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By: Tim Washington

Dear readers,

Firstly, particularly in light of this blog relating to work we undertook for a group from China, best wishes from us for a happy and safe Chinese New Year.

I believe this blog has been published on what is the fifth day of the New Year, which according to what we have read, entails some feasting. Sadly, for us, the University of St Andrews has just substantially increased the price of sandwiches and jacket potatoes, so feasting is alas firmly off the agenda for us here, but we hope any feasting is being enjoyed elsewhere.

On Monday 9th December we had the pleasure of being joined in London by a group of 25 deputy school leaders and deans from Universities in Chongqing City, China as part of their 3-week study tour in the UK. With a population of over 31 million people and lying on the Yangtze river, Chongqing City is one of China’s four National Central Cities alongside Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin and is one of the most important economic centres in Western China. The purpose of the tour was to study and exchange theories and experience in the area of universities and higher education, as well as seeking collaborations with UK Universities.

Having built an understanding of what the clients wanted from the one-day seminar, we led with experiences of improving University ways of working in St Andrews as part of the group’s set of objectives around the theme of ‘Ideas, Practice and Researches about Internal Administration of British University’. The seminar was designed to give the delegates an introduction to the principles of Lean Management, the St Andrews Lean Implementation Model and case studies which demonstrated the effectiveness of the approach.

The seminar was conducted in English but as over half of the delegates were not totally proficient in English, an interpreter was in place to translate into Mandarin. The interpreter was Vivian Qiang who did a great job of translating our technical and occasionally colloquial English.

With Vivian doing a fantastic job of the linguistic juggling, the Seminar could commence with a group exercise involving the more conventional juggling of balls to demonstrate some basics of Lean – this warmed the group up nicely and kept our translator on her toes as the exercise is quite fast moving. There followed an introduction to why and how St Andrews University got started on their Lean journey and how it fits with the overall St Andrews mission – “ever to be the best”.

The development of the universally acclaimed St Andrews Lean approach was described to the group alongside a video clip of one of the early successes in St Andrews, the improvement of the ‘Student Letters’ process – video accessible here! At lunchtime, the group were asked their preference of subject matter for the afternoon from a list of options – they were very keen on hearing more case studies of Lean successes in Universities, so the pm session was given over to 4 major case studies. This prompted a lot of discussion and hard work for Vivian our translator, but the group were highly energised by the type and magnitude of improvements demonstrated. There were many excellent questions and a lot of thinking about what could be done with Lean based process improvement back in their schools and departments. One delegate even offered an innovation of the St Andrews Lean Model which was well received by both group and tutor.

If the number of photographs taken by the delegates of the slides and the presenter are a yardstick of value gained by the group, this session was an unqualified success! Upon completion of the session, the group leader Mr Jinzhao Lin presented the seminar leader, Tim Washington with a gift from Chongqing Municipal Party.

St Andrews Lean Consulting would like to warmly thank Jinzhao Lin and his colleagues for a very interesting day and hope that there can be further collaboration between the St Andrews team and the Chongqinggroup in the future. Also, thanks to Vivian for the sterling translation job she did; keeping the session moving at a good pace whilst making sure all the delegates could understand the content – a tough task. A wonderful day or so, and we very much look forward to future collaborations.

 

If you would like to find out more about what we do and how we can help you on your Lean journey, you can contact us here.

 

走近中国大城市重庆–来自重庆的大学研讨会

尊敬的读者,

首先,非常高兴能通过博客的方式,与大家分享我们来自中国的贵客。祝大家新年快乐,新年平安。

这个博客在中国新年第五天发布,据我所了解,大年初五这天代表着“宴请“的日子。遗憾的是,我们圣安德鲁斯大学,由于不久前三明治和土豆的价格上涨,举行一场丰盛的宴会对我们来说,实在是一件比较难以实现的事,但是我们也希望无论你身在何处,都能享受到一场盛宴。

12月9日,星期一,我们很荣幸与25名来自中国重庆市的多所大学的院长,主任等宾客,一起在伦敦参加他们为期三周的英国学习之旅。重庆市地处长江流域,人口超过3,100万,是中国四个直辖市之一,与北京,上海和天津齐头并列,是中国西部最重要的经济中心之一。他们这次伦敦之行的目的,是为了研究和探讨高等教育领域的理论和经验,并寻求与英国大学的合作的机会。

据了解,中国高校领导对为这场为期一天的研讨会的期望是,了解在”英国大学内部管理,理念,实践和研究”这个主题框架下,我们丰富的经验如何引领和提高圣安德鲁斯大学工作方式。研讨会旨在向与会代表介绍大学“精益管理”(Lean  Management)的原理,圣安德鲁斯大学的管理效率,并证明精益实施模型和案例研究的有效性。

研讨会以英语进行,但由于一半以上的代表不完全精通英语,需要现场的口译员把英语翻译成普通话。我们的口译员是Vivian Qiang,她在翻译英语的方面做得非常出色。

Vivian在语言翻译方面的技巧可谓是得心应手,因此研讨会得以从小组探讨练习开始,通过一些日常语言沟通方式,展示“精益管理”的一些基本知识。这种平易近人的沟通方式激发了小组的探讨热情,在此过程中,我们的沟通循序渐进,效率飞升。随后我们介绍了圣安德鲁斯大学为什么,以及如何开始“精益管理”之旅,以及这种管理哲学是如何与圣安德鲁斯大学的使命——“永争一流”相吻合的。

我们向小组介绍了广受赞誉的圣安德鲁斯大学“精益管理法”的发展过程,并且展示了一个视频片段,介绍了圣安德鲁斯大学的一项早期成功案例,即“学生书信”流程的改进-可在此处访问视频!在午餐时间,我们询问了小组成员对当日下午探讨主题的偏好。他们表示非常希望听到更多有关大学“精益管理”成功案例的研究,因此下午会议进行了4个主要案例研究。我们的翻译人员Vivian支持大家案例研究的讨论沟通,为此辛勤地进行了翻译工作。小组成员们对我们展示的改进类型的讨论充满了活力,参与度非常高。他们在关于的学校以及部门中,如何基于“精益的流程改进”做更多思考,提出了许多好问题。一位代表甚至提出了圣安精益模型的创新,受到小组成员和导师的一致好评。

如果演讲者,和演讲者拍摄的照片数量是衡量该小组获得的价值标准,那么这次探讨会议可以说是无与伦比的成功!会议结束后,小组组长Jinzhao Lin先生向研讨会组长Tim Washington赠送了来自重庆市的礼物。

 

圣安德鲁斯精益咨询(St Andrews Lean Consulting)与大家一起度过了非常愉快的一天,我们衷心感谢 Jinzhao Lin先生和他的同事们,并希望圣安德鲁斯团队与重庆高校与领导将来能够进一步合作。另外,还要感谢Vivian出色的翻译工作–保持会议进展顺利,同时确保所有代表都能理解讨论的内容,这是一项艰巨的任务。这是多么美好的一天,我们非常期待未来的合作。

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