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
MUB Basement 5S part 2 Auxiliary Services Kari Pietrzyk After the first MUB Basement 5S, it was discovered that there isn't a standard for how to utlize space or items. There isn't a standard for how to train people in using these areas. Gemba walk, 5S, Audits
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

MUB Basement 5S Auxiliary Services Kari Pietrzyk There are not homes for all items. There is no standard for space and items.

Gemba walk, 5S, Audit

MUB Basement Dining Dining Services Bill Corrigan Repetitionof movement of equipment. Equipment doesn't have a place, clutter is causing safety issues. This creates flow problems for operations. Space is not being utilized, and there are unnecessary items that people don't know about

Root Cause Analysis

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


Scheduling Conference Rooms in the Library JR Van Pelt and Opie Library Chad Arney There are many ways that a conference room can be scheduled. This allows for the rooms to be scheduled by library staff as well as non-library staff. There is no standard for how to schedule a room, not how to invite the room to a meeting


5S of the Foundry Lab Material Science and Engineering Matt Otte There is a limited range of space at work stations and supplies can be maneuvered within, without a place to call "home". Some stations are completely fixed. There is lots of confusion and frustration associated with spending time tyring to find an item, until giving up and purchasing a new item. Employees are inadequately using their time by continuously trying to organize chaos alongside their regular duties. Because of the amount of clutter there is a high risk for safety hazards 5S, Spaghetti Diagram
Process Mapping of Timeclock Plus Office of Information Services Colin Neese Dining Services utilizes Timeclock Plus (TCP) to track employees hours. Concerns have been raised that Dining Services Managers spend too much time maintaining TCP data. Lack of ability to report out of TCP increases the extra time spent by managers to manage it.  Swimlanes