5.09.2008

Helping Schools Become Lean

Education is a field that is ripe for lean transformation, but there isn’t much happening yet in that regard.

However, I recently came across a consulting firm devoted specifically to lean education – that’s something new, at least in my experience.

The firm is
Lean Education Enterprises, located in Shoreview, Minnesota. Its two principals are Joseph and Betty Ziskovsky, and they provide organizational assessment and coaching services for process improvement in student learning, teaching, and administrative support. Joseph is a business guy and Betty is an educator.

I don’t know them personally, and I’ve never worked with the firm. But they seem to have the right focus on their website.

I particularly like a page in the site on the “
7 Wastes of Education,” which lists the wastes and provides specific examples of each one.

They also have several case studies on the site of the kinds of things they’ve accomplished, though the specific schools and districts involved are not named.

As I said before, so far there has been little application of lean in education. I
wrote previously about one educator’s efforts to improve college courses.

Do you have any experience with lean in education? Where in education would you like to see it applied?

4 comments:

Karen Wilhelm said...

Processes in schools have a lot of layers and bureaucracies - no wonder they have a lot of improvement possibilities. Toyota helps the schools in the Georgetown KY area. I don't know the details, however.

I'd like to see teacher education over the summer, perhaps by paid internships to give them an incentive, so lean would infiltrate the curriculum both in the college prep and vocational tracks.

Thanks for the tip on the lean education people. I'm looking for examples of good schools for Target magazine.

law said...

Do I have any experience with lean in education? Yep and it was like selling sand in Saudi Arabia...no buyers.

The situation was this. We developed some classes to prepare quality professionals for ASQ certification exams. On some exams our passing rate was 16%, with 60% of that retakes, lots of waste. The 16% sounds really terrible, but the national passing rate was only 33%. We created classes and treated the education as a process, analyzed it like a process using statistical tools and improved it like a process. In two years our passing rate was over 70%. I just figured we had found the holy grail of education but upon presenting it to educators we got a series of yawns. Maybe now is a better time. But do we have experience, yes we do. I would like to hear your thoughts.

Lonnie Wilson

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