More than 170 people from four continents attended the Driving Lean Change in Higher Education Conference. Delegates had varying amounts of experience in using Lean in Higher Education, but a goal shared by all was the desire to learn and understand more about Lean in Higher Education. There were three presentations from universities comparing and contrasting their experiences and lean journeys. The message from all seemed to be embedding Lean in HE is a not a one size fits all approach, it depends on culture, leadership, institutional history to name but a few things. It was also impressive to hear how different institutions were collaborating and supporting each other even when they had different models within their intuitions.
There was also a good selection of workshops led by experienced Lean HE professionals, I was able to attend workshops on value stream mapping, lean model cells, evidence based support for lean to name a few. The mix of workshops and larger lectures were a good balance across the two days. In every single session, and the breaks in between there was an atmosphere of learning, mutual respect and the desire to grow and sustain lean in the sector.
I came away with at least ten actions of things that we could consider doing back at Sheffield (watch this space). I also came away having met some amazing, professional and proficient people: many of whom I hope to stay in contact with. The presentations will go on the web in the next few days http://uwaterloo.ca/lean-conference/