Many areas of the university have outgrown their “legacy processes,” which are often informal, having evolved over the years, rather than being purposefully designed. Often times these processes have failed to keep pace as the university has grown both in size and in complexity. Staff are often the “human glue” who serve as the university’s repositories of tacit knowledge, who integrate disparate systems, and who troubleshoot in order to make sure students, faculty and others are served.
We believe—and we have demonstrated through our work—that there is a better way. This better way involves gathering together staff, administrators and (sometimes) faculty who operate a particular process in order to develop a common understanding of how the process works today. This is followed by developing a new or improved process, crafting a change management strategy, and implementing the new process. The result is typically a simpler, more transparent process that better meets the needs of stakeholders (students, faculty, staff, community) and that results in less firefighting, rework and frustration on the part of the process operators.
Our method is rooted in the Lean and Six Sigma process improvement bodies of knowledge. Our engagements also include a significant training component that enables our graduates to tackle problems on their own. We are able to confer Yellow Belt and Green Belt credentials to our participants.