Future University – Edge Zones
February 5, 2013 – 6:47 pm | Comments Off on Future University – Edge Zones

I’ve been thinking a bit about the future of the university, and it seems to me that a new model may be emerging, one that has something of the traditional sanctuary of a place of learning, but that innovatively engages communities, both local and international. There will, of course, have to be those preserves where students and teachers can contemplate their experience and learn together, but there must also be what, for the moment, one might think of as an edge zone where interactions of many kinds might take place.

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Home » Headline, Lean-Design

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT – a lean learning cycle

Submitted by on January 10, 2011 – 5:09 pmOne Comment

by Brian D. Anderson

“In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming

The Deming Cycle – Plan, Do, Check, Act.

Lean Design promotes a process of continuous improvement and continuous learning through cycles of action and reflection. Lean methodologies have in part been adopted from the Deming Cycle. Originally developed by Walter Shewhart in the 1930’s and later made popular by W. Edwards Deming; this continuous improvement cycle now carries his name. Today it is standard practice in business process improvement.  Lean learning and continuous improvement are employed by Lean Design as a method for implementing physical change.

  1. Plan. Examine the client’s needs in detail, gather data, identify problems and develop solutions.
  2. Do. The design term for this is prototyping. Prototypes are tested in a trial run and data are collected.
  3. Check. This phase studies the data collected and compares it to the original proposal to determine if results were as expected; modifications are made if required.
  4. Act. The implementation phase. Improvements from earlier models are incorporated and rollout begins.
  5. Repeat as required

Who benefits from Lean Design?

Lean Design methodologies including continuous improvement are effective tools for organizations anticipating physical change; either large-scale capital planning or smaller-scale changes within a client’s operation.  For institutions with multi-building campuses, which make major capital investments for new facilities, this cycle can take of a number of years and engage data from multiple teams.  Real estate and facilities departments can use continuous improvement tools to evaluate and design individual buildings and improve the campus as a whole. For example, in the Step 1 plan phase, data are collected not only for the new facility but also from post occupancy evaluations of earlier buildings.   Continuous improvement is also a Lean Design tool for working with business units and departments within an organization. Lean Design can guide the planning, design, and development of interior environments for a department or business unit so that the new environment improves the business process.  Here the cycle can address smaller-scale design applications for interior improvements, upgrades, renovations or even full-scale new interior environments.

  • Pooja Goud

    Dear Dan,

    Very Informative post!!