Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
By: Rebeccah Cusick
Rebeccah, Quality Improvement Coordinator at WITC, reviews her experience of introducing process improvement at her college.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College’s process improvement journey started with a vision from our now retired Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness. Her vision led to a strategic initiative- find a systematic way to manage processes as a means for improving business performance outcomes and operational agility.
The college’s Institutional Effectiveness department pulled together an inspired eight-person focus group of faculty and staff to review several process improvement methodologies and tools. The team chose to utilize the LEAN methodology and tools, specifically LEAN in Higher Ed. This team were energized and exhibited leadership by presenting at an all-staff inservice in the Fall of 2017. The buzz started and the energy moved out amongst the 400+ staff.
After researching several customized training organizations, we choose Mark Robinson with St Andrews Lean Consulting to facilitate our training. We emailed the application for Process Improvement Facilitator Training to all staff in the hopes of encouraging roughly 12 people to accept the opportunity, even though the responsibility would be in addition to their current job duties. We received 24 applications! It was at that time that our Executive Leadership Council agreed to fund two training sessions in order to accommodate all those that accepted the opportunity.
In mid-February 2018, 12 people at each of the two trainings came together from five different campuses (some 3 ½ hours away). We learned about LEAN in Higher Ed and its tools by scoping and redesigning two college processes (one at each training). The energy continues as we prepare to kick-start our process improvement journey. These newly trained facilitators are already using the tools and methodology in their daily processes.
Next steps of our journey include:
- A support and expectation communication from our college President.
- Presenting and sharing the process at our Quality Improvement Steering Committee, a team of 32 members including executive leadership, custodians, faculty, and office and technical support.
- Preparing documentation to ensure our process improvement facilitator success at running process improvement events (PIE).
- An official roll-out of our new process to all staff.
- Begin holding PIEs!
Our motto: The right people continuously searching for the simplest and most efficient process in order to meet the needs of and delight the customer.
More information about Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College:
WITC is a top-ranked college serving the northwest region of Wisconsin, USA with multiple convenient locations and offerings, including career-focused degree and certificate programs, customized training for businesses and a wide array of personal and career enrichment courses. It’s no wonder WITC serves one in 16 people in the community.
WITC’s district covers an area of 10,500 square miles that includes 286 towns, villages and cities; and 47 school districts.
Learning is our passion. WITC is committed to making your experience meaningful and professional with faculty and staff who care about your individual success. For more information please visit: witc.edu
Mark returned to WITC early in July of 2019 to deliver a refresher program where among other things he introduced the team to new tools, techniques and games. The novel take on Stage 2 of the Paper Plane Game saw a record number of ‘planes’ produced and ‘fly’ the required distance.
If you would like to find out more about how our team at St Andrews Lean Consulting can help you on your Lean journey, you can contact us here.