The capstone project is an integral part of the MBOE program. Students, in agreement with their sponsor and MBOE faculty, will focus their improvement projects on a specific value stream. Benefits from the project often far exceed the cost of tuition and related expenses.

The value stream selection will be driven by current performance gaps at the sponsor company and should be aligned with the company’s broader strategic objectives.
Leading a team within their own organization, students will complete four, three month improvement cycles over the course of the program. Each student is assigned an experienced faculty coach who reviews their progress and mentors the student through regular contact using a variety of technologies.

Progress reviews are accomplished by the constant sharing of A3 "storyboards" and status reports during each in-class module. A final report-out is a major element of the successful improvement project. In most cases, the benefits to the organization that flow from the project far exceed the tuition and related expenses for the program. More importantly, the hands-on project reinforces the classroom learning and provides the student an opportunity to quickly exploit MBOE learning to make a difference within their organizations.

Achieving Real Results
Past students have helped their sponsoring organizations experience the following results:

  • Plastic manufacturer reduced capital costs from $1.5M to less than $125,000
  • Hospital reduced insurance appeal lead time from 49 days to 14 days
  • Industrial project manufacturer reduced lead time from 238 days to 14 days
  • Medical lab reduced critical test turnaround time from 224 minutes to 59 minutes
  • Software developer reduced lead time from 60 minutes to 10 minutes and error rate from 33% to 5%
  • Coaches

    Each student will be paired with a faculty coach for the duration of the program. The faculty coaches have extensive knowledge and first hand experience with lean systems, six sigma and value stream improvement. 

    The role of the coach is to observe the planning and progress of the student, provide feedback at regular intervals and mentor the student through the entire improvement life cycle. Through this close interaction, the student will be able to learn from the tacit, experiential knowledge of the coach.

  • Sponsors

    A sponsor is a senior-level manager within the student’s own company, who is providing organizational support for the student in the MBOE program. The sponsor holds ultimate responsibility for the performance of the chosen value stream, ensures alignment between the improvement project and broader strategic objectives and will be regularly involved in the project’s progress reviews. View the informational video about being a sponsor.

MBOE Capstone Projects at The OSU Knowledge Bank

Search the Knowledge Bank to view past student Capstone Projects including an abstract, their A3, return on investment and other documents.


Laurie Spadaro
Director, MBOE

Fisher College of Business
Executive Education
110 Pfahl Hall
280 W. Woodruff Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210-1144