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Good afternoon,

A few weeks ago, I introduced the concept of lean thinking with the stick figure cartoon in my weekly update. I encouraged you all to think about a process and ask yourself, “Why is the glass twice as big as it should be?”

In line with our goal of cultivating a culture that enables our success as an institution, I want to start talking more about these topics. Future weekly emails might feature links to resources, examples of OE best practices and values, or maybe even more cartoons, in addition to progress updates from our initiatives.

One of our core principles for Operational Excellence is continuous improvement. The graphic below illustrates this concept and how we use it in our work.

The image is titled "Continuous Improvement" and shows four different types of cell phones. The first cell phone is old and is captioned "version 1" and indicates that it was launched before moving on to a second version, which is a flip phone, then a third version (Blackberry), and fourth version (new iPhone). Brackets around the flip phone, Blackberry, and iPhone indicate that after the first version is built, the solution is enhanced based on actual customer behavior and feedback as the phone gets more and more advanced.When beginning a new initiative, we start with foundational work. We design something useful in response to a need, such as a reimagined process or new product, and build a first version.

After the first version is built, we release it to campus. We intentionally choose not to wait until our new process or product has all the bells and whistles so that campus can begin using it sooner. Then, we continue to improve our solution based on user feedback and behavior.

Continuous improvement is embedded in our approach to transforming University operations in a way that asks all of us to be involved.

Please feel free to share this email with your colleagues. You can also visit our website to learn more about Operational Excellence, read my previous updates and submit feedback. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at I read every email.


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