Establishing a Lean, or more generally a Continuous Improvement, capability is a huge task, but one for which we have a great enthusiasm and track record. We know that every institution/organisation is different, which is why we tailor this offering to meet your needs, objectives, and organisational culture.

That being said, we generally follow a five-stage implementation plan:

  1. Introduction to Lean for senior management
  2. Planning for implementation
  3. Training for Lean Practitioners (Rapid Improvement Event Facilitators)
  4. Introduction to Lean for all staff
  5. Delivery of process improvement projects

The first stage is a day-long introduction for senior managers to the fundamentals of Lean, the St Andrews Model, and the benefits of adopting Lean throughout your institution/organisation. During this session we will also present a number of case studies detailing the successes of our previous work, and the lessons we have learnt from more than a decade at the forefront of Lean in higher education. You will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and, using a number of games and simulations, apply your new-found knowledge.

Following this, we will sit down with senior management and key stakeholders to develop a plan for embedding Lean at your institution/organisation. Much of the session will be focused on answering such questions as:

  • Should we have a Lean reference group? If so, who will be on it?
  • What do we want to achieve in our first 12 months?
  • Where and when should we begin?
  • Will we have a Continuous Improvement Manager, or a pool of trained Lean Practitioners?
  • What is the focus of our capability (e.g. cost savings / culture change)?

Only you can answer these questions for your institution/organisation, however, as a result of our experience and expert knowledge we can offer advice on and evaluation of suggestions. The essential point of this session is to ensure that your institution/organisation has an appropriate, publicised, and clearly-defined Continuous Improvement aim.

Once the planning stage is complete we can move on to training your Lean Practitioners (and any other support staff you may wish to appoint). Training comprises a Lean theory session, a simulated Rapid Improvement Event, and a period of experience building. The programme assumes that, whether the Continuous Improvement team has knowledge of Lean (or another CI methodology) or not, they are unlikely to have knowledge of the St Andrews Model. We recommend that, prior knowledge notwithstanding, the full training programme should be delivered. We want the practitioners to develop a complete understanding, based on our experience, of what is important and relevant in CI and, specifically, Lean in the higher education and service sectors.

After training the CI team it is necessary to train the remaining staff members. We appreciate that in large institutions/organisations this may not be possible in one go, however, we can accommodate up to 20 participants per half-day session. With the support of the CI manager and/or team it is possible to run multiple simultaneous sessions, which will not only train more staff in a shorter time but also cement the knowledge of these individuals. The content in this session is that same as that for senior managers, however, it is a lighter touch in many areas. Staff walk away with an understanding of Lean, numerous tools and techniques they can apply to their day-to-day work, and the enthusiasm to get behind your CI plan.

The final stage is to implement your CI plan, and apply all of the training, by carrying out a number of process improvement projects. Based on our experience we recommend between three and six RIEs, with the initial ones facilitated primarily by us, and with your CI team supporting. A mentoring relationship ensures that, gradually, over the course of a number of RIEs your team will gain the confidence and capability to eventually take the lead. RIEs last between three-five days but experience tells us that the amount of time required to complete the scoping, planning, redesign, and review stages is often underestimated. With good planning and practice (and because staff have already been trained) it may be possible to consolidate these stages into blocks of one or two days.

We are eager to maintain a relationship with your institution/organisation and so can provide additional mentoring and remote support, as well as networking opportunities for your CI staff.

If you would like to know more, or arrange an initial conversation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.