Teamwork Drives Lean Transformation at Carleton University

Carleton University hosted two successful pilot projects using the Lean formula that led to immediate improvements in their Graphic Services Department and Admissions Department.

The Graphic Services Department wanted to run more efficiently and increase their production. With input and engagement received directly from staff, the employees’ suggestions for change were very successful.

After implementing improvements and using 5S, the Graphic Services team had the following results:

  • 10% productivity improvement
  • cleared up 300 square feet of floor space
  • created a pleasant environment for customers and employees

The second Lean pilot project took place in Carleton’s Admissions Services, the Lean Team started by asking the staff: ‘What bugs you the most?’

After mapping out the way they walk around the office, counting the number of steps to a printer, the number of steps it takes to go downstairs to retrieve a file and timing those actions, they were able to come up with simple improvements to their processes.

The implemented changes showed immediate results in the Admissions Department:

  • Customer service was greatly enhanced
  • No delays in retrieving files and offering assistance
  • Admission offers went out in a timely manner
  • Acknowledgements to students went out sooner

Overall, the Lean exercise led to incredible teamwork and a better understanding among staff about what their colleagues’ jobs entail. The initiative also resulted in concrete results that were visible – creating a great deal of satisfaction in the workplace.

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