The Office of Continuous Improvement at Michigan Tech provides a learning platform for faculty, staff, and students using Lean Principles and connects Lean practitioners across campus. We share stories, provide tools and resources, and celebrate improvements as we grow in our practices.

School of Lean from the Gemba Academy Subscription

The School of Lean subscription includes streaming video tutorials as well as relevant learning materials, such as auto-graded self-quizzes, video overviews, and Excel templates that you can use anytime to apply what you are learning.

To get started, email us at improvement@mtu.edu to get a username and password. Then, go to www.gembaacademy.com and use the "Log In" button in the top right corner of any page. You may access the training here at the university, from home, or from your mobile or tablet device.

We also have the videos in DVD format, which you may check out from our Lean Library.

Introduction to Lean Workshops for Michigan Tech Employees

The Office of Continuous Improvement is again offering Introduction to Lean workshops for Michigan Tech employees. Training dates and times can be found online.

In the Introduction to Lean workshop, you'll learn basic Lean concepts and methods you might encounter on the job. You'll also learn about Lean culture and the principles of Lean thinking, and participate in problem-solving using the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Adjust) model. You'll use the 5 Whys to discover root causes, identify waste and unsafe acts and conditions, and recommend process improvements. When you finish the workshop, you'll be ready to actively participate in a kaizen (improvement) event led by others.

Continuous Improvement Blog

President Glenn Mroz

Glenn Mroz

PhD, Forestry

Contact

906-487-2200
gdmroz@mtu.edu

Traditionally, “lean thinking” is a philosophy of continuous improvement often associated with manufacturing, where lean approaches are applied as a means to identify waste and non-value-added steps in the production of goods and the procurement of services. Applying lean thinking in a higher education environment may seem an unusual approach, but it’s one that makes sense considering the economic challenges colleges and universities are now facing. Lean is a comprehensive approach to developing and promoting a systematic—and, even a cultural—change that can help educational institutions fundamentally re-think how we can effectively respond to the needs and expectations of those we serve.

At Michigan Tech, we started our Lean journey in 2008, as we began to systematically look at ways to improve upon various processes within the University. We did this by seeking input from employees at all levels, and by promoting a problem-solving mindset as we examined how to enhance the value of University processes for those we serve. Our continuous improvement efforts are intended to involve everyone at Michigan Tech: students, staff, and faculty alike. Our hope is to encourage the Michigan Tech community to actively engage in problem-solving activities by identifying ways to use resources effectively, eliminate waste, and add value to the Michigan Tech experience at all levels.

As we accomplish our overarching goal of creating the future through high-quality education and research excellence, it’s vital that we continuously examine the ways we provide our services, so we can continue our work as a competitive research and educational institution, and as a desirable place of employment.

Traditionally, “lean thinking” is a philosophy of continuous improvement often associated with manufacturing, where lean approaches are applied as a means to identify waste and non-value-added steps in the production of goods and the procurement of services. Applying lean thinking in a higher education environment may seem an unusual approach, but it’s one that makes sense considering the economic challenges colleges and universities are now facing.