Hiral A. Shah

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

College of Technology

Committee Member

Tracy Tillman, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Bob Lahidji, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Philip Cardon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Teresa Hall, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pamela Smith, Ph.D.


The purpose of this research was to perform a role delineation study to validate and prioritize the competency areas included in the body of knowledge developed by SME/AME/Shingo for their three levels of certification examinations in lean manufacturing. A modified Delphi technique was used to gather data and describe what experts in the field consider important for candidates to know and become certified in the discipline of lean manufacturing. Seventy-six Delphi panel experts were selected to serve on the Delphi panel, based on their experience, expertise, and commitment. The study incorporated a Web-based pre-Delphi study followed by three rounds of Delphi questionnaire iterations in both mail and electronic format. A hybrid quantitative and qualitative research design was used for this study in which the Delphi experts were asked to rate the importance of competency areas for testing at each level of lean certification using a 5-point Likert scale and provide additional comments. A convergence of opinion on the competency areas obtained from the Delphi study provided a basis for validating the body of knowledge. A combined grand average of the mean rating of importance and yes percent rating for inclusion was utilized to determine the number of items to be included under each major domain for the Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels of lean certification examinations. The results of the study indicated a need for modifications in the body of knowledge, change in percentage of importance to five major domains under each certification level, and inclusion of a few additional competency areas.

Included in

Engineering Commons