Lean Six Sigma Goes Back to School

Lean Six Sigma Goes Back to School

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Lean Six Sigma Goes Back to School

Every industry is built on a foundation of processes and systems. Technology, manufacturing, consulting, thought leadership and more.

If there are underlying processes, then fundamentally, those processes can be improved. That’s why it’s so silly when some people say that Six Sigma and Lean are manufacturing-focused methodologies.

They’re not. They’re process improvement methodologies. And, at the risk of sounding redundant, every industry is built on processes.

Take education as an example. It’s the effective design and delivery of instruction. Methods and styles change from teacher to teacher and student to student, but it’s still a process-based medium. Think about all the administrative work that goes into a school or university. Or the enrollment process.

All this can be improved and strengthened, just like the Toyota production factories and Motorola assembly lines from the early days of Six Sigma.

It might seem far-fetched to you, but it’s absolutely possible, and one school is doing its best to demonstrate it.

A Lesson in Lean Six Sigma

In Racine County, Wisconsin, the Racine Unified School District has applied Lean Six Sigma techniques to redefine its enrollment process in its middle school. Aas part of their Lean Six Sigma initiative, the school’s board members were asked to complete low-level process improvement training, which has already led to some fascinating ideas.

“From our perspective, you can remove Lean Six Sigma from the title and say we bring people together to look at a process from a holistic standpoint,” said Kamaljit Jackson, Unified’s senior accountability and efficiency officer in an article for The Journal Times, a local newspaper.

The district wants to get every staff member involved in process improvement brainstorming (which is a tried-and-true Lean Six Sigma tenet) – everyone from teachers, to receptionists, to janitors. And collectively, the school district wants to figure out how to gather and use data more effectively.

“We have a lot of data points here, and we need to use those data points to make decisions on what strategies we need to use to make sure our students are successful on the academic side,” Jackson said.

Lean Six Sigma and Education

The Racine Unified School District is just one example, and if they’re successful in their process improvement initiative, dissenters might call them an outlier. But the principles of Lean Six Sigma are sound and valid – and there’s no reason they wouldn’t work at other levels of education too.

In fact, they have.

Singapore Management University (SMU) created significant change in their institution by training staff on Lean Six Sigma methodologies. Staff that have already earned their Green Belts are given additional training and guidance to further develop their process improvement knowledge and skills. And, to advance in the training program, staff actually have to put the lessons into action. Everyone is expected to implement and contribute to a Lean Six Sigma project designed to improve the university.

Meanwhile, the University of Miami-Ohio has been called one of the most efficient schools in the country because of their work with Lean and Six Sigma principles – from big, campus-wide initiatives, to small and granular improvements (like digitizing the fingerprinting processes the campus police use).

All industries are founded on processes, and all processes can improve – even if that improvement is only slight. But even so, any improvement – especially in education – is a step in the right direction.

The post Lean Six Sigma Goes Back to School appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

Original: http://www.sixsigmadaily.com/lean-six-sigma-goes-back-school/
By: James LoPresti
Posted: May 23, 2018, 11:00 am

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