Lean University

I had a great meeting with the University’s Lean team this afternoon.

Lean use elite ninja-like skills to focus on a process, to ensure that it is as waste-free as possible. Key Lean principles are:

  • identifying and eliminating waste
  • continuous improvement of processes
  • ensuring that each stage in a process adds value

Toyota pioneered Lean Manufacturing on these principles in the 1980s and revolutionised automotive production. Toyota is now the most successful automotive production company in the world.

So now you know.

Oh, and the team are fantastic, lovely people.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

2 thoughts on “Lean University”

  1. Lean is a lovely concept until its you – or your work – that gets described as “waste”. I work in the legal department of a firm thats been “leaned” and we tire of telling people complying with the law is not “waste”. I think it works best on a production line like Toyota, less well in my line of work and, I suspect, yours.

    I look forward to reading your experience.

  2. My experience of Lean here is that because it’s being overseen by folks from within the University, who know the business of the University it’s been working very well.

    It’s getting away from the “it’s aye been that way” mentality and finding new ways of getting things done.

    The biggest problem I’ve heard from folks is that they’re taken out of the office for say 5 days to “be leaned”, they work out a new solution, but when they return to the office there is an extra 5-days worth of work to catch up on.

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