Campuses:

Students, Staff Unite for Process Improvement

January 19, 2012

This fall, the OMS 3059 class collaborated with various departments in the Carlson School to examine processes which may need improvement.

This fall, the OMS 3059 class (Quality Management and Lean Six Sigma) taught by Dr. Steve Huchendorf, collaborated with various departments in the Carlson School to examine processes which may need improvement. There was a wide range of projects, including student check-in for walk-in advising, checking in recruiters in the Undergraduate Business Career Center (UBCC), and minimizing poster easels around the school (*for a complete project list, please see below). The projects provided experiential learning opportunities for students, and were a great way to integrate student perspective into day-to-day operations at the Carlson School.

The intensive, month long process required several hours of meeting time with Carlson staff and students to fully analyze and understand how things were currently working, and how they could be improved. Students were excited to put their textbook learning to use on actual processes. Carlson senior Paige Danielson said, "It was really fun to work on an actual process that affected us, as students. This project spans all of Carlson, so everyone will be able to see the benefits from our improvements. It's nice to know that our project will be making the lives of the UG staff a little easier."

Staff from the Carlson Continuous Improvement Team enjoyed watching students engage in a live process improvement project. "It seemed very valuable for students - especially for something in which they might actually be able to see an improvement," said Kay Nelson, Instructional Technology and Training Supervisor. "Seeing their participation and realization that cooperating with other units doesn't always work as you might like - (those are) real world observations." Carlson senior Sammy Sites added, "It was incredibly helpful because it simulated the real world environment that we will all soon be immersed in. It was also impactful to see that the work we did will actually be leveraged in the future."

Dr. Huchendorf has already indicated interest in continuing this format in the future. When student participants were asked what advice they would give future process improvement teams, Carlson junior Cory Landes said, "Come into the project with an open mind, energy, and excitement for the project."

Carlson staff hope to begin implementing the new processes soon, some as early as the start of spring semester.

*Complete Project List

  • BCC Recruiter Check-ins - Sponsor: Jessica Page, Team Leader: Jarrod Davis 
  • Undergraduate Advising Walk-Ins - Sponsor: Jan O'Brien, Team Leader: Craig Gjerdingen 
  • Undergraduate Stories - Capturing Ideas - Sponsor: Mindy Deardurff, Team Leader: Julie Cutting 
  • Undergraduate Stories - Prioritization - Sponsor: Minday Deardurff, Team Leader: Kay Nelson • Easel Posters - Sponsor: Christiane Bartels, Team Leader: Carolyn Chase 
  • Study Abroad - Course Petitions - Sponsor: Jan O'Brien, Team Leader: Corrie Bozung 
  • Enterprise Program Applications - Sponsors: Phil Miller & Christiane Bartels, Team Leader: Niki Amundson 
  • Study Abroad - Communication/IE 101 - Sponsors: Deirdre Opp & Jan O'Brien, Team Leader: Julie Cutting 
  • IT Stock Computers, Faculty Purchases - Sponsor: Jarrod Davis, Team Leader: Niki Amundson 
  • IT Stock Computers, Staff Transfers - Sponsor: Jarrod Davis, Team Leader: Niki Amundson • IT Stock Computers, Inventory Control - Sponsor: Jarrod Davis, Team Leader: Niki Amundson

All projects had 4-5 students from Dr. Huchendorf's OMS 3059 course. All logistics handled by Niki Amundson (CI Coordinator) and Erin Barwis (OMS 3059 TA/CI Team Leader).

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