In March 2008, Augusta State University had four employees

In March 2008, Augusta State University had four employees complete their green belt training. We had
put six days into this training and were excited about using the concepts we had learned. We quickly
realized that if only four out 625 full time employees knew about lean six sigma, we would not make
much progress. We also realized that even the white belt training, as proved by Southern Poly, would
require too much time commitment by our employees, and would incur significant cost.
Using our newly learned lean techniques, we decided to develop our own “Earn Your Jaguar (our ASU
mascot) Blue Belt”. The program takes 1 to 1 ¼ hours to complete. The key elements of the course are
shown below in bullet point form.
Why lean six sigma – tools to help us focus on continuous improvement
Focus on the customer – yes we have customers
Who are our customers and what is customer service
What is lean – eliminate waste
What is six sigma – outstanding quality
What is lean six sigma – focus on the customer and doing things right the first time
What is a process
Waste reduction in the ASU hiring process
Saving time in what we do
Six sigma – a data driven approach to quality
Tools of lean six sigma
Looking through the eyes of the customer
Here we presented a photo tour on our campus of what a first time visitor
experiences trying to go to Financial Aid – it is not pretty
DMAIC - define, measure, analyze, improve, control
Five whys
Five s’s
The program ends with a five minute rapid process improvement exercise simulating a student
trying to register. It is designed to be inefficient, but amazingly, class after class states “That’s
us!” We had several students participate and tell us that is what happens. This has generated
ideas for improvement.
We needed a method of recognition for those completing the class. We designed an Augusta
State University Lean Six Sigma lapel pin. With over 300 employees and students completing the
class you can see the pins all around campus.
A major component of our success was support from our President on down. The President,
Vice Presidents, and Deans all attended a class and earned their Blue Belt. The Dean of the
College of Business and the Director of the Library asked for individual classes for their areas
which were provided. They required every one attend.
In fall 2009 we will again offer these classes with the goal of 100 % participation. We then plan
to make this class a requirement for all new employees.