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Kaizen Event Focuses on Services for Students


August 21, 2011

As students registered for classes this fall semester at Bevill State Community College, the process was a little different and hopefully a little easier according to top administrators at the college.

 

Bevill State partnered with Alabama Technology Network (ATN) for a “Kaizen” event held this past spring to help identify ways to improve the registration process. Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning continuous improvement and a “Kaizen Event” is an intensive and focused approach to continued process improvement. During the event, participants use Lean techniques to rapidly make improvements to a specific area or process.

 

Bevill State identified the registration process as the area for improvement.  Several employees from various departments were brought together to examine registration processes, propose improvements, and implement changes.

 

Prior to the three-day on site workshop, ATN representatives examined the processes of every Office of Student Services at all locations.  Through extensive interviews and a “mystery shopper,” several areas were identified for improvement.

 

“The goal of the Kaizen event was to improve the way we conduct business in order to maximize student success,” said Bevill State President Dr. Anne McNutt. “By utilizing Lean techniques, our employees should be better prepared to eliminate non-value added activities, resulting in a better experience for our students.”

 

David Cooper, Director of ATN in Jasper, led the workshop. He indicated that the goals of a Kaizen event are to eliminate waste while teaching workers how to learn to identify and eliminate waste, assist in the standardization of work, and humanize the workplace.  By applying these techniques to the registration process, employees will be able to reduce paperwork process time, improve on-time performance, reduce work and reduce work errors.

 

“Several College employees attended a Kaizen Workshop offered by ATN earlier in the year and we all walked away wanting to implement strategies we learned to
improve services to students,” said Dr. Kim Ennis, BSCC Dean of Students. “Student Services agreed to be the first functional area to examine processes and we identified several areas that could have an immediate impact on services to students.”

 

For more information about Kaizen or Lean Office training, contact David Cooper at the ATN office in Jasper, 205-648-3271, ext. 5915 or dcooper@bscc.edu


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