Mont Ripley Kids Kaizen

—Written by Rylie Store, Office of Continuous Improvement

Two students in Michigan Tech’s Office of Continuous Improvement, Ari Laiho and Rylie Store, initiated a kaizen with the university’s ski hill, Mont Ripley. During the winter, Ari and Rylie also work at the ski hill as instructors.

The kaizen group identified the “current state” using a process mapping tool called swim lanes. Once the process was mapped out, the group was able to clearly see areas of waste, or inefficiencies. The team discussed each area of waste to determine its root cause and then moved forward by establishing counter measures to tackle the given waste.
After all of these improvement efforts, the hope is to have a program that flows smoothly on all levels. This would allow for flexibility to incorporate some fun days into the lessons, increasing customer satisfaction. The improvements would also promote a higher level of consistent progression of ability for each student. Next to creating a program that flows and satisfies all that are involved, the desire is to also align the program more heavily with the mission of the Professional Ski Instructors of America association by inspiring a lifelong passion for skiing and snowboarding.

Mont Ripley Kids
Mont Ripley Kids

Some of the areas addressed included:

Problem: Information that the Ripley Kids Coordinator receives from the registration forms tends to be incorrect. Solution: Define each area of the registration form so that there is a clear understanding of what is being asked.

Problem: Customers are unaware of the details of the Ripley Kids program. Solution: Host a Meet and Greet session for parents to come to the ski hill and meet the staff and receive a packet containing all of the details & FAQ’s

Problem: It’s difficult to keep track of all students at all times, or to point them out from a child skiing through general admission. Solution: Purchase helmet covers, each group will have a different color (including instructor). Vibrant, and easy to spot from a distance while promoting safety.

For more information about this or other Lean Events, please contact the Office of Continuous Improvement or visit their website at mtu.edu/improvement.


Parent Ambassador Training

Danielle Davis
Danielle Davis, Business Operations

Danielle Davis, Office Assistant for Business Operations and Michigan Tech’s representative on the Copper Country Great Start Collaborative (CCGSC), along with four other parents from the community participated in Parent Ambassador training through the Copper County Great Start Collaborative. The Parent Ambassador training provided the parents with information on the local resources and services that are available for families in the community in times of need or crisis. Part of the training included a two-day intensive Strengthening Families Framework Training that was presented by the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC). This is the first time this training has been offered locally and it was free for area family service providers and parents. If interested in future training sessions, please contact the CCGSC for more information.

Participants in the Strengthening Families Framework Training learned how to integrate what they learned into existing programs, strategies, systems, and community opportunities. Strengthening Families is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. The ECIC is focused on engaging families, programs, and communities in building protective factors into everyday life such as parental resilience, social connections, and knowledge of parenting and child development.

The newly trained Parent Ambassadors have already assisted many local families in finding resources and services in the community. The CCGSC, along with the current Parent Ambassadors will be training another group of parents in the future. If you are interested please contact the CCGSC or Danielle for more information.

Danielle also participated in the Strengthening Families Assessment with the CCGSC. The assessment helped the Great Start Parents Coalition set goals for the next year. They are currently working on “Welcome to the Community” folders that will include community resources for new employees and students with families who participate in orientation at Michigan Tech. Danielle will be adding community events to the WorkLife website in an effort to further network Michigan Tech’s community outreach and the CCGSC’s efforts to provide resources to parents in the community.


New Safety Initiative—Duo Secure

Important: please visit www.mtu.edu/two-step/ for further information and to register your devices before January 8th.

duo mobile iconStarting January 8th, Michigan Tech faculty and staff will use Duo’s Two-Step Login when accessing Banweb or the VPN. This additional layer of security will protect your account and personal information from being accessed if your password is lost or stolen.

Michigan Tech Information Technology recommends registering multiple devices in case your primary device is lost, stolen, or broken. Faculty and staff are encouraged to register their cell phones as a primary device and their office phone as a second device, if they have one.

For your convenience, you will only have to complete the 2-step login every 30 days after choosing the option to remember your device.

Information Technology will be providing another overview of the Two-Step Login process at 9 a.m. on January 3rd in the MUB Ballroom A2 for those who have questions or would like personal assistance getting setup.

Please contact Information Technology at it-help@mtu.edu or (906) 487-1111 with questions or concerns.


Lean Focus—Supply Room 5S

Cleaning Up!

Photo of the Fifth Floor Supply Area 5S Team (left to right): Colin Neese, Andi Barajas, Cayce Will, Danielle Davis, Ann Kitalong-Will, and Lean Facilitator Laura Harry.
Fifth Floor Supply Area 5S Team (left to right): Colin Neese, Andi Barajas, Cayce Will, Danielle Davis, Ann Kitalong-Will, and Lean Facilitator Laura Harry.

Business Operations and the Office of Information Services completed a 5S of their supplies area. The previous state of the supply area was unorganized, full of items nobody wanted or needed, and staff couldn’t find the supplies they need easily. The new, current state has an organized supply area, having supplies on hand that are needed, removing unused items, eliminating waste and to created an easy order process. The improvement ties into the University’s Strategic Goals by promoting safety, effectiveness, and efficiency and creates an aesthetic and sustainable infrastructure. A Kanban system was created for reorder and to determine inventory levels. Weekly audits of the space are posted in the supply cubicle that staff and students are included in to sustain the area.

Photo of the Fifth Floor Supply Area Before the 5S.
Fifth Floor Supply Area Before the 5S.
Photo of the Fifth Floor Supply Area During the 5S. “Keep, Return, and Rid”
Fifth Floor Supply Area During the 5S. “Keep, Return, and Rid.”
Photo of the Fifth Floor Supply Area After the 5S.
Fifth Floor Supply Area After the 5S.

UAW Certification Program

Michigan Technological University offers its UAW employees a certification program designed to provide a professional development opportunity for those who would like to increase their skills in business and administrative applications and tasks. The program consists of four courses including; Business Communications, Microsoft Office Suite, Social Media, and a Michigan Tech specific course comprised of several department liaisons from across campus who provide an overview of and information on their areas such as Banner, Google Suite, Discoverer, and Continuous Improvement. The program was created after a conversation between President Mroz and the Gogebic President, Jim Lorenson. From there a Memo of Understanding was negotiated with the UAW to form a committee and develop a recommendation. The UAW employees were surveyed, as were a select group of UAW supervisors, to gain insight into what areas where training was needed. The committee then met with Gogebic Community College faculty to determine what courses would look like, duration, location, cost, etc. Participants come from all over campus, as all UAW employees are eligible to participate. The benefits for completing the program is the education received, a graduation certificate, and those who graduate are encouraged to add the completion to their resume.

UAW Picture of Blizzard T. Husky, MTU's mascot at graduation

In 2016, 42 UAW employees graduated from the program. For more information about this program and other professional development opportunities please visit the Human Resources website: http://www.mtu.edu/hr/


New Initiatives—Policy Biennial Review

—Ann Kitalong-Will, University Policy Office

Michigan Tech’s Policy Office maintains the University Policies and Procedures Manual, ensuring that administrative policies are developed using best practices in policy administration and are in compliance with Board of Trustees’ policy. According to Board Policy 3.2 University Administrative Policies and Procedures, all university administrative policies must be enacted, published and periodically reviewed using uniform standards and formats.

Image of a Policy Memo

To ensure that University policies are up-to-date, we have implemented a biennial (every two years) formal review process. Please note that any office may still update their policies through our office at any time; this formal review is intended to be responsive to any change in regulation or legislation impacting policies, reflect updated practices and position responsibilities, and any other specific revisions that may be deemed necessary.

This process will begin in late November and will proceed through the spring of 2018.


On the Road—Ann attends the Diversity & Inclusion Conference

Kitalong-Will PictureAnn Kitalong-Will, Executive Director for Business Operations in the Office of the Vice President for Administration, attended the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Conference and Exposition in San Francisco, October 23-25. This annual conference is sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
The D&I conference provides opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices to grow a globally inclusive workplace through programs and knowledge-sharing that support employee development. Ann will be working toward enhancing Michigan Tech’s work-life initiatives by developing inclusive programming to support the University’s increasingly globally diverse employees.

Office of Information Services Website Launch

The Office of Information Services (OIS) announces the launch of its new website!

OIS serves the Vice President for Administration division in an information support role. Our key areas of expertise include Business System Analysis, IT Project Management, and Business Intelligence and Data Visualizations.

Our mission is to engage people, cultivate continuous improvement, and innovate through technology and process to enhance strategic decision making as one administration.

We partner with each business unit within the Vice President for Administration division to assist in improving our business processes through the use of innovative information systems and services. We believe in, and use in our daily work, lean methods and the tools of continuous improvement.

Dashboard Icon

We are dedicated to advancing the mission, vision, and goals of the University through effective and efficient information support services.

Visit our website to view the service catalog, common questions about dashboards and information analytics.

For further information or questions, please contact the Office of Information Services.


Cayce Will Attends EDUCAUSE 2017 National Conference

Picture of Cayce WillCayce Will, director of the Office of Information Services, attended the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference held October 31 – November 3rd in Philadelphia, PA. EDUCAUSE is a non-profit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education. Cayce attended sessions covering enabling data driven decision making, strategic leadership and partnership in higher education, and IT governance and policy. Top IT Issues in Higher Education fell within four themes, Students, Data, Security, and Planning and Funding. Information Security was the number one issue again, for the third year running, while student success, and developing institution-wide IT strategies, came in second and third.

For further information or questions, please contact the Office of Information Services at OIS@mtu.edu or visit the the OIS website at mtu.edu/ois.


Facilities—ET and Internal Dashboards

In an effort to improve transparency and customer service, Michigan Technological University’s Facilities Management Department has adopted the use of online dashboards to provide answers to frequently asked questions and quick access to regular reports.  The dashboards are an opportunity to have the needed information available even when Facilities employees are not at their desks. The dashboards contain information regularly requested of Facilities Management such as project lists, Board of Trustee reports, links to master planning documents, or ones that are used and reference often within Facilities Management. A version of a dashboard was created several years ago by the previous interim director – before moving to a cloud-based solution. The goal behind creating these dashboards was to be able to find the items that customers and employees were looking for on frequent basis. This system allows people to find answers wherever they are, without having to wait for a response from someone in the office at the time of the request. This cloud-based solution allows for instant information updates and excellent customer service to all members of the campus community.

Facilities Internal Dashboard

For more information on dashboards and how they can help your department, please contact the Office of Information Services at 906-487-2129 or visit their website at mtu.edu/ois.