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Lean Implementation in an Academic Environment: a Case Study

Dennis, G., Holt, R., & Bruce, L.M. (2015). Lean Implementation in an Academic Environment: a Case Study. IIE Annual Conference & Expo 2015. ISERC 2015, Nashville, TN.

Abstract

Lean methodologies have been extremely successful in manufacturing environments in eliminating virtually all forms of waste. However, the use of lean tools has not been widely embraced in the academic environment. This case study focuses on the process improvements made through implementing lean principles in the graduate admissions process at Mississippi State University. Prospective students were experiencing long wait times and ineffective communications while applying for graduate school. The academic departments were also experiencing long delays, ineffective communication, and incomplete graduate admissions packets. This case study will demonstrate how the team implemented lean techniques to reduce the average application process time by 50%. This was accomplished by reducing the number of process steps by over 25% and the number of times an admissions assistant handled an application by 50%.


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