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2020 Team members

2020 Team members, Continuous Improvement, Uncategorized

Brittney Wolf: 2020 Team Member


Learning with Legos: hands-on practice using a “pull” system

“What began as a few projects to improve our work environment has now grown into a new way of viewing our current processes: to seek improvement in every aspect of our office. In my department (OCB Faculty Support), I have seen how the projects we first worked on have improved the quality of my work as well as reducing the time and frustrations involved in previously convoluted tasks. While some of the projects we have tackled have come with challenges, seeing the outcome and the impact it has in improving our workflow has made all the work worthwhile.”


–Brittney Wolf
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2020 Team members, Continuous Improvement

Meet the 2020 Task Force

teamwork puzzle

   Sponsor & Champion
   John McCall Associate Dean & CFO
   Faculty Sponsor, Champion, & Coach
   John Olson Operations and Supply Chain Management
   Deployment Champion
   Amy Klein Associate Dean & CFO’s Office
   Subject Matter Expert & Team Resource
   Bob Gaffney Faculty & Scholarly Development
                                                             2012/13 Members 
   Debbie Battis OCB Grad Records & Data Management
   Sandy Beach OCB Faculty Support
   Lisa Burke OCB Technology and Web
   Jess Durrant OCB Technology and Web
   Jean Gabler Undergraduate-Administration
   Corey Getchell OCB Faculty Support
   DeAnn Kautzmann OCB Grad Records & Data Management
   Marie Klein Associate Dean & CFO’s Office
   Sarah Knutson Associate Dean & CFO’s Office
   Suzanne Krzmarzick OCB Faculty Support
   Shoua Lee Associate Dean & CFO’s Office
   Betsy Lofgren Undergraduate-Administration
   Cindy Lorah Health Care UST MBA Program
   Maureen Murphy OCB Faculty Support
   Renee Nelson OCB Faculty Support
   Jim O’Connor OCB Technology and Web
   Pam Phairas OCB Grad Records & Data Management
   Kathy Sauro OCB Schulze School of Entrepreneurship
   Joyce Wilking OCB Faculty Support
   Brittney Wolf OCB Faculty Support
2020 Team members, Continuous Improvement

Is Continuous Improvement Relevant?

Continuous improvementHow many of you have ever cleaned your garage or a linen closet and in a few days it looked just as messy as did before you cleaned it? If you are like everyone else, you said yes. The real question is why does your garage or closet become messy again so quickly? There are several reasons, but perhaps the most glaring is that most people don’t create a process or system to keep it clean and sustain that great feeling.

What does this have to do with the relevance of continuous improvement in today’s working world?  Actually, everything! Since the economic downturn, companies have been forced to spend considerable amounts of  time and energy to grow their businesses or cut expenses to remain  solvent  and competitive. The problem that often results from these efforts is that internal company processes are often neglected  until they become constraints that halt that growth. Eventually, all organizations need to make sure internal company systems  are working efficiently and not hindering the company’s ability to deliver value to their customers. This is the perfect fit for  continuous improvement programs like Lean Six Sigma (LSS).


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2020 Team members, Continuous Improvement, Faculty

Welcome to 2020 Vision

Nothing is more certain than change, and that is certainly
true for higher education.

The challenges we face today are only going to grow more daunting in the future. Whether these are the unique financial challenges of private colleges and universities, including our very own UST, or the changing nature of students, classrooms, media and course delivery, we will all face the need to embrace new ways of doing things. Those who learn to excel at thoughtful and purposeful change will succeed; those who do not will be left behind. No one wants to be left behind.


Frances 3 quote

That’s why, nearly three years ago, the college launched the 2020 Vision task force to address the need for continuous improvement in all we do. Our goal was to start slowly, learn the discipline and tools of the continuous improvement process, take on some small projects to build confidence and prepare ourselves to handle any challenge that comes our way. In 2010, Dr. John Olson instructed a team of nearly 30 administrative and staff support personnel in the fundamentals of continuous improvement. We picked a few projects and set out to create a new culture that validates and values people looking constantly for ways to do things better. Today, we’ve made a lot of progress with projects such as Printer/Copier Utilization, Mail Distribution, Faculty Expense Reimbursement Processing, and Administrative Support to Faculty Research. Our teams are learning quickly and applying their newfound knowledge to real opportunities around the college. Dr. Olson continues to train and retrain, mentor and counsel our project teams. We are slowly but persistently developing an incredible organizational capability to understand work flow, organize our information and data, devise innovative approaches and use the disciplines of continuous improvement to make the OCB a better college.

Today, we are introducing the 2020 Vision: A Continuous Improvement Project Blog. It’s important that everyone in the college learn about our team, what we have accomplished, and where we have set our sights on new projects. Of course, we hope that the excitement of this blog and ongoing posts about the projects will inspire many of you to join our team. That would be wonderful, and we have plenty for you to do. But even if you don’t officially join our team, being aware of what we are trying to achieve and supporting us is important as well.

So, thank you for reading the Opus College of Business 2020 Vision blog and be sure to check out the site each month as we add new and interesting stories and facts on our continuous improvement journey.

John McCallMcCall at work
Associate Dean & CFO
Opus College of Business

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