Global Lean for Higher Education: A Themed Anthology of Case Studies, Approaches, and Tools, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Global Lean for Higher Education

A Themed Anthology of Case Studies, Approaches, and Tools, 1st Edition

Edited by Stephen Yorkstone

Productivity Press

208 pages | 60 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367024284
pub: 2019-07-29
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This book collects a series of investigations that reflect the state-of-the-art in the global practical application of Lean for Higher Education (HE). The contributions introduce and describe the practical application of Lean in HE so that other practitioners can learn from these experiences, and apply effective practice in their institutions.  

The book demonstrates the diversity of how Lean is applied in universities in a way that will inspire others to deeply engage with Lean thinking in their own unique context to drive successful and sustainable Lean work. 

During the past five years, Lean HE has brought together many practitioners whose Lean initiatives have resulted in major improvements throughout the process. This book is not focused on Lean theory -- it discusses how HE institutions have taken Lean forward, what they have achieved with it, and how others can learn and tactically apply the approaches and tools to their respective institutions.

Essentially, the book allows the reader to understand the different ways that Lean thinking is applied in global Higher Education. Authors from a wide variety of international institutions with different profiles bring a rich and wide set of perspectives. 

The book is composed of five sections: Starting out, People, Projects, Technology, Sustaining Lean, and Culture.  

Each chapter is identified as either a case study, approach, or tool. These allow the reader to navigate to the contents most relevant to their interest. For example: 

  • A case study of how institutions have applied Lean, what went well, what went wrong and lessons learned.
  • A description of a Lean technique or approach that has been developed within HE, with a focus on how this could be applied by other practitioners.
  • A theme that has emerged from practice, offering practical benefits and understanding.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Bill Balzer, Bowling Green State University. Introduction. List of contributors. Acknowledgements. Section I: Starting out. Chapter 1. Establishing Process Improvement Capability (research). Chapter 2. Tools to Get You Started (tool). Chapter 3. VSM as a Tool for Creating a Lean Culture in a University (tool). Chapter 4. "Lean" into your service model: An institutional case study using Library systems (institutional case study). Chapter 5. Developing a Continuous Improvement Service: From Inception to Reality in 18 months (approach). Section II: People. Chapter 6. Identity and Values to Drive Respect for People: A case-study based on embedding kindness as an organizational value. (case study). Chapter 7. Inspiring Sustainable Higher Education and Lean through a Lean Ambassadors Network (approach). Chapter 8. Improving Performance through Engagement – the Impact of Daily Stand-ups in the University of Strathclyde (approach). Chapter 9. Readiness to change towards lean transformation among employee in Universiti Putra Malaysia. (Case study). Section III: Projects. Chapter 10. Applying Lean in Projects; from Visualisations to Process Engineering – It’s Covered! (approach). Chapter 11. BOSCARD A scoping tool for Lean continuous improvement projects and beyond (tool). Chapter 12. Six Sigma as a method for improving university processes, the case of the academic assessment process (case study). Chapter 13. Lean Training to Lean Projects (approach). Section IV: Technology. Chapter 14. Machine Leaning: Integrating Lean into IT (case study). Chapter 15. Can Information Services Lead a Network of Change Agents in a HEI? (case study). Chapter 16. Lean, Kanban and Agile, A Story of Continuous Improvement in a University Software Team (case study). Chapter 17. Every Organisation Needs a Mole (tool). Section V: Sustaining. Chapter 18. Head, Heart, Hands: The three essentials to sustaining Lean (approach). Chapter 19. Lessons from implementing lean at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (case study). Chapter 20. Lessons from Cardiff University's Lean Experience (Case study). Section VI: Culture. Chapter 21. Developing a Culture – the Essentials for Continuous Improvement (approach). Chapter 22. Growing a Lean approach in a changing University (Case study). Chapter 23. Making sense of learning, practice and theory (approach). Chapter 24. What if we knew the future could be different! (approach). Index.

About the Editor

Stephen Yorkstone enables continuous improvement in Edinburgh Napier University, where he works as an internal consultant.

In his role he facilitates and runs interventions, from "process reviews" to more tailored workshops; convenes an internal community of practice; and delivers support and advice informally and formally in terms of consultancy, coaching and training.

Externally to the University he chairs Lean HE, the international organisation for continuous improvement in universities (see:

In previous roles he established the "Lean team" in the University of St Andrews and co-designed the Lean "St Andrews Model".

In 2016 he authored "Lean Universities" in Routledge’s Companion to Lean Management.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Production & Operations Management