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
IT Supplies 5S Information Technology Erika Erkkila The IT department has three places for their supplies. The system for ordering supplies for these spaces was minimal and undefined. They could not visually see when a supply had run out and did not know if what is in the supply areas was what was needed for the office. This inadequate system for ordering caused frustration and confusion. 5S
Custodial Cleaning Standards Facilities Management Wendy Hackman There is not a formal training program for custodians. There is inconsistant 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
Ford Center Google Drive 5S  Ford Forestry Center Kallan Green The files in the drive are unorganized leading to files not being found in a timely manner. Additionally the files do not have a consistent naming system, and the current permission system used is unwieldy. 5S, Process Map, 5 Whys, Time Studies
Work Order Process Mapping Facilities Management Lori Weir Multiple processes existed for handling incoming work orders from creation to completion for maintenance, grounds, trades, and facilities. There were outdated manuals that used specific names of people who were no longer in the positions described. ICE, PACE, Process Map
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
IT Support Ticket Process Information Technology Charlie Temple IT Operations is partnered closely with the IT Help-Desk to combat IT Support Tickets. This made it difficult for both lines-of-defense to each know where their roles began and ended. As a result, tickets were being given to the operations side with little-to-no information, and there was confusion as to why they were receiving the tickets and not another department of IT or why the Help-Desk could not alleviate them in the first place.  Swim Lanes, 5 Why's, Fishbone Diagram