Lean at Miami

flowering tree
 Miami University sign
 students walking outside

History of Lean at Miami

In 2009 Miami University adopted MU-Lean as a business strategy, which is a systematic method for the eliminating waste within processes. This approach is centered on the customer and deeply involves the individuals who participate in making a collaborative change. Miami University is committed to spreading the Lean methodologies and embedding an unconscious habit for continuous improvement.

MU-Lean is designed to empower employees to actively participate in capturing and developing ideas and transforming that vision into a positive change for the customer.

  • Lean is a journey, not a destination
  • Lean is a continuous improvement

MU-Lean is a new way to think about how to organize human activities to deliver more benefits and value to customers while eliminating wastes. The aim of MU-Lean is one that sustains growth by aligning customer satisfaction with employee satisfaction, and that offers innovative products and services profitably while minimizing unnecessary over-costs to customers, suppliers and the environment. The basic insight of lean thinking is that if you train every employee to identify wasted time and effort in their own job and to better work together to improve processes by eliminating such waste, Miami University will deliver more value at less expense while developing every employee’s confidence, competence and ability to work with others.


  • Ensure that the Miami Student Experience is the most positive and best in University life in America
  • Reduce and control expenses to meet University Goals without any adverse effect on the Miami Student's experience

Lean Role at Miami

Major Goals & Objectives

  • Create structure, program, and projects to implement the Strategic Plan
  • Assist Miami University departments with creating a culture of continuous improvement
  • Introduce the Lean strategy and tools to operations and assist with project execution
  • Develop the internal capability for Miami to provide its own Lean training and development program
  • Develop leaders who can sustain a Lean culture at Miami

Breakthrough Objectives

  • Increase Revenue
  • Productivity Improvement
  • Cost Reduction
  • Cost Avoidance
  • Improve Quality
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction
  • "Green" Initiatives

Finance and Business Services Key Strategies FY2017

  1. Quality services and customer satisfaction (students and departments)
  2. More efficient administrative processes
  3. Improved information for decision-making at all levels
  4. Diverse hiring
  5. Staff development and training
  6. Finance and Business Services unit performance 
  7. Energy reduction
  8. New revenue generation

Lessons Learned

The most important principles for success and sustainment

  • Leadership and support from the "top"
  • Structure
  • Invest in your own people
  • Communication