University of Tennessee, Knoxville, employees who will lead the university’s transition to the new DASH Oracle Cloud system, learned how LEAN Applied to Business Processes training can be used to streamline business processes to be more effective and efficient. Employees from units across campus who are members of the project and transition management teams are known as DASH Champions.
32 DASH Champions, including the campus DASH project managers, took part in LEAN training over five days in May to prepare for the ERP implementation, which will be a transformational project for the university that will streamline financial and human resources processes together on a single modernized platform.
LEAN is a methodology to identify and reduce activities that do not add value to a process. It encourages a new way of thinking and a culture of innovation across campus. “Make ourselves Nimble and Adaptive” is a goal of the university’s Strategic Vision that includes reviewing and updating business processes to align with LEAN principles and hosting LEAN events.
DASH Champions who attended LEAN training were invited to participate in a survey afterward. 93% of respondents said they believe LEAN training applies to the work they do, and 91% feel confident in applying LEAN principles to their current processes.
One survey respondent said, “This course should be required training for every director/[assistant] director at UT. The impact of this information is just that transformational! Wish I had known about it long ago!” Another added, “The course has already affected how I look at the work I do daily, not to mention how I am thinking about transitioning to the new ERP. I think everyone would benefit from taking a fresh look at how they work and identifying the inefficiencies.”
UT’s Division of Finance and Administration sponsored the training. Bill Peterson teaches the course twice a year through Graduate and Executive Education in the Haslam College of Business. Some tools participants learned to incorporate into their work included SIPOC–Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customer–which helps create a process map, a Work in Progress or WIP board, and SWOT analysis to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
DASH Champions have begun applying LEAN principles to campus business processes, with projects underway to streamline 13 business processes. Individuals who complete a project, document the reduction in waste, and submit the project to the LEAN instructor may be able to earn LEAN “Green Belt Certification”.