ASQ - Education Division

Creating a Kaizen Movement During Economic Turbulence

Abstract: Quality Approaches in Higher Education Vol. 2 No. 1 (June 2011) article by Mychal Coleman and Erin Barwis. In these tight economic times, continuous improvement initiatives should serve as a welcome strategy. While much of the published research on implementation focuses on failure—this case study focuses on success. From realigning administration surrounding school-wide support services to training a team of informal Kaizen team leaders, the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota embedded continuous improvement into normal operations. Phase one of implementation is examined in the full text, noting the plan, structure, and support necessary for such a large cultural change within an academic institution. Along with full support from the dean, the structured, three-step Lean training of the Kaizen team leaders is the key piece to ensuring long-term learning and strategic collaboration throughout the Carlson School.

Keywords: Quality Approaches in Higher Education - Continuous improvement - Leadership

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