IT leans in to client engagement

by Elizabeth Jenike, IT Services

When it comes to working with partners across campus, IT Services is always ready to lend a helping hand. We have teamed up with a myriad of divisions around Miami to implement applications and tools. Along the way, we find opportunities to meet with folks and work together to cultivate excellence from the ground up at the University.

One of those opportunities is to partner with our divisional colleagues in “lean” projects.

Opportunity to engage: The Lean Fair

The Lean Fair is an annual event that gathers groups from across campus to celebrate the steps they’ve taken toward greater efficiency and productivity in their work. This is the fifth such gathering.

Attendees take away lessons about how their coworkers and peers are using lean principles to increase efficiencies and reduce costs throughout their operations. Being lean is all about being productive in the most effective way possible—and the Lean Fair is the perfect place for University partners to showcase their success.

“The mission of the Lean program is aligned with the mission of the University, which is to provide the best student undergraduate experience in the nation,” explained Chris Pirigyi, financial manager of auxiliary business for Miami and the lead organizer for the event. “We focus in on a few breakthrough objectives such as cost reduction, cost avoidance, revenue increase, productivity, green, customer service, and quality with an eye on safety as well.”

More than 750 people attended the January 2019 event, a testament to the hard work done by Pirigyi and his team. And one key example of how lean principles impact departments across the University? Projects undertaken with IT Services, of course.

Lean at work in IT: Dana Miller talks tech projects

This year, our very own business analyst Dana Miller gave a presentation at the Lean Fair about how technology fits into projects across campus. Technology is often a key part of the lean initiative—because in order to create efficiencies, processes can be automated through the use of new tools.

For background, Miller explained that in the past, if lean projects required a technological component, more often than not IT Services would be engaged pretty late in the process—after all the decisions had been made.

“Lean projects would be doing work, and come up with a technological solution,” he said. “They would put out an RFP, choose a product . . . and then they would come to IT for help with the integration. The reality is, we need a year and a half lead time for some things.”

To request that IT get eyes on a project, folks can indicate in MyCard that they want either Dana or Jeff Toaddy, IT Services management coordinator and Dana’s partner in crime, to take a look. This triggers Dana and Jeff to know that they need to go out and meet with the division and see what the cost/benefit analysis is for the desired project—and how IT can help.

The point is: Even if tech isn’t a central part of the project in question, if you foresee a technological solution being involved at all, get in touch with IT Services early!