The next 2020 task force team 3 day training will be offered this summer. Check back for dates and to sign up.
For more information or to sign up for training send an email to
How 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).
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.
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.
Associate Dean & CFO
Opus College of Business