LEAP: Lean and Agile Practices Linking Engineering Higher Education to Industry
ERASMUS+ KA2 Higher Education project 2016-1-EL01-KA203-023624 (through the ERASMUS+ Greek National Agency IKY).
LEAP aims at building experience and knowledge among higher education students on emerging lean and agile industry practices empowering them to effectively transition into the professional world, focusing on engineering disciplines. The project further aims at closing the new digital divide by promoting the development of high quality digital content for higher education linked to both academic and industry needs. Lean practices will encourage students to design solutions that meet needs while minimizing the deployment of resources. Agile practices expose students to industry cycles in which design is integrated throughout production processes, as opposed to only in the early stages of production, ensuring that the final product effectively addresses consumer needs.
LEAP deploys serious games that encourage learners to adopt industry roles, to think critically for addressing community and societal needs through agile engineering solutions, to practice on the application of industrial process management in the context of their higher education curricula, and to take into account environmental responsibility issues in service design and implementation. The LEAP project demonstrates how lean and agile practices can offer benefits throughout engineering and beyond the sectors in which they were originally conveived, namely automotive and software respectively.
Three serious games developed as learning applications. The games explore the topics of:
Technical debt, which refers to the benefits of investing in good practices early in the implementation process in order to contain costs further down in the production.
5S, which refers to lean practices and specifically the methodology of sorting, ordering, shining/cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining. The process, which was first introduced in the automotive industry, aims at containing production costs by eliminating unnecessary practices. 3 scenarios have been developed to demonstrate that lean practices offer benefits in wide sectors. The scenarios focus on organizing a pharmacy (medical sector), a scrapyard (manufacturing), and a digital office space (digital economy).
SCRUM, which refers to the related popular agile design methodology, which aims to ensure that software best addresses the needs of target users. SCRUM includes roles, namely SCRUM Master, Team Member, and Product Owner (typically the customer). The team prioritizes tasks and delivers a product incrementaly in cycles that are called "SCRUMS". The application includes two scenarios that show how agile can benefit sectors beyond software engineering. The scenarios focus on urban design and agricultural design.
The project further developed instructional support content in the form of learning sheets of suggested activities, videos that demonstrate the functionality of the LEAP games, and reference manuals.
All project results are openly available on the LEAP project portal. In addition, the source code of the applications is available on the project portal with the objective of allowing interested parties to reuse the code for the development of additional scenarios or applications that target either the same sector (higher education) or others.
The LEAP portal is http://leapproject.eu