Skip to Content
VOL.3 | ISSUE 1 | SUMMER 2009

why lean?

LEAN -- sound like the latest diet? Well, it is -- it's a workplace diet.

Yuck, you think.  I hate diets!  Diets mean cutting out things I like. But … we all know diets can be good for us, right?  Successful diets help us think about what we eat, so that we can eat more wisely -- to increase energy, shrink the waistline and, ultimately, improve our health.

If that’s the case, how can LEAN help ABA? LEAN helps improve an organization’s health through the conscious elimination of excess, thus increasing energy, i.e., turnaround time, production rates, etc. Better and faster results can help save time and money. LEAN is a smart option in times like these, as demands grow and resources dwindle.

So, how does an ABA department embark on a LEAN diet? Simple … the way one would approach any diet. Start by looking at what you do and how you do it.  Nutritional weight-loss plans often recommend a journal to track daily caloric intake. Documenting the current state of your process is a good place to start. From here, you can begin to look for areas of waste – that is, anything unnecessary. Waste could be:  steps in a process, approvals, movement, redundant processes, unused space and manpower, errors resulting in rework, etc.  Focusing on quick and easy changes will build enthusiasm to help you reach your goals. (In the world of quality improvement, this is called “low hanging fruit.”)

In the fall, ABA Staff Professionals generated many valuable ideas on how to go LEAN. In this newsletter, you will hear about some of those that have been put into action. Don’t stop there! Diets are only successful with long-term commitment and discipline. To get started, check out the Tools section of the Strategic Planning & Quality Improvement website  And keep sharing those good ideas with your managers and supervisors.  Let’s work together to keep ABA LEAN!


~ Gina Curry, Bursar & Director of Student Financial Services Center