six Sigma problems solving techniques to reduce variability 
  • Engage their workforce to ensure they are healthy, happy, and productive 
  • Improve systems by integrating TOC, Lean, and Six Sigma methodologies 
  • Develop a management approach that integrates TOC, Six Sigma, and Lean that promotes workforce engagement.


Faculty Contact: David Paulus (
Semester Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Course Topics

  • Theory of Constraints
  • Lean 
  • Six Sigma 
  • Workforce Engagement