Continuous Improvement

What is Continuous Improvement?

An approach to improving performance and enabling innovation by systematically removing waste and providing value to customers. Continuous improvement methodologies focus on evaluating and improving processes using Lean tools to provide optimal outcomes. The method we typically use is called Plan-Do-Check-Act or PDAC, and it is described as follows:

  • Plan: Identify, define and analyze the problem
  • Do: Develop & test potential solutions
  • Check: Measure the effectiveness of the solutions
  • Act: Fully implement the solution & continue to monitor the results

How Can We Help You?

The VPCFO Continuous Improvement initiative was launched in 2016 to support the division’s goal to “ensure and provide efficient and safe daily operations” and “sound financial management”. Currently, Continuous Improvement services consist of:


Providing formal training on Continuous Improvement methods and tools on a quarterly basis. Training is limited to 20 people per class. Classes may be added if there is demand. The next class is:

To be determined

Due to the interactive nature of the training, remote attendance is not available.

Please Contact Us if you would like to attend the upcoming training.

Lean Participant Credential:

A Lean Participant Credential can be earned by staff who are interested in formalizing their ability to work on Lean Continuous Improvement projects. The credential is designed to develop and recognize expertise in using Lean tools and methods while working on Lean teams. Requirements of the credential must be completed within 3 years.

Lean Practitioner Certification Requirements:

  • Attend Lean Continuous Improvement training for Practitioners which is offered quarterly
  • Participate in 2 approved continuous improvement projects
  • Read 1 article on Lean in Higher Education or attend 1 Network for Change and Continuous Innovation Power 60 webinar, and submit written recap on topic or share high level talking points at CI Committee meeting
  • Participate in two IU HR Organizational Development classes focused on the following areas:
    • Trust
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Cultural Intelligence

If you are interested in learning more, please contact

Project Support:

Providing project leadership, support and guidance for project sponsors at the department or RC level. If you would like more information on how we can support your project, please Contact Us

Just Do It / Just Stop It Support:

Assistance with evaluating and implementing small improvements that are within your area of control. Often referred to as “Just Do It” or “Just Stop It”, these small changes can have big results. When evaluating small changes, it’s helpful to consider the following questions:

  • What problem do you want to address?
  • What improvement are you considering?
  • What are your concerns if the problem is not improved?
  • What is the benefit of the improvement?

If you would like guidance on making small, impactful changes, please Contact Us

Continuous Improvement Committee:

Advising and supporting a committee of Continuous Improvement Champions who work on projects that will have institutional impact. Our third phase of projects begins in January 2019. If you are interested in being part of our Continuous Improvement Committee, please Contact Us

You can also find out more information at the following:

What is Our Mission?

Support IU’s mission by continually improving services in support of those we serve. We will do so by promoting the evolution and growth of VPCFO staff as Lean Leaders engaged in the pursuit of continuous improvement.

What Is Our Vision?

Successfully build a sustainable Continuous Improvement Office in the VPCFO organization that provides project leadership, guidance, training and support for University departments. Sustainable means:

  • Staff are engaged and aspire to continuously improving themselves and the University.
  • Staff are well-trained and knowledgeable in the ways to apply Lean methodology.
  • Staff collaborate within and outside of the VPCFO organization to achieve their objectives.
  • The office is able to work on many projects simultaneously.
  • There is a long and continuously growing list of projects to work on.

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