Achieving Operational Excellence

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Course Overview

Learn a continuous improvement model, called Flow, that integrates Lean, Six Sigma, Operations Excellence, and Theory of Constraints to improve your organization's ability to realize meaningful results from continuous improvement efforts among all team members.

Who Should Attend?

  • Division and plant operations leaders needing a solid overview of on integrating continuous improvement management model.
  • Beginning or experienced Lean and Six Sigma practitioners needing a broad review of an integrated strategy to fill gaps in their current continuous improvement management strategy.

Course Outline

Day 1

Leadership Tools to Communicate Continuous Improvement to Your Organization

  • Lean Enterprise Management System elements
  • The Five Principles of Lean
  • Flow—an interdependent model for achieving operational excellence

Project Selection

  • Selecting a part or value stream
  • Project charter and A3 documents
  • Value stream mapping

Flow—Information and Asset Management

  • Role of 5S and Visual Workplace
  • Understanding lot size and its impact on lead time and inventory
  • Optimizing workplace layout
  • Significance of setup reduction
  • Leveling and synchronizing material
  • Total productive maintenance


Day 2

Flow—Process Predictability

  • How Lean and Six Sigma work together
  • Seven quality tools
  • Five whys
  • Standard work
  • Mistake proofing

Flow—Technology Selection and Integration

  • Technology’s impact on improving performance
  • High-tech vs. low-tech philosophy
  • How to use Theory of Constraints (TOC) to manage bottlenecks

Flow—Performance Measurement and Feedback System

  • KPIs
  • Management interval
  • Accounting considerations


Day 3

Flow—Total Participation

  • Overcoming the “program of the month”
  • Defining cross-sectional roles
  • Valuing and managing personalities
  • Realizing and sustaining Improvements
  • Approaches to project selection and management
  • Lean daily management
  • Leaders' standard work
  • Visual workplace and management
  • Communication process
  • Audits


Jerry Solomon

Jerry Solomon has worked in manufacturing for nearly 40 years. In December 2014, Mr. Solomon retired as the VP of Operations, MarquipWardUnited–Hunt Valley, a division of the Barry-Wehmiller Companies. During his career, Mr. Solomon held the positions of Chief Financial Officer and VP–Manufacturing at three mid-market manufacturing companies. In these positions, he simultaneously applied continuous improvement tools to production and accounting processes to overcome the traditional departmental barriers and develop timely and actionable information. Mr. Solomon authored Who’s Counting, which received the 2004 Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence. He also co-authored a book with Rosemary Fullerton, Accounting for World Class Operations: A Practical Guide for Providing Relevant Information in Support of the Lean Enterprise, which received the 2008 Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence. Mr. Solomon has a BS degree from Clarkson University, an MS degree from Michigan Technological University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Jeff Oelke

Jeff Oelke oversees the Maintenance and Reliability Certificate offered through the University of Wisconsin–Madison Engineering Professional Development. Mr. Oelke has over 20 years of experience working with manufacturing companies. In addition to a thorough understanding of Lean, Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints and Quick Response Manufacturing strategies, Mr. Oelke has firsthand experience with assembly, metal forming, welding, plastics, printed circuit layout and fabrication, paint and wood products manufacturing processes. Prior to joining Engineering Professional Development, Mr. Oelke was the managing member of the Continuum Management Group, LLC, Richland Center, WI, and the division manager for supplier development at Deere and Company’s Commercial and Consumer Equipment Division. Mr. Oelke possesses MS and BS degrees with concentrations in manufacturing operations and computer hardware architecture.  He has been certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt by the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

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Take this course when it’s offered next!

Program Director

Jeff Oelke

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