Implementation of Lean Engineering Practices in Projects and Programs through Simulation Based Training


Prof Avraham Shtub, PhD

Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

Michal Iluz

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems LTD., Haifa, Israel

Kilian Gersing

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA, USA

Prof Josef Oehmen, PhD

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA, USA

Yael Dubinsky, PhD

IBM Research, Haifa, Israel


Teams in engineering projects face complex decisions on a daily basis. In order to meet or exceed stakeholders’ needs and expectations project teams must plan and re-plan their project to keep it on track. Their decisions are made in an uncertain, dynamic and constrained environment spanning a large variety of areas such as outsourcing decisions, design decisions, risk management decisions, resource related decisions, budgets and schedule related decisions etc.. Their purpose is to lower cost, reduce rework minimize paperwork, and eliminate duplicate efforts. Teamwork is essential in this challenging environment and a shared understanding of the project goals and constraints is the foundation of teamwork.

This paper describes our experience in using Simulation Based Training (SBT) and in particular, its contribution to the implementation of Lean Management Practices (“Lean Enablers”) among project team members and stakeholders in two different  industries in order to lead to better project outcomes in terms of time, performance, cost, and stakeholders’ approval.

  1. Introduction
    a.        Lean Enablers

The Lean Enablers are a set of Lean best practices, which have been developed specifically for the improvement of large-scale engineering programs. There are 43 Lean Enablers in total, which are sorted according to the six Lean Principals (value, value stream, flow, pull, perfection, respect for people) as shown in Figure  [1]. 


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 About the Authors 

pmwj20-mar2014-shtub-AUTHOR1 SHTUBflag-isrealProfessor Avraham Shtub

Haifa, Israel

Professor Avraham Shtub holds the Stephen and Sharon Seiden Chair in Project Management. He has a B.Sc from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, an MBA from Tel Aviv University  and a Ph.D from the University of Washington.  He is the recipient of the Institute of Industrial Engineering 1995 “Book of the Year Award” for his Book “Project Management: Engineering, Technology and Implementation” (co-authored with Jonathan Bard and Shlomo Globerson), Prentice Hall, 1994. He is the recipient of the Production Operations Management Society 2000 Wick Skinner Teaching Innovation Achievements Award for his book: “Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): The Dynamics of Operations Management” and he is the recipient of the 2008 Project Management Institute Professional Development Product of the Year Award for the training simulator “Project Team Builder – PTB”. His books were published in English, Hebrew, Greek and Chinese.  He can be contacted at [email protected].

To see more works by Prof Avraham Shtub, visit the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/professor-avraham-shtub/


pmwj20-mar2014-shtub-AUTHOR2 ILUZflag-isrealMichal Iluz

Haifa, Israel

Michal Iluz is a researcher at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., Haifa, Israel. Michal Iluz received her B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management and M.E. in Systems Engineering in 2001 and 2008, respectively from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, where she is currently working towards a Ph.D. degree at the Industrial Engineering and Management Faculty. For the past 15 years Michal has gained vast experience in complex project management in the defense industry. Her current research interests include simulator-based decision making,  shared understanding and implement of lean management techniques. Email: [email protected]

pmwj20-mar2014-shtub-AUTHOR3 OEHMENflag-denmarkflag-usaProf Dr. Josef Oehmen

Massachusetts, USA

Prof. Dr. Josef Oehmen is a researcher at the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.  Josef is also an Associate Professor at the Engineering Management Department of the Technical University of Denmark, as well as a Research Affiliate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Josef holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Munich, an MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs in Paris, and a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). His research interests focus on the management of large-scale engineering programs, particularly on the application of lean management techniques and risk management. Josef is the recipient of the 2012 Shingo Award for his book “The Guide to Lean Enablers for Managing Engineering Programs”, as well as numerous other awards for his work on engineering program management and risk management.  Email: [email protected]

pmwj20-mar2014-shtub-AUTHOR4 DUBINSKYflag-isrealDr. Yael Dubinsky

Haifa, Israel

Dr. Yael Dubinsky is affiliated with the Emerging Quality and Design Technologies Department in IBM Research – Haifa (HRL). For more than ten years she is also the instructor of project-based courses at Technion IIT. She has published her work at conferences and journals related to software engineering and information systems, and facilitated workshops and tutorials in leading conferences. Yael has a significant experience with guiding agile implementation processes in the industry and academia. Her book on Agile Software Engineering, which she co-author with Orit Hazzan, was published by Springer at 2008. Email: [email protected]

pmwj20-mar2014-shtub-AUTHOR5 GERSINGflag-usaKilian Gersing

Massachusetts, USA 

Kilian Gersing is a researcher at the Consortium for Engineering Program Excellence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Kilian holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Last year he wrote his master’s thesis as a visiting student at MIT as part of the Consortium for Engineering Program Excellence. The focus of his research lied on the development of workshops and executive trainings for the implementation of Lean Thinking in large-scale engineering programs. Before going to MIT, Mr. Gersing gained significant work experience in internships at the BMW AG in Munich and the Robert Bosch GmbH in Shanghai. Since 2012 he has been collecting entrepreneurial experience as the co-founder of InnoMotions, a technology start-up in Munich, which closely cooperates with BMW. After finishing his studies, he became head of InnoMotions. Email: [email protected]