Zoe Radnor, Arnhem June 2014, Lean Six Sigma for Higher Education


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It’s Lean, Jim, but not as we know it.
Presentation on 2nd International Lean Six Sigma Conference for Higher Education in Arnhem, The Netherlands, organized by HAN University of Applied Sciences

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Zoe Radnor, Arnhem June 2014, Lean Six Sigma for Higher Education

  1. 1. It’s Lean, Jim, but not as we know it. Professor Zoe J Radnor Professor of Service Operations Management Loughborough University School of Business and Economic
  2. 2. Main Findings: Lean in Higher Education (Radnor and Bucci, 2011) • It is early days for Lean development and implementation in Higher Education. • There is still a lot of opportunity for improvement and a lot to be learnt from the experience of other public service organisations. • There is fragmented uptake of Lean making it difficult to identify some ‘outstanding’ examples of Lean implementation. • Some of the early adopters are showing real signs of engagement and embedment. • There was limited understanding of the key principles of Lean and how they should be driving the improvements. • Lean appears to be driven by mainly administrative and support staff, who can see the benefits. • There is a focus on project based activities around one or two processes. Radnor and Bucci (2011), Analysis of Lean Implementation in UK Business Schools and Universities, Association of Business School, London
  3. 3. 99% in 2 hours 93% same day (electronic) 6% same day 2% same day (post) From submission to creation of student record From SITS to form sent to department Department decision 20 days mean 25 days mean Quality assurance, transmission of decision 9 days mean 11 days mean Emails at peak 7000 emails 10 weeks+ 200 emails 3 weeks+ PG Admissions Process Review • Volume increasing but fixed resource (67% increase in applications since 2005) • Pressure from stakeholders to increase pace of decision-making Why? Before After How? • CTS Tree • SIPOC • Opportunity Statement • Map process (3 walls of post-it notes and brown paper!) • Analysis variation • 5 whys • 7 wastes • Improve flow • Run charts / histograms Additional benefits? 0% 2% 4% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240 2008 cycle - as % of total 2009 cycle - as % of totalTarget = 20 days • ownership • team building • continuous improvement • challenging what we do • control • greater understanding from a wider perspective • reduced paper • scope now extended • better awareness and use of data To communicate all initial decisions on postgraduate applications within 4 weeks of receipt.
  4. 4. Measure Old process New process Touch points between University staff 33 10 Touch points between University and BiT 9 (+ variable failure demand) 4 Time to get everything required to become a BiT (contract, IT access etc….) 12-47 days 2 days Time to get paid 5-12 days (+payroll) 1 day (+payroll) Change Projects Portfolio Version 1: Mar 2014 Process review for bought-in-teachers (BiTs) Project leaders: Sam Marshall and Meg Stafford Future state Issue definition The process by which the University employs and pays bought-in teachers (BiTs) is, complex and confusing for staff and BiTs alike. There are lengthy delays in providing BiTs with contracts, IT access and appropriate teaching quality assessments. It is difficult to collate the data required for the University’s HESA return and there is a risk of non- compliance with regard to establishing our BITs’ right to work in the UK. Current status Short term actions Action Who? When? Complete experiment with new flow SM/MS Feb 2014 Gap analysis for system requirements SM/MS Feb 2014 Complete IT system development ITS with SM/MS Cost and savings • Significant staff time savings across Schools, HR and Payroll • Cost of IT development work Measures Issues • Long delays in production of contracts, caused by batching and backlogs • Long delays in gaining necessary IT access, parking etc. • Delays lead to a large volume of emails and phone calls from BiTs • Copying and pasting of information increases risk of error • Risk of non-compliance with regard to HR issues • Adding BiTs to claims payroll automatically blocks required IT access • Teaching quality data is often incomplete and not shared with the right staff • HESA data is often incomplete, leading to problems with our funding returns • Historic forms are still being completed, that no longer serve any purpose Follow up • University wide roll-out to be in place prior to start of 2014/15 • Monitor new flow in 2014/15 and collect feedback Define Check Follow Categorise Map Analyse Design Experiment Scale-up
  5. 5. Challenges of Lean in Public Services 1. A focus and over reliance on lean workshops 2. A tool based approach to lean implementation 3. Impact of public sector culture and structures 4. Lack of focus on the customer (service user) and understanding of service process • Lean has to date simply been a catalyst to address the prior poor design of the public service. • Will it become just a recipe for creating efficient but permanently failing PSOs? Radnor, Z.J and Osborne, S.P. (2013),’Is Lean a failed theory for Public Service?’, Public Management Review
  6. 6. Improvement Opportunity TimeAwareness, education, organization structure created to support lean RIEs Vs. Full Implementation Greater, sustained results achieved Improvement levelled off and eventually stopped due to lack of realizing “true” lean opportunity CULTURE CHANGE Short term gains made Lost and repeated results due to no sustainability Kaizen Blitz Rapid Improvement Events Source: Chris Craycraft, Whirlpool
  7. 7. Our Lean Tools Guarantee Success! Just Buy These Tools! Real Results In Just Six Weeks!Instant Lean Or Your Money Back! £79 …but really, we all know it takes more than tools to make real change happen!
  8. 8. Public Service Context and Structures • Lean within public services to date has been defective due to a lack of understanding of the principles and assumptions of lean and, the context which it is being implemented. • Public services need to embrace a (public) service dominant logic • Service dominant logic argues placing the user at the heart of the service • Service Blueprinting is a service design methodology which engages with users and considers the ‘touchpoints’ between service user and provider
  9. 9. Service Management • Much of the public management literature built on product and manufacturing logic. • The majority of ‘public goods’ are in fact not ‘public products’ but rather ‘public services’. • Need to draw from service management logic to ‘unpack’, understand, manage and operationalise public services. • Move from a public sector to public service ethos • Public services need to embrace a (public) service dominant logic • Service dominant logic argues placing the user at the heart of the service Osborne, S., Z. J. Radnor and G. Nasi (2013). "A new theory for public service management? Towards a service-dominant approach." American Review of Public Administration
  10. 10. Services Dominant Logic Three core characteristics of services which differentiate them from manufacturing goods : 1. Whilst a product is invariably concrete a service is intangible • Services can not be stored. 2. There is a different production logic for manufactured products and for services. • For manufacturing production and consumption occur separately. With services production and consumption occur simultaneously. 3. The role of the end-user is qualitatively different for manufactured products and services • In manufacturing they are ‘simply’ purchasers and consumers. For services, the user is also a co-producer of the service. Osborne, S., Z. J. Radnor and G. Nasi (2013). "A new theory for public service management? Towards a service-dominant approach." American Review of Public Administration
  11. 11. A Public Services-Dominant Theory of Lean Lean is delivering efficiency but need to embed it within a service model to delivery effectiveness 1. Internal efficiency is important but has be focused on adding value to end users not just for efficiency sake! 2. Internal quality equals external quality so get the reform agenda right first time! 3. Get end users involved in the lean reform agenda and public service delivery. 4. Lean needs to be part of a reform strategy based on service management not as a series of technical exercises. 5. Professionals need to share knowledge and co-produce with the end users. Radnor, Z.J and Osborne, S.P. (2013),’Is Lean a failed theory for Public Service?’, Public Management Review
  12. 12. Service Blueprinting • Service design is an approach where the end-users are the main focus and their experience is viewed holistically rather than concentrating on the individual processes which support service delivery. • The concept of a service blueprint was presented by Shostack in an article in Harvard Business Review in 1982. • Service blueprinting is a graphical representation of the service process: A Service Blueprint • It consists of identifying processes, fail points and wait points. • It can be a tool to operationalize lean by allowing understanding of the ‘touchpoints’ so points of production/consumption to allow improvements and innovations in the service design.
  13. 13. Service Blueprint • The complete service process needs to include all the steps that the user encounters as part of the service delivery process. These ‘touchpoints’ are plotted in a sequential order from left to right at the top of the blueprint. • The blueprint is divided into two zones: frontstage and backstage, separated by the line of visibility. Everything that appears above the line of visibility is what the user is exposed to and comes in direct contact with. • Key touchpoints, each stage of the process is analysed in depth providing details for frontstage and backstage operations. These include target and actual timing for each stage. • Points are identified where users may perceive failure in the service delivery process as well as areas of excessive wait (AEW). • The fail points and AEW should be prioritised to focus improvement.
  14. 14. Example: University of Derby • Over 10 months the student experience of the enrolment process was reviewed at the University of Derby. • Enrolment was defined as the point at which an individual's status changes from an applicant to a student, it was considered to be significant point for which a review of service design and student relationship management. • The aim of the project as outlined in the documentation was to: – Use service improvement strategies (service design) to map the student lifecycle from pre-entry to readiness for learning and teaching and scrutinise these with stakeholders. – Develop a blueprint of the enrolment process from the student's point of view considering main stages of the process, timing, participants, tangible and intangible aspects of student's experience. This analysis would form the basis of the service improvement plan.
  15. 15. Enrolment Service Design project stages
  16. 16. Discussion • For Derby University considering the student enrolment process Service Blueprinting as a technique has proved a powerful tool in engaging not only staff but management and students. • It allowed the complexity of the system to be presented in a diagrammatic form, highlighting and identifying fail and wait points to provide a very powerful approach to focusing effort on enhancements where the biggest impact will be made to the felt student experience. • “fundamental change…. in rather than assuming that what we knew, or thought we knew, would be best for the students, we have actively sought their input as end-user designers and co-producers of their own student experience” (University of Derby, 2012). • Subsequent evaluation of the impact of the redesigned enrolment system at the UoD found its performance to be improved across a number of dimensions – from an academic, administrative and student experience point of view. • Service Blueprinting used in a set of workshops at Edinburgh University to review student enrolment. Highlighted areas of mis- understanding between the Schools and Register.
  17. 17. Lean in Public Services (including Universities!) Need to consider Lean not as a quick fix but as a implementation philosophy. “A series of RIEs does not Lean make!” There is a need to develop a mindset within the organisation of process and customer view “Public Service not Public Sector ethos” Move thinking from task/ policy to value/ process. Use approaches such as service blueprinting to understand touchpoints Need to develop an awareness of variation, demand and capacity relationships. “See the variable as the work not the demand/ customer” Create and focus on improving stable processes Standardise the process not the outputs and outcomes Need to ensure that there is strong and committed leadership and there is a link to strategy. Not just about cost cutting and efficiency