Friday, 9 December 2011

LEAN in Education

Recently I was asked to provide some training with reference to the Lean Methodology devised by Toyota.

As part of the exercise I contextualised Lean's Seven Wastes or Muda for the post-16 education sector and thought it may be useful to include that here.

Waste 1
Transportation

Overview
Inappropriate transportation

Example
Overuse of peripatetic equipment, Legacy systems requiring paper transfer

Waste 2
Motion of People

Overview
Unnecessary movement of staff / students

Example
Lessons timetabled to require movement between buildings / campuses, F2F meetings off-site or at one end of campus, specialist resources away from main teaching areas.

Waste 3
Overproduction

Overview
Unnecessary use of paper, materials, striving for perfection over fit-for-purpose

Example
prospectus, course materials, minutes of meetings, production of presentations, figures, data and information

Waste 4
Irregular Processes

Overview
Misalignment of steps in processes

Example
Retesting due to misplaced results. Use of expensive consumables when cheaper alternatives are available. Expensive local Vs central reprographics. Misallocation of valuable and scarce resources i.e. not spending the money where it is needed

Waste 5
Inventory/stock

Overview
Uncontrolled inventory (too much/too little/in the wrong place) and/or excessive Work in Progress (WIP)

Example
Paper and materials stocks, printed materials, production of course materials too early - particularly in areas where current state of industry includes rapid developments and change

Waste 6
Defects/Errors

Overview
Procedural errors, missing data, lost items requiring duplication

Example
Lost assignments, rooms or equipment double booked, inappropriate access rights, innacurate data

Waste 7
Waiting and other time-related waste

Overview
Delays, Misaligned requirements/delivery

Example
Long process cycles, over-dependence on committees when speedy decisions needed, Bottlenecks

Friday, 8 July 2011

JISC Regional Support Centres

The last couple of weeks I've been doing the rounds of a few JISC Regional Support Centre "eFairs".

The RSCs, as they have come to be known, are a conduit between the JISC Advisory Services and learning providers, particularly in the FE, Adult and Work-Based Learning sectors.

They field queries and signpost providers to the appropriate service and they also host and administer a number of workshop activities that we deliver on their behalf.

Within each of the RSCs are a number of knowledgeable and skilled advisers who support use of technology in colleges and other providers in their region.

Many of them host an annual event where practitioners from the sector can meet, network, listen to experts amongst their peers, demonstrate what they have done, and learn what other support and resources might exist from the somewhat complex range of services that make up JISC.

This week I've been in Ipswich at Suffolk New College for the RSC Eastern region's eFair.

Together with colleagues from JISC Legal and JISC Digital Media, who together with my own service, JISC infoNet, come under the umbrella of JISC Advance, I ran a "Show and Tell" session throughout the day, talking to delegates and showing them some of the resources we have to offer the Sector.

It was good to talk to some of the other services and agencies working within the Sector as well, it being particularly nice to hear about our resources being used and promoted by others.

If you work in the UK post-16 education world and haven't come across your regional JISC RSC or other JISC Advance services then you can find out about them on this page from the JISC Advance website.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Business Impact Analysis

I had a query from a college friend the other day who said 'We have been advised by our IT Auditor that we need to complete a Business Impact Analysis to establish the criticality recovery priority of systems, the nature of risk to which they are exposed and the contingency measures to be implemented. We do have a Risk registers where we have been documented all IT Risks and its calculated control.'

I've commented before ("What is the Real Risk?" May 2009) that whilst we tend to be good at identifying risks we can easily look at them from a personal rather than an organisational point of view. If you identify the risk of tripping over a wire you think of the impact as injury rather than thinking of it as the amount of work not done and the consequences of that because someone is off on sick leave with a broken leg.

My answer was, 'It sounds as if they are wanting evidence that you have identified what impact the loss of individual systems would have on the organisation as a whole – which would then allow you to prioritise systems against each other so that if you lost more than one you would know which to bring back on line first.

'We tend to think of risk in terms of things like “email system goes down” but they are asking what would the impact of that be – what would be impossible and what delays would alternatives bring?

'E.g. – loss of all email communications sent from external contacts until situation resolved or external contacts advised to send via alternative methods leading to delays from known regular contacts and total loss from unknown, new or occasional sources. Internal communications needing to be routed through other means – telephone, internal post, introducing delays up to one day.
'

To register these details can be time consuming and involve careful thought. The JISC infoNet Risk Management infoKit recommends describing risks with a sentence construction such as: "There is a risk that A, caused by B, will lead to C". "C" may be more than one consequence and may involve writing quite a bit of text!