iSixSigma

How Can I Apply Six Sigma and Lean to Improve Academic Institutions?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums General Forums Implementation How Can I Apply Six Sigma and Lean to Improve Academic Institutions?

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #248650

    tapiseniryan
    Participant

    How can one apply TQM, SIX SIGMA, Kaizen and Lean principles to improve  the management of an academic institution.

    1
    #248653

    Katie Barry
    Keymaster

    @tapiseniryan Did you search our site before asking your question? We have an education section of content: https://www.isixsigma.com/industries/education/

    0
    #248677

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    tapiseniryan That is a question that sounds very profound on some esoteric level. What does it actually mean? Let’s say we do some research and find out that your bachelors degree in a particular subject has an average placement rate of a certain percentage. It has a mean starting salary with a standard deviation. There should be benchmarks that you could compare yourself to. How you measure against those benchmarks is a reflection of the Voice of the Customer. I am sure you will argue that the student is your customer but they are not. The product is someone with a degree from your institution. You should be the ones driving that value in the market place. Those student are offered jobs based primarily on your reputation.

    You could also do some basic financial analysis. What is the total cost to get a degree form your institution? If I take the starting wage I should be able to create some type of ratio of what you degree costs versus what my value is in the market place. Like a diamond ring – your degree is 3X the average yearly salary. Your degree is 10X the average yearly salary. That allows you to do a couple things. Improve your value in the market or cut your cost.

    As I write this I am pretty sure this was not your question but it should be. typical management ratios and metrics can be applied to schools. As much as you may or may not believe it there is nothing special about the management of a school. It is a business and your product is batch produced a couple times per year. I am pretty sure that will be a very unpopular view but read what Deming wrote about Obstacles to improvement and the Deadly Diseases particularly the part on “we are different.”

    Just my opinion

    1
    #248700

    Strayer
    Participant

    @Mike-Carnell: Well, you knew someone was going to quibble.  Education has an inherent value that can’t be measured by such things as placement rates and incomes of graduates.  Speaking for myself, my undergrad degree was liberal arts with a double major in English and philosophy.  Not highly employable even back then.  I found it invaluable when I got into IT.  What is programming, after all, than language and logic?

    I don’t think success of graduates is what this question is about, although maybe it should be, since @tapiseniryan asked about “managing” an academic institution.  I was involved in six sigma for administrative processes where the most difficult part was defining the customer and their specifications.  I insisted that it tie back to the end customer but making that connection was difficult since it’s always indirect.

    1
    #248718

    tapiseniryan
    Participant

    Thank for sparing your precious time to respond to my question.

    I agree with your opinion based on the analysis that students in this setup can viewed as customer . i tried to simplify the question for my better understanding which has in return reflected more complex.perhaps i might air out the solid question like it was imposed.

    HOW CAN YOU APPLY TQM, SIX SIGMA, KAIZEN AND LEAN PRINCIPLES IN THE MANAGEMENT OF AN ACADEMIC INSTITUTION.

     

    Stipulated above was the actual question posed.

    will be grad to hear from you soon and thank you in anticipaton.

     

    0
    #248765

    Oliver Kozak
    Participant

    Hi, Academic institutions fall into the service segment of industry. Look for Lean Six Sigma resources that focus on LSS in services. Typically, the nature of problems and deployment have a different style in services vs manufacturing. Here are some ideas.

    Then, another aspect is in profit VS not for profit (or government), if it is a public institution. The benchmark for starting projects is not financial value (as it is for the for profit business), but serving clients better. For profit organisation want to focus on the customer, because they want to increase profits. Not for profit organisation want to serve clients directly, that is their primary goal.

    In academia, typically you will do a lot of lean tools in the beginning, and there will be a lot of organisational resistance towards these concept, lack of KPIs and data, lack of process maps, many processes are not standardised and/or not managed. Just the concept of focusing the customer will be new. After doing 1-3 years of Lean and Yellow Belt toolset, then you will start to have data to measure and use Green Belt toolsets.

    I would focus first on reducing lead times, and then later to improve quality. Cost saving is mostly messured in FTE, and is political topic, what do people do who are not needed in the process anymore? I would leave that for the later times, and management to decide if they want it.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Oliver Kozak.
    0
    #248899

    Fausto Galetto
    Participant

    Your question makes no sense for an Institution that really wants to make Future Quality Managers (now students).

    0
    #248900

    margokammeyer
    Participant

    This is an excellent question and Academic Institutions are definitely a great place to apply Lean concepts.  Oliver has provided the best insight and recommendations for moving forward.  There are so many opportunities to evaluate existing business processes and remove waste, both in the back offices and in student facing services.  I have found in academia, there is a lot of redundancy, waiting, rework, lack of standardization, etc. that can be improved by Lean.  Many of the lean tools/techniques can apply just as they would in any service industry.  Lots of case studies out there and many Universities have formal Lean programs.

    0
Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.