INF 322 Introduction to Lean Six Sigma Principles — Spring 2021 — Complex Adaptive Syllabus (CAS)

LSSv2.0 created by Dr. Schwandt via Plectica

INF 322 Introduction to Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Principles is built upon the methodology of LSSv2.0.

The purpose of the Complex Adaptive Syllabus (CAS) is to provide a deeper understanding of the structure of my teaching methodology and how this course will be conducted.

For those of you thinking of immediately dropping this course, I suggest you visit the Swarm Learning (SL) Facebook Group and interact with former students. This course provides you the freedom to complete assignments as they post.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Dr. Jamie Schwandt can be reached at

Dr. Schwandt Teaching Map (presentation — click here)

What is LSSv2.0?

LSSv2.0 is contextually-driven decision-making and a sense-making methodology that helps us identify and recognize our problems and situations prior to making a decision. It is taught using the philosophy and methodology of Swarm Learning (SL). It uses the theory and methodology of Distinctions-Systems-Relationships-Perspectives (DSRP). LSSv2.0 uses the Cynefin framework to aid decision-making and identify the location of a problem. Within this framework, LSSv2.0 uses multiple methodologies to accurately define a situation or location of a problem to ensure the correct method or tool is utilized — methods such as Scrum, LSS, Systems Thinking v2.0, and Recognition Primed Decision (RPD).

LSSv2.0 seeks to shift focus away from traditional problem-solving approaches and decision-making towards contextually-driven decision-making and sense-making approaches.


Swarm Learning (SL) is a teaching philosophy and methodology where students provide continuous feedback to change a class while in progress — where the feedback changes how students learn concepts but does not change the concepts they must learn — in order to teach students how to think, not what to think — where the overarching intent is to facilitate a fast transfer of learning. [Swarm Learning was created by Jamie Schwandt]

book available at

Distinctions-Systems-Perspectives-Relationships (DSRP) is a theory and method of thinking. Theory: four structures are inherent in every piece of knowledge and are universal to all human thinking and that any piece of information can be viewed using each of these structures to gain a deeper understanding of that information. Method: is built upon two premises: first, that humans build knowledge, with knowledge and thinking being in a continuous feedback loop, and second, that knowledge changes. [DSRP was created by Derek and Laura Cabrera]

  • DSRP Theory guides the Philosophy of SL
  • DSRP Methodology was used to develop the Methodology of SL
book available at
book available at

Cynefin Framework is a conceptual framework used to aid decision-making. It is a sense-making device — where sense-making is the process by which we give meaning to experiences. The framework possesses five domains or decision-making contexts: Clear, Complicated, Complex, Chaotic, and Disordered. These domains or contexts help us to identify how we perceive situations and make sense of behaviors. They offer a “sense of place” from which to analyze behavior and make decisions. [Cynefin Framework was created by Dave Snowden]

Required Textbooks and Supplementary Reading

All four books are required for this course. Visit the following links if you have not (or were not able) to purchase them from the FHSU bookstore:

Swarm Learning: Teaching Students How To Think, Not What To Think

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook: A Quick Reference Guide to Nearly 100 Tools for Improving Quality and Speed

What The Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City

I recommend the following books as they will allow you to dive deeper into each concept. You are not required to purchase them.

*Some of the following books and documents can be read for free.

  1. Flock Not Clock by Derek and Laura Cabrera.
  2. Systems Thinking Made Simple by Derek and Laura Cabrera.
  3. Thinking at Every Desk by Derek and Laura Cabrera.
  4. The Cartoon Guide to Statistics by Larry Gonick.
  5. Online Statistics Education: An Interactive Multimedia Course of Study developed by Rice University, University of Houston Clear Lake, and Tufts University.
  6. Systems Thinking for Health Systems Strengthening published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  7. Design Unbound (volume 1 & 2) by Ann Pendleton-Julian and John Seely Brown.
  8. Design in Nature by Adrian Bejan and J. Peder Zane.
  9. The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto — or use the following free handout: The Pyramid Principle Handout.
  10. The Red Team Handbook: The Army’s Guide To Making Better Decisions published by the University of Foreign Military Cultural Studies (UFMCS).
  11. The Art of Reasoning by David Kelley.
  12. The Logical Structure of Objectivism by William Thomas and David Kelley.
  13. Awareness and Action: A General Semantics Approach to Effective Language Behavior by Mary P. Lahman.
  14. Raising the Bar by Don Vandergriff.
  15. Maneuver Warfare Handbook by William S. Lind.

Course Schedule & Grading

This schedule is tentative and might change during the semester depending on how the course evolves. Students will be notified of any changes through announcements sent via e-mail and announcements via WordPress. If time is mentioned in the course, it refers to Central Time Zone.

Grades will be recorded in Blackboard.

Types of Assignments

A Knowledge Trail (KT) is similar to a concept map.

A Feedback Trail (FT) is similar to a KT. It provides feedback to the group and the instructor.

An Essay/Blog Map (EM) is also similar to a KT. However, it helps students craft one fantastic essay or blog. You can view more student map examples by visiting the SL Wiki (click student maps).

At the end of each assignment, you will complete a survey via SurveyMonkey.

Example of a Survey

Blog & Extra Credit

In addition, the first student to post an assignment will earn 10 extra credit points. For example, the first student to post and share KT1 will earn 10 extra credit points. The first student to post and share KT2 will earn 10 extra credit points.

As of January 14, 2021, 54 students have published blogs. You can view each student blog here (or click Student Writing on the Swarm Learning Wiki):

image via

Students will earn 10 extra credit points for posting and discussing their assignments in the SL Facebook Group. In the group, you will find former students, current students, and experts. This group will be a definite go-to for those of you thinking of immediately dropping.


Information regarding the project will become available as the class progresses.

Within the project includes a practical comprehensive exam. Students MUST receive a passing score to move along in the LSS Certification Program.

Course Objectives

LSSv2.0 Black Belt Certification Program Curriculum

Collaborative Assignment/Project

Collaborative Project among three courses

Course Flow: How to Complete Your First Assignment

Step #1. From Blackboard, click Start Here. From there you can view the Traditional Syllabus, the Complex Adaptive Syllabus (CAS), and the Class WordPress Site. You will receive an e-mail invite to the Class WordPress Site. The site can be found at


The Traditional Syllabus can be found on Google Docs at

It can also be viewed in the Class WordPress Site.

Step #2. From the Class WordPress Site, click the Syllabus & How-To Video. After you read and watch the video, view the other websites, such as: Swarm Learning Wiki. However, at this point, you only need to sign-up for Minitab (click here for the student discount) and the Plectica (FHSU Promo). You can also see information for each assignment (as they post) in Modules.

Class WordPress Site

Sign-up for your Plectica account using your FHSU student e-mail account (don’t forget your password — and you must use your FHSU student e-mail). You will then need to remember your password and use your FHSU e-mail for all logins.

Click and watch the Plectica Introduction video.


Click and watch the Minitab Video (you don’t have to view the full video).


Step #3. Click Modules (or find and click on Dr. Schwandt’s name), Introduction, KT1. Watch the KT1 How-To Video then complete your first assignment.

Swarm Learning App

Download the Swarm Learning App here: or live at Visit the Jobs icon to see what careers (and pay!) you could earn with a LSS certification.

SL App

LSS Black Belt Certification

Information regarding certification will become available as the class progresses.

Concluding Remarks

Don’t panic, watch the how-to video, and interact with your peers and experts in the SL Facebook Group. If you do those three things, then you will be just fine.

I will conclude with a message to you from a former student.

“Message to new students: The first couple weeks are going to feel like a confused, hot mess. My best advice is to jump in headfirst. Forget about a life vest, prior swimming skills, or even to keep your head above water. Jump in and give it a try. You will feel much better afterwards. The beauty of Dr. Schwandt’s class is that there are no right or wrong answers, only your reasoning. It’s going to feel weird, strange, frustrating (insert your own term). That is okay. That is how it is supposed to feel. You have to move outside your comfort zone to experience true learning. The classes might not teach what you think you are going to learn, but what you do learn is so much more than you could ever imagine. Much more than what is listed in the class curriculum. Because what you learn is not something dictated by a professor to fulfill a curriculum, but rather information that you, as an individual, needed to learn about yourself and society. At the end you will be left with a sense of accomplishment and a deeper understanding of both yourself and society. But you must take the first step.” — Anni Satterfield, FHSU student Fall 2018

Dr. Schwandt (Ed.D.) is an American author, L6S master black belt, and red teamer.

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