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Lean Six Sigma Graduates Streamline University Processes


The first class of Lean Six Sigma Green Belt participants have graduated with the help of ASU’s Organizational Performance Office. This collaboration between Business and Finance and Global Outreach and Extended Education through the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering will help streamline processes, save dollars, and deliver outstanding customer experiences.

Annie McCall, Rocco Pagano, Bogdan Ghit, Jacqueline Cuccia, Barbara Trainor, Jason Wiley, and Marc Pinto worked within the Lean Six Sigma structured methodology used by numerous manufacturing, government, and service organizations, as well as more and more universities, to improve operations and processes.

The six UTO graduates completed a two and a half month course, passed a comprehensive exam, and completed a process improvement project that applied their learnings. They represent about half of the class that began the certification, with the other half looking to graduate in the summer and fall after they complete their projects.

The graduates’ projects resulted in reduced ticket times for technology installations and cost and time for classroom PC repairs, among other organizational effects like reduced hiring time and internal PC setup.

Rocco implemented the Six Sigma methodology into two potential cost-saving projects, identifying changes that could save the university hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The first focused on the standardization of imaging across all of the classroom and sites Deskside support units. A meeting for these units created a new workflow and process for the IT teams, culminating in a reduction of about 4,300 labor-hours of work. That results in about $121,000 annual savings.

Rocco’s other project involved streamlining the process of classroom and sites maintenance and computer inventory. A solution was identified in using an available pool of hot swap systems, meaning a whole new computer can replace one that is malfunctioning at a moment’s notice. This means a broken classroom can be brought back online in 15 minutes, rather than, oftentimes, a full day. Rocco identified about $172,000 in value returned to customers, namely students.

“A snowflake is a small thing; but an avalanche is made of snowflake,” he said. “Small things in great number can have a massive impact. Six Sigma and Lean allow us to take apart our business and process into their smallest unique components, and allows us to rearrange them from chaotic flits in the air into an on the ground avalanche of efficiency and productivity.”

The OPO is deploying this program, as well as a Yellow Belt certification, throughout Business and Finance. Yellow Belt certification requiresaone-day course and a short exam at the end. A Black Belt certification is being developed for launch next year.

The Lean Six Sigma methodology follows the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) roadmap to streamline and monitor long-term improvements in effective execution and performance, which delivers outstanding value and great customer experiences. This approach offers not only a better workflow for ASU staff, but also a system that can bring better and quicker service to the ASU community.

Make sure to follow UTO on Twitter @ASU_UTO.

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