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
Office Admin Duties Team Kaizen College of Engineering Lisa Cunard

Currently, the process for assigning general training for students is inefficient, often taking 4 or more weeks to assign to the students. Furthermore, the process for notifying the student of the safety training is potentially confusing for the student.

Swim Lanes, Process Mapping
Third Attempt Process Dean of Students Laura Bulleit

The lack of awareness on the part of the student, poor guidance on the part of the advisors, and an unfriendly permission process, leads to confusion for the students and wastes the time of all those involved with the permission process to retake a class for the 3rd time.

Standard Work
Alley Maker Space Improvement Memorial Union Gi West

Currently, time-wasting and unclear processes with respect to training and tool checkout limit the number of time coaches can be engaging and coaching makers. Also, this opens the door for unsafe situations, with untrained users using tools.

Swim Lanes, Process Mapping, 5 Whys
Financial Value Stream Process Mapping Purchasing Danielle Cyrus

Currently, there are many different processes and tools (electronic, manual, etc.) to purchase items, both intra and inter-departmentally. Many steps of these processes are redundant, and there is a lack of procedures to control, track and audit current processes. The inefficiencies in these processes lead to a waste of time and money, as well as creating potential legal issues.  


Process Mapping, Swim Lanes
Utility Bills Payment Process Finance & Administration Larry Hermanson The process for utility bills payments is repetitive and has many ambiguous steps. This leads to many errors occurring during the payment of bills. Process Mapping, Standard Work
Facilities Work Order System Finance & Administration Dan Liebau Facilities work order data entry process is not consistent throughout maintenance, grounds, and trades. This isn't preventing work from being completed, but it is preventing the department from utilizing the data to make data-driven decisions surrounding staffing, supplies order/purchasing, and other strategic maintenance. Ultimately, these do negatively impact customer service, since making these data-driven decisions have potential to hugely benefit customers. Standard Work
Custodial Cleaning Standards Facilities Management Wendy Hackman There is not a formal training program for custodians. There is inconsistent cleaning around campus based on how the individual is trained. Some buildings/floors are cleaned vastly different because there is no set standards. Standard Work, Visual Controls, Shadow Board
Process Mapping of Time Clock Plus Dining Services Colin Neese Dining Services utilizes Time-Clock Plus (TCP) to track employee hours, however, there was concern that Dining Service Managers spent too much time maintaining TCP data. Lack of reporting ability out of TCP increased the time spent maintaining data. Also, many students worked in multiple areas of dining and therefore had different TCP codes, this allowed for students to get paid out of the wrong code, or receive duplicate pay. Swim Lanes, Kata
5S of MUB Storage Rooms Memorial Union Kari Pietrzyk The disorganization of the furniture storage rooms on the 2nd floor of the MUB lead to broken equipment, injuries, and inventory issues. This was hypothesized to be a result of lack of training in place and no active organization processes 5S, Spaghetti Diagram, Gemba walks