Introduction to Industrial Engineering

By Jane M. Fraser

Chapter 5

The IE Approach

Return to the Table of Contents.

How does an IE improve efficiency, quality, and safety?

In this chapter Iíll explain PDCA and DMAIC, two acronyms that explain the steps an IE uses, and the tools used in these steps. Iíll also explain five frameworks that will give you a larger view: systems thinking, lean operations, Demingís 14 points, Six Sigma, and sustainability. These five frameworks will help you understand how to do the steps of PDCA or DMAIC within an organization. They help us think about

  1. the organization as a system,
  2. the goals of the organization,
  3. the people in the organization,
  4. the essential goal of reducing variability, and
  5. the organizationís ongoing viability.

Finally, Iíll talk about fads. The tasks and frameworks for IE get repackaged and resold very regularly. Should we care? Should we do something about this situation?

This chapter has the following sections:

For each of the approaches in sections 5.1 through 5.6, I will also explain the tools an IE uses in that approach.


  1. In class we will brainstorm possible causes for the problem that not all students get an A in every class. Use that list to create a cause-and-effect or fishbone diagram in Visio.
  2. Use Visio to:
    1. Create a map from your house to the CSU-Pueblo campus.
    2. Make an organization chart for an organization with which you are familiar.