Monday, September 30, 2013

LEAN in Education

Colleges and institutes of higher learning have been faced with the same economic challenges the rest of the country has seen. Over the past few years, there has been increased pressure to create and sustain a more market driven environment. There are several suggestions in the 2011 Diamond Report on how these institutions can adopt a LEAN approach and ensure their survival.

Showing educational establishments how they can improve and increase collaborative arrangements with the effective flow of information is the main goal of LEAN projects.

Integration is Key

The private sector has benefited from LEAN concepts since as far back as the 14th century. These concepts include, continuous improvement, Standard of working, Value Stream Analysis, flow and pull. As with many things proven useful over the years these concepts were first used in military operations for the production of warships, reducing the fire time during a broadside encounter and interchangeable weapons parts.

Transformations in the public sector bodies of armed forces, local government and healthcare have been ongoing and used the concepts of the LEAN program at their core. In tough economic times such as these, it is important that companies, public or private, find ways to increase profitability by reducing waste. LEAN is integral to this process. Organizations that adopt the LEAN program discover certain principles:

Knowledge sharing and building a stratagem for improvements

Executing and development of collaborative projects between different departments throughout the institution.

Creating an effective and defined process.


The Diamond Report stresses the importance of developing a long-term vision and implementing a system that provides for easy access to necessary data on performance, if academic institutions desire improvement. In order to develop and implement programs appropriate measures and the introduction of LEAN must be a part of an overall strategy. If you want more details, they can be found in this report.

LEAN concepts can are a very successful way for higher education establishments to implement all the improvements recommended in the Diamond Report.