Covid-19 Can’t Stop Lean

One of the most quintessential aspects of continuous improvement is that there will always be something one can do to reduce waste and no virus can change that. While Michigan Tech’s classes moved online, so did our Office of Continuous Improvement. Our offices may have taken the form of our personal computer desks and nobody can tell if you are wearing pajama pants, but lean principles are still being applied as there are always problems that can be fixed and improved. Thanks to Zoom, kaizen events can continue and uphold our mission of providing a Lean culture to the university.


While some events have been put on hold for the time being, the Office of Continuous Improvement is still proud to be helping coordinate with almost two dozen kaizen events to bring out the best environment that Tech can be. If you have a problem that you think could be solved or an inefficiency to squash, the Office of Continuous Improvement would love to be a tool in your repertoire and assist you in accomplishing your summer goals!

A Kaizen event held via Zoom, with all the comforts of home!

Outside of Kaizen events, the Office of Continuous Improvement also has many tools that can be implemented to improve work, such as an assortment of visual tools and templates to help you maximize your efficiency and reduce waste at home, work, anywhere! With all the time being spent at quarantine, wouldn’t it be great to go through a 5S organization to achieve a tidy and clean home or work environment? We all have plenty of time to spend, let’s make the most of it!
If you would like more information regarding Lean and how it can help you with your job or education, please feel free to reach out to improvement@mtu.edu.


2 Comments on "Covid-19 Can’t Stop Lean"

  • Brian
    May 6, 2020 at 6:46 PM

    Great post and great to see ingenuity given a common challenge that many of us are having to navigate. Definitely a topic we are navigating in our experience and content recently as well.

  • Theresa A. Coleman-Kaiser
    May 7, 2020 at 11:24 AM

    Nathan, thanks so much for your help with this kaizen event. Even remotely, we were able to use Lean thinking and principles to move through a deep understanding of current state, identify what the future state would look like, highlight areas for immediate improvement, and create a path forward. Last I heard over $5,000 in saving had already been identified and we are looking at potentially doubling that. Great work being flexible for everyone involved. Our three-hour Zoom meetings flew by through the use of Zoom Break-out Room and the use of a Google Drive folder as a common repository for all kaizen information. It was actually great fun, and now we’re ticking off our kaizen newspaper items.

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