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"From Campus Tug-of-War to Pulling Together: Using the Lean Approach"
Author: MacIntyre, Stephen,Meade, Kelly,McEwen, Melissa,
Published In: Facilities Manager
Date: July/August 2009

Some days seem like bouts in an endless game of tug-of-war. At one end of the rope, facilities professionals must do more--tackle deferred maintenance, develop a climate strategy, and meet the energy and operational needs for a complex mix of building types and stakeholders. Tugging on the other end are the obstacles of less money, staff, and support. Many facilities professionals are faced with accomplishing more with fewer resources, all while managing stakeholders with competing interests. The value and obstacles on campus may change over time, but the effects remain--frustrated facilities staff, suboptimal decision making, lack of buy-in, and competing priorities. This article is an introduction to "lean," a value-focused approach that prioritizes customer value and respect for workers, while reducing system wastes and costs and removing obstacles to stakeholder value. By using "lean" principles, and understanding where waste comes from, facilities professionals can take a holistic approach to identifying value, removing waste, and building value within departments and across campus.

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