What is Lean?

Lean in higher education is about embracing opportunities to enhance the experience when constituents engaging with institutions across all campuses within the University System of New Hampshire, empowering employees to identify the need for change, making recommendations for improvements, and implementing the improved upon solutions whilst remaining focused on the positive impact on the community.   

Lean methodology is broken down into Six phases and they are listed below.  Click on the orange links below to view the detail for each of these phases. 

Lean resources such as templates and instructional sheets are available by clicking Lean folder.

Phase 1: Lean Process Project Selection

Identify which process to evaluate.  What are the opportunities available?

  • Collaborative team input
  • Leadership recommendations
  • Changes in business landscape

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Phase 2: Lean Project Documentation

Announces and authorizes the work to be performed.  Develops the foundation of the Lean engagement. 

Sample Lean Project Documentation Tools:

  • A3
  • Charter
  • SIPOC (Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Customer)

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Phase 3: Current Process Landscape

Opportunity to articulate the story of the current landscape. 

  • Current State Process Mapping (Value Stream Map (VSM))
  • Use Case Example
  • GEMBA Walk  

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Phase 4: Supporting Data Analysis (Process)

Supporting data analysis establishes the baseline of the current state process.  

  • Work Backlog
  • Data Sheets
  • Volume of Work
  • Established measurement systems

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Phase 5: Recommended Future State/Implementation Plan

Recommended Future State creates a process depicting the ideal state of the shared vision of what your team is trying to achieve; focusing on:

  • An improved process for the customer
  • Elimination of waste
  • Motivating employees
  • Reducing work and cycle time

A high-level implementation plan articulates the effort to implement the recommended change. 


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Phase 6: Sell to the Sponsor Presentation

‘The Sell Presentation' pulls together in a story format all the information captured, explored, and analyzed during the Lean working sessions needed to compose a story to the sponsor.

Ultimate Goal of the Sell Presentation:

The sponsor approves and supports the effort the project team put forth

Sell Presentation focuses on information gathered within:

  • Lean Project Documentation 
  • Current Landscape
  • Data Analysis 
  • Recommended Future State
  • Implemenation Plan

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