Lean approaches to continuous improvement, originally practiced and perfected by Toyota Motor Company, have been widely used in the industry sector for many decades. There is a growing trend at universities to adopt lean practices to improve higher education processes. Reduced financial support and growing competition amongst universities and academic programs motivate the implementation of lean practices both at university and department levels.1 Colleges and universities that have adopted lean practices are driven by the need to strategically leverage resources to meet stakeholder expectations, reduce waste or costs, and improve satisfaction with under-performing processes.2 This paper presents an overview of the continuous improvement journey at a university and demonstrates proof of concept via a case study which describes a Kaizen event performed in a multi-disciplinary academic department, in a college of engineering. Higher education is a labor-intensive process, and the department seeks to eliminate non-value added activities of faculty and staff, reduce time and effort required in daily processes, and to improve student learning experiences in the department. These all illustrate important concepts that engineering management education delivers to students. The approach, challenges, and outcomes are presented in the paper to inform best practices in lean higher education.
2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
Paper ID #23435
American Society for Engineering Education
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education
Koromyslova, E., & Steinlicht, C., & Hall, T. J., & Yordanova, A. Y., & Garry, B. G. (2018, June), Implementing Lean Practices in an Academic Department: A Case Study Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30623