Students walking to class

March 2017

Conservatory Standard Work Orientation

A team, led by Brian Grubb, Conservatory Manager, was assembled to implement a new orientation program for student workers for the Hamilton Campus Conservatory. The primary goal of the project was to reduce the amount of time spent training students who are critical to the operation of the Conservatory. Operating the Conservatory requires significant technical knowledge but the Hamilton Conservatory is completely run by one manager and a student workforce. The building is open for public visitation seven days a week, four hours each day, and is dependent on students to ready the facility and meet the needs of the public and the university community. High student worker turnover has necessitated the training of more than 30 students in the last two years to ensure the readiness of 8 student positions. 

The Conservatory Manager and his team, Daniel Gladish, James Oris and Alfred Ryan, were responsible for designing the new orientation program. The team was able to reduce the time spent on orientation for each student worker by 4 hours through improved processes. The team was also able to eliminate much of the redundancy in the training and lower costs while providing students with better preparation.

As a result of these improvements, the Conservatory increased productivity by 15%, achieved $6,000 in avoided costs, and improved customer satisfaction and the quality of the Conservatory’s performances. Several standard work activities were developed through this project which will not only improve student productivity but enhance safety. Looking ahead, additional projects have been identified including the development of an employee handbook, a marketing plan for informing students about these opportunities, and a more comprehensive safety program. 

Meal Plan Communication, Education & Reporting Kaizen

The HOME Office recently conducted a Kaizen to identify quick improvements to student meal plans and solve some strategic challenges with the existing plans. The team, led by Brian Woodruff, met over a 3 day period and developed improvements to the meal plan structure, education, and communication. The team also included Kim Kinsel, Geno Svec, Doug Curry, and Mark Andrea. Other improvements include updates to the Dining website to better explain meal plans to students, including a new section entitled "Is this plan for me?" for each meal plan level, and a “Frequently Asked Questions” page. 

The team also developed for future use a plan for dividing buffet meals by the week rather than the entire semester to help eliminate unused buffets at the end of the semester. A communication strategy for plan changes was also developed to ensure student familiarity with the changes. The team also defined requirements for daily meal plan use, improved meal plan balance reporting, and is working with HDRBS IT to develop automated reporting to assist in dining and meal plan use analysis.

Another integral part of the project involved meeting with the Student Dining Committee to review the recommendations and solicit feedback. This essential step ensured student involvement in the process and helped to refine the proposed changes. So far these changes are leading to improved utilization of meal plans and greater student satisfaction.

Certification News

Applications are now being accepted for the fall 2017 Lean Certification Program. The Lean Certification Program is available to all Miami staff across campus (faculty, unclassified staff, and classified staff). This program is designed to develop leaders who can sustain a Lean continuous improvement culture at Miami. The program is comprised of 3 levels: Lean Partner, Lean Leader and Senior Lean Leader. Please see the Lean Initiatives website for more information and a link to the application for the program-