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Good afternoon,  

I have enjoyed our first week on campus, and I am looking forward to a return to a more typical, in-person experience including a return to regular updates from Operational Excellence. The OE team is excited to be on-campus engaging with our partners on both planned projects and learning about new opportunities. 

This week, I want to build on the message I sent last month about our work with the Adams School of Dentistry. As you are considering new opportunities to engage with us, think about how this Continuous Improvement process would benefit your school or department on a project. 

 As you can see from this model, the Continuous Improvement process defines five key steps that provide a well-defined path to success on a project as well as encourage your team to regularly revisit the process to continually improve the design. 

  1. Define a problem, including metrics, and form a team. Metrics are important because you need to define how you will measure success before making changes. For the team, make sure you have representation from the different groups that are involved with or impacted by your problem. 
  2. Define the current state and the target state. Define how things work today, then approach the problem with a clean slate mindset, thinking about the ideal future. 
  3. Develop a solution to get to the target state. The team looks at where we are, where we want to be, and discusses how to get there. There will be many ideas and the team identifies the path forward that they think will be most successful. This is often where the team spends the most time. 
  4. Pilot the solution and measure success. Try your solution on a smaller scale, either for a short period of time or for a sub-group of users. Measure how it goes to see if it has the desired impact. 
  5. Make changes based on pilot learnings. A pilot you learn from is a successful pilot. Your team may adopt the identified solution or may return to step three. Either way, remember to return to the process in the future for continuous improvement. 

What existing ideas or problems are you facing that would benefit from a Continuous Improvement process? E-mail me and share your thoughts. 

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 wernoski@email.unc.edu. I read every email. 

Thanks,

Rick


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