History of Lean at Michigan Tech

Our Story

  • In 2008 President Glenn Mroz initiated bringing Lean practices to Michigan Tech.  A Lean consultant was brought in to help establish the process.  After two years this engagement created a baseline group of Lean Implementation Staff.
  • In 2009 the Manager of Process Improvement position was created to coordinate Lean Practices on campus.
  • In 2011 a grant was received from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to bring in more training.  Two training groups were formed - Lean Facilitators and Lean Implementation Leaders.
  • In Fiscal Year 2011-2012 the Office of Continuous Improvement began publishing an Annual Report covering information about the events that took place at Michigan Tech over the last year.
  • The Continuous Improvement blog began in March of 2011 as another way to share more stories of Continuous Improvement.

An Organization of Change

There are many degrees of change that can result in improvements within an organization.  These degrees can be grouped into three categories

  • Strategic Initiatives - University-wide change
  • Improvement Events - Interdepartmental or benefit from a cross-functional team
  • Individual Improvements - that each person makes day-to-day and moment-to-moment as new possibilities are revealed

One of Michigan Tech's strategic goals is to "attract, retain, and support a world-class and diverse faculty, staff, and student population."  One way to do this is to continuously improve upon the day-to-day processes that allow our University to operate - whether in areas that directly serve our students, in behind-the-scenes functions that help us do our jobs, or in enhancing an environment where faculty, staff and students are fulfilled and motivated to seek new ways to innovate.

Through this process of identifying and improving, those of us in the Michigan Tech community can develop a problem-solving mindset that allows us to habitually, cooperatively, and rigorously strive for "perfection" in our work.