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Kaizen. A Simple Approach to Improving Research Administration Processes Spring 2013. Good Change. Kai = change Zen = good A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Kaizen.

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A Simple Approach to Improving Research Administration Processes

Spring 2013

good change
Good Change

Kai = change

Zen = good

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Spring 2013


An inclusive philosophy and practice of productive improvement, which is made incrementally and continuously.

A transformative approach to improving quality while reducing costs.

Spring 2013

principles of kaizen
Principles of Kaizen
  • Participation, empowerment
  • Define, monitor and redefine standards
  • Steady, constant
  • Small, incremental change
  • Root cause analysis

Spring 2013

  • Value
  • Quality
  • Dependability
  • Discipline

Spring 2013

  • Discipline

And the value of teams.

Spring 2013

kaizen practices
Kaizen Practices

Plan > Do > Check > Act >

  • PLAN: ID the problem, suggest suggestions;
  • DO: Implement;
  • CHECK: Measure and assess, seek feedback;
  • ACT: Evaluate; design improvements.

Spring 2013

kaizen practices1
Kaizen Practices

Plan > Do > Check > Act >

Spring 2013

kaizen practices2
Kaizen Practices
  • Focus on the Process
  • Challenge the Status Quo
  • Emphasize Training (Learning Organization)
  • Invite Feedback

Spring 2013

kaizen practices3
Kaizen Practices
  • Feedback

Improvement is everyone’s responsibility.

Spring 2013


Improvements are designed to create value by eliminating waste.

Waste = additional resources (time, money, activity) that do not create any value to the customer.

Spring 2013


Goal of engaging in the Kaizen practice is not perfection, rather it is about achieving


Spring 2013

mura muri muda
Mura Muri Muda
  • Uneveness (Mura)
  • Overburden (Muri)
  • Waste (Muda)

Spring 2013


Examples of Administrative Waste

  • Errors
  • Bureaucracy (e.g. approvals)
  • Excess Documentation

Contramuda = JIT, modular budgets, SNAP

Spring 2013

  • People (Initiative, Self-Direction, Alignment)
  • Purpose (A different kind of why? Adding value)
  • Process (Design, make, use, improve)

Spring 2013

kaizen initiative
Kaizen Initiative



Problem Solve



Spring 2013

  • People

“Think, think, think….”

Spring 2013

  • Sort (organization)
  • Straighten (orderliness)
  • Sweep/Shine (cleanliness)
  • Schedule (Standard maintenance of organization, orderliness, cleanliness)
  • Sustain (habit of standardization)

Spring 2013

kaizen systems
Kaizen Systems

The practice serves as system for obtaining an objective or completing a task by aiding:

  • Precision
  • Consistency
  • Efficiency
  • Adjusting to Scale
  • Training & Education

Spring 2013

standard operating procedures
Standard Operating Procedures
  • Represents “best practice” for the task
  • Provides baseline for improvement
  • Articulates objectives
  • Prevents Errors
  • Provides Training
  • Preserves Expertise

Spring 2013

sponsored activities administration
Sponsored Activities Administration

Where are you in the process?


Department ORSP Research Finance

Spring 2013

sponsored activities administration1
Sponsored Activities Administration

Identify a specific problem or area for improvement?

Ask the Five Whys

  • Insufficient information is being communicated. (The Problem)
  • Why?- The form doesn’t have the corrected data . (first why)
  • Why?–It’s an old form. (second why)
  • Why?– We don’t have the right template. (third why)
  • Why?– We don’t have the right software. (fourth why)
  • Why?– We didn’t upgrade to take advantage of technology. (fifth why, a root cause)

Spring 2013

sponsored activities administration2
Sponsored Activities Administration

When why gets in the way….

Ask How

If the whys are strong enough you’ll find a way to how.

Spring 2013

sponsored activities administration3
Sponsored Activities Administration

Add some Does

Doesit make the job easier?

Does it make the job safer (more compliant)?

Doesit make the information more clear?

Doesit help avoid errors?

Doesit remove a barrier or layer?

Spring 2013

sponsored activities administration4
Sponsored Activities Administration


Add value for the customer and/or

Relieve the burden on the customer

Manage & Improve

Spring 2013

sponsored activities administration5
Sponsored Activities Administration

Lead as if you have no power.

Knowledge of the work;

Knowledge of job responsibilities;



Celebrate the small successes!

Spring 2013

make things better
Make Things Better

Kai = change

Zen = good

Start the journey now.


Spring 2013