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LEAN and Continuous Improvement

LEAN and Continuous Improvement

The Organizational Effectiveness Program at UW Tacoma offers training, project support, resources and team facilitation to achieve improved quality and efficiency and reduced waste. In the same spirit and approach as our UW colleagues in the Provost's Organizational Effectiveness Initiative and in Finance and Facilities, the UWT OE Program bases its quality work on the principles of both Continuous Improvement and LEAN practices. Continuous improvement and LEAN principles and practices derive from the work of Dr. W. Edward Deming and from the Toyota Production System that focuses on eliminating waste and creating value for the customer. We strive to keep the process simple, jargon free and a to help incorporate this approach as a natural part of your unit's culture.

Sample LEAN Projects at UWT

Just Do It Education Fees Process Improvement

After a one hour meeting in February between representatives of the Education Program and Finance, several process changes improved service to students and created savings in staff time and materials.

Lean Citations Project

Implemented in the Fall of 2010, the LEAN Citations Project streamlined processes for tracking and payment of parking citations issued by Campus Safety and Security, saving money for the University and improving customer service.

5S Project in MAT 354 Finance and Administration Suite

Learn how the Japanese process of Sort - Straighten - Shine - Standardize - Sustain was used to reclaim precious wasted space, transform a meeting area, and saving $700 in immediate expenses.

Bulk Student Access Cards

Issuing cards to a large group of students for access to computer labs was a time consuming and costly process. A revising process yielded outstanding savings and better service to students.

Food Approval Process

An improved process for food approval requests was initially implemented in January of 2012 after undergoing LEAN process improvement scrutiny, and then was revisited again in April 2012 for a second phase of improvements. Read the story, as the process timeline was reduced from 3 days to 3 hours on average and saved university resources by going paperless!


Need support?

LEAN project consultation and facilitation is available!

So you know you have a process that is wasting time and resources and causing problems for customers and staff. You want to fix this but don't know where to begin? Consultative support is available!

Our staff will meet with you to explore the situation and discuss options for how to approach the project. We'll talk with you and help to clearly define the problem, who is impacted, the depth of the impact, time constraints, desire to train staff in LEAN, priorities and potential savings, etc. Together we will develop a plan to address the issue. Facilitation support will be available if desired throughout the project. We also aim to help units to become self-sustaining in this kind of work so that your staff can apply LEAN skills and tools to other processes that need improving.

Training and Community of Practice

Visit the OE Learning and Development page to learn more about training opportunities to build Lean, continuous improvement and related skills.

Check out the Community of Practice page to learn about opportunities to learn through practical application of Lean, continuous improvement and organizational effectiveness tools, techniques and approaches at UWT. Join a group of like-minded employees interested in building their skills and the capacity of the campus for improvement and positive change!