Sunrise at Pulley Tower

August 2014

MUPD’s Lean Campaign

The Miami University Police Department’s (MUPD) involvement with the University’s Lean initiative began in 2012. Although MUPD is a relatively small department of 34, the department’s experience with Lean has been extensive and continues to grow and contribute to department goals. There have been 19 projects completed that have achieved over $150,000 in cost reduction, cost avoidance and new revenue outcomes. MUPD’s adoption of Lean started with small projects that were useful in helping members of the department become more familiar with the Lean principles and their application. One of these early projects involved a review of multi-part forms used to transact and document department activity. While this is a relatively simple process, forms cost is one of the department’s larger non-personnel expense and the time involved in completing the forms is significant for both members of the department and also members of the community who are as ked to complete these forms. As a result of this project, MUPD decreased the number of forms that are printed by creating a new universal form and eliminated the need for some printed forms all together by migrating to electronic forms where possible. In total six projects were completed by MUPD in 2012 providing savings of $11,881. Again, MUPD began their adoption of Lean slowly but these initial projects created a great foundation for the future.


In 2013, MUPD expanded both the number and the complexity of its Lean projects. For example, a review of daily operations led to unnecessary telephone features being removed lowering monthly telephone costs. Another MUPD Lean project led to the implementation of web-based training and a reduction in the time required to register for and travel to training sessions. The conversion of the department’s policy and procedures manual to an electronic version housed on Niihka was also the result of a Lean project. This particular example is especially significant because it demonstrates how the exposure to Lean tools like Niihka opens up opportunities that may not have otherwise been considered. As a result of this project the cumbersome process of printing and filing updates for each employee’s three ring binder was eliminated and each member of the MUPD staff now has 24/7 access to the manual.


More recent MUPD projects include the “Civilian Fingerprinting Service” and the “Prescription Drug Drop Box.” Both of these operations were improved by simply relocating the equipment associated with these processes to more appropriate locations. One of the great insights Lean has provided to our teams is how much wasted motion (and time) can occur when equipment or materials are not efficiently located near the task being performed.


Another recent MUPD Lean team examined the department’s process for collecting crime statistics from over 800 Campus Security Authorities (CSA) for Miami’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. By utilizing a Google survey, the team was able to benefit MUPD and the CSA by reducing the time allotted to data collection and improving the reports. Through the application of Lean principles MUPD is also eliminating past practices that sometimes led to very inefficient use of police officer and staff time. For example, officers often encounter extreme parking violations that are either a safety issue or negatively impact pedestrians and other vehicles. In the past, the officer needed to wait for a parking attendant to issue the citation. Now, the officer is authorized to issue the ticket and return to his/her duties faster. This change has also reduced the number of interruptions that parking attendants face enabling them to maintain their routine of ensuring that the limited campus parking is being used by authorized vehicles.


In summary, MUPD is continuously looking for ways to improve its services and better respond to the needs of the constituents they serve. These talented officers and staff are better equipped as a result of the department’s involvement in Lean to initiate improvements in their processes and focus limited human and financial resources on department and university goals and priorities. While MUPD may not have come to mind first when thinking about Lean at Miami, their success with Lean is further evidence that the Lean tools and strategies can be used successfully throughout the University.


Lean Update


There are now 85 Lean Leader certification participants involved in various stages of certification representing both the operations and academic divisions of Miami University. Over 1450 employees have attended Lean educational classes. The most important elements of Lean certification are development and education. The fall Lean Leader Certification semester is shaping up to be a busy one. Nineteen new Lean certification candidates will be attending “Managing Lean Six Sigma Projects” on September 3rd. While this class formally begins their 100 hour Lean training journey, attendees from previous semesters will be concluding training in preparation for Senior Lean Leader certification. For these attendees, the Lean program will be offering two Lean Agile courses in the fall semester with “LeanDog: Agile Explained,” a course to be held September 16th, followed by a Lean Agile half-day workshop on September 25th. The Lean program will also be offering “Strengths-Based Leadership,” a workshop facilitated by Miami professor Dr. Megan Gerhardt on November 11th for fall 2014 attendees. In keeping with Miami’s commitment to continuous improvement, the Lean Initiatives and HR Staff Development offices are pleased to be able to offer these new learning opportunities. Additional certification information can be found at http://www.units.miamioh.edu/humanresources/lean. Better practices are powered by new skills!