Alex McCulloch, Head of Circulation Services, describes the Library's experience using Lean.
Members of the Library's LibGreen group get ready to conduct a waste audit at the Davis Centre Library. They applied a Lean approach (Kaizen circle) to problem-solve why recycling facilities were not being used properly.
|How long have you been using Lean in the Library?||We did our first Kaizen circle about 3 years ago and have done two more since.|
|What is a Kaizen?||
A Kaizen is a series of 8 steps that provide a structured approach to solving a problem or making an improvement. The steps are done as a group to improve a process that involves two or more areas of the organization. The 8 steps are:
|What problems have you addressed so far?||
The first one investigated if we could come up with a different approach to the problem of students saving study space in the Davis library when they aren’t physically in the building; the second Kaizen looked at improving our internal process for how staff book time off; and the current one is looking at how we can divert the recyclables that are thrown into trash bins in the libraries from ending up in the landfill.
|What have been the benefits of your Kaizen circles?||It has helped develop within our department a shared expectation of the steps that are important to work through when solving a problem that affects several staff. It has also given staff an opportunity to try out new roles, to apply their creativity, and to take shared ownership over shared issues.|
|What recommendations do you have for others interested in getting started with Lean?||
Start small. It’s an excellent tool but it can be time-consuming. Once you’re comfortable with the process you’ll have a feel for how to move more quickly through some steps, and for what kinds of issues you want to solve using kaizen.
Please contact Raghda Sabry for any questions.