Strategies for successful deployment and sustainment of Lean Six Sigma in healthcare sector in India: a multi-level perspective

Shreeranga Bhat, E. V. Gijo, Jiju Antony, Jennifer Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to present Lean Six Sigma (LSS) deployment and sustainment strategies for the healthcare sector from a multi-level perspective. The objective is to present LSS implementation insights to enable policymakers, practitioners and academicians to test and develop an LSS framework for healthcare sectors. Design/methodology/approach: The strategies identified are the result of a multi-method research design involving literature review, action research (AR) and Delphi study. Further, the AR portion of the study involved more than 10 years of projects focused on the deployment of LSS in the healthcare sector. Findings: The strategies include a holistic view from the multi-level perspective, considering the Top Management Level, Middle Management Level and Operational Level. The authors ascertained 27 strategies across the three levels of organizational structure for the effective deployment of LSS. Further, the authors present a customized LSS “pocket guide” from the healthcare perspective for quick reference. Research limitations/implications: The strategies delineated in this study are based on the Indian healthcare section only; thus, further research in additional geographic contexts is needed. Also, further research is necessary to provide additional empirical validation of the effects of the identified strategies on LSS program outcomes and to verify that the strategies operate at the proposed organizational levels. Future research should also focus on identifying the interrelationships between strategies within and across levels, developing a “road map” for LSS implementation in hospitals and designing the LSS curriculum for medical schools and other medical training programs. Practical implications: Observations of this study can contribute to developing a holistic framework for successful LSS implementation in the healthcare sector for academicians, practitioners and policymakers. This, in turn, ensures an enhanced value proposition, improved quality of life and reduced healthcare operational costs. Thus, it ensures a win-win situation among all the stakeholders of the healthcare sector. Originality/value: The strategies put forth will enable the LSS researchers, academicians and, more particularly, practitioners to delve deeper into specific enablers and safeguard the LSS deployment from backlash. The research has two significant benefits. Firstly, it enhances the understanding of LSS from the healthcare perspective. Secondly, it provides direction for future studies with specific components for hospitals’ LSS framework, which can be further tested, refined and improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-445
Number of pages32
JournalTQM Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 26 2023


  • Healthcare
  • Lean Six Sigma
  • Operational strategies
  • Sustainability


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