UCOP Gets Lean Training

Lean IT team

By John Ruzicka. Lean Six Sigma is a customer-oriented methodology that continually improves performance by eliminating waste. Most of the technical employees in Information Technology Services at the UC Office of the President (UCOP) have completed Yellow Belt training in the basics of Lean Six Sigma.

Nine volunteers took their training a step further, completing a week of training to become Lean Six Sigma Practitioners. This new team, led by Donna Yamasaki, includes Angelie Gurule, Bobby Cook, Chris Miller, Debra Turnage, Deborah Chase, Emily Weaver, and John Ruzicka.

The Lean Practitioners Group connected with the Lean Center of Excellence at UC San Diego – the team that sets the standard for implementing Lean. Our UCOP Lean practitioners are focusing on learning best practice tips and tricks from UC San Diego. We’re looking forward to meeting with other Lean practitioners at this year’s UCCSC. Collaborating with UC San Diego has taught the UCOP team that implementing Lean is a gradual process and “not to let being perfect get in the way of being good.’”

The team has been working on communicating Lean concepts throughout the IT organization and identifying Lean projects. The team has developed skill in all areas of Lean Six Sigma, including process maps (current and future state), fishbone diagrams, and implementation plans. The team is also examining updating our Knowledge Management, and deployments from DEV to QA.

An early success: server intake process

The team had an early success leaning the server intake process at UCOP. Team members met with process owners to create a Value Stream Map (VSM) of the existing process. This visual map let the owners quickly see where time was being spent, and how each part of the process flowed into the next. A sample VSM is shown here:

Once process owners knew how time was actually being spent, they were able to find ways to eliminate unnecessary or overly cumbersome steps.

Next step: Agile!

The Lean team has recently begun working with UCOP’s Agile and Operations teams to map current workflow. The team is paying particular attention to mapping the work intake process; a process that has been challenging. An early result has been learning that “there is a cost to not saying ‘no’.”

Share your Lean success stories!

We want to hear how Lean is working at your campuses! Reach out to our Lean team anytime at Lean@ucop.edu and share your Lean success story!

From left to right: Emily Weaver, Angelie Gurule, Bobby Cook, Donna Yamasaki, Instructor Rochelle Smith, Deborah Chase Samarov, John Ruzicka, and Debra Turnage. Missing from photo: Chris Miller

John Ruzicka is a technical writer, Information Technology Services, UC Office of the President.

Comment (1)

  1. Marisa Strong

    congratulations to the team for the Yellow Belt training completion! Where can we find out more information about UCOP’s Agile and Operations teams? Is there a specific group doing this?


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