The 8 Wastes in Higher Education [INFOGRAPHIC]

/The 8 Wastes in Higher Education [INFOGRAPHIC]
  • Wastes in Higher education

When most people think of Business Improvement and Lean Six Sigma they tend to think about manufacturing, particularly companies such as Motorola, Toyota and GE. However, in the past decade businesses across every industry sector have increasingly been considering how process improvement can help them transform their organisation for the better. Indeed, as all organisations, regardless of what they actually do, have processes they should all benefit from process improvement.

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While the private sector has been benefiting from these methods for some time, the public sector and academic institutions have only recently begun to realise the potential power. We’ve already illustrated the 7/8 Wastes you see in a typical office, but below we take a look at how they might manifest in a university.

Higher education eight wastes

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By |2017-02-22T16:39:42+00:00July 7th, 2015|Blended learning, Lean Six Sigma|4 Comments

About the Author:

With a background in journalism, content writing and digital marketing, 100% Effective's Marketing Manager Philippa has a passion for putting Lean Six Sigma under a microscope to make it more interesting and accessible for everyone.


  1. Rick Lofy 2nd March 2016 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    All of these 8 wastes are so very real, but we seem to accept them because this is what we have always done the job. We have so many people in academia that do their jobs with passion and feel when change is on the horizon it’s to change them!! It’s best to preach Continuous Improvement then convince them of their importance in improving the process. Walking the process and people seeing the importance of their input in the Value Stream is also a very important aspect of the transition.

    • Philippa McIntosh 2nd March 2016 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rick, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes it just takes someone pointing something out in a different way for problems to become obvious!

  2. Cristina Devecchi 4th March 2016 at 7:26 am - Reply

    What struck me in reading the blog is that they all seem so common sense, but i soon realise that they are unseen exactly because they are common sense. They are so ubiquitous, they have become ‘how we do things’. However, i think there is a 9th and much bigger waste which we should much more concerned about and which is, partly, the result of minor wastage along the production line: knowledge. In not making sure that all other parts of the process work efficiently, we under-use the most important of all resources: the acquisition, transformation, sharing and application of knowledge. Chasing paperwork, wasting time trying to find the latest form, over-assessing students, running after minor changes which do not seem to fit into a concerted strategy, and so on robs me of valuable time to put my knowledge and expertise to good use. And if this is not enough, there is another, even more worrying way, in which universities waste the knowledge they have at their disposal. They do so by not knowing the staff they have and the skills, competencies and knowledge they have and have acquired. Academic staff is pigeon-holed into a discipline or set of expected tasks and managers do not seek to learn from their staff whether there is more they can do. So, in conclusion, while it is important to look at the waste of tangible assets, it is the waste of intangible assets that worries me the most.

    • Philippa McIntosh 4th March 2016 at 10:01 am - Reply

      You’re right – waste of knowledge or expertise is a huge problem for businesses. It can only really be tackled by joined up thinking and communication, but often it’s a case of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. Thanks so much for your comments!

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