Continuous Improvement

What's Happening

Kaizen Events

There are always several Kaizen Events taking place across the Michigan Tech campus. Many departments use these events to improve their processes and reduce waste. If you are interested in holding a Kaizen Event at Michigan Tech, contact the Office of Continuous Improvement at or call 906-487-3180.

Event Name Sponsoring Department Team Leader Problem Statement Applicable Tools
Dining Services 5S: Catering and Dish Room Dining Services Matt Lean Over processing and excess inventory because there is no standard for who orders through catering 5 Why's
Industrial Funding: Women Faculty as Principle Investigators Vice President for Research Pete Larson Female faculty don't submit proposals for industry funding at the same rate as male faculty; female faculty are not funded as Pis at a very high rate by industry sponsors. This results in missed opportunities for faculty, students and the university, and can impact individual faculty with regard to tenure and promotion as well as retention. Hold focus groups to better assess current state
Commencement Volunteers Registrars Kelly Vizanko and Alisha Kocjan Volunteers are often confused, and uniformed of the tasks being asked of them. There isn't a balance of how much each individual volunteer is doing, decreasing volunteer retention rates over time. Some volunteers are thanked in teh form of compensation, where most others are not. Volunteers are not easily identifiable, neither are committee members. This creates confusion with finding the right person to ask questions of. Swimlanes, A3
Streamline receiving process for sponsoring process Sponsor Programs Accounting Christopher Stancher Due to inadequate software and lack of a shared standard amoung colleagues, security inspections are done in a similar but different fashion. Also files are being corrupted because of the software, creating duplicate work and turn around leading to missed deadlines and unnecessary waste.

Process Map/Swimlanes

Commencement Preparation Registrars  Alisha Kocjan There isn't a standardized way to go about preparing the little, but important, details of commencement. Communication between responsible parties is limited creating confusion


New Vendor Set-Up in Banner Finance Traci Bishop Vendor Information is set-up in banner & payments are made regardless if W8/W9 has been received. The form is requested but is not monitored prior to payment being made. There is no method for follow up