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Thursday, December 09, 2010 - Guest speakers share knowledge and experience with OU students
   Greg Boos from Henry Ford Hospital presents to the Lean
   undergraduate class HRD 304.

This fall semester featured many exciting and informative guest speakers in both Lean undergraduate classes taught by Professor Mark Doman, visiting assistant professor in Human Resource Development at Oakland University.

Guest speakers for HRD 304: Lean Principles and Practices in Organizations included University of Michigan Engineering graduate Jeff McGuidwin, Ed Sosnowski from Uni-Solar, Debra Setman from Johnson & Johnson, Jeffrey Engle from Takata and Greg Boos from Henry Ford Hospital.

Both Setman and Sosnowski are part of the OU Pawley Lean Institute’s Advisory Board and have given presentations to Doman’s HRD 304 class before. Sosnowski serves as the Board’s chair.

HC 207: Lean Thinking also saw a myriad of guest speakers, including Sosnowski, Victor Zambardi from OU General Counsel and the HRD 304 kaizen team from summer 2009.

“‘Leaning out’ processes is contagious,” said Zambardi, vice president for Legal Affairs and General Counsel as well as secretary to the Board of Trustees at OU. He has had experience implementing Lean at OU under his direct supervision. “Once you understand some basic concepts and have applied them to a real-life situation, you begin to view everything from a Lean perspective, and it becomes your normal mode of operations, not the exception.”

The student kaizen team, consisting of Cassie Bell, Michelle Mich, Ed Yates and Donna Beauchamp, made recommendations on how to improve the grade change process at OU. The students identified how to dramatically reduce the amount of time and number of steps that it takes to change grades at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

A process, Bell said, that was streamlined from over 30 steps to six steps. The pilot of the team’s program is expected to run this winter semester.

This presentation was particularly helpful for the HC 207 students because they also looked at OU processes for their class projects. Broken up into two kaizen teams, the students worked on the OU letter of offer process and the OU direct payment voucher process.

“The class has been assigned two distinct Lean projects,” Zambardi said. “I hope my presentation added value to their understanding of the obstacles involved and helps them succeed on those projects, and in applying Lean principles in the future.”

For more information about Pawley Institute courses, visit

Related Blog Post: 4 Questions with OU's Vic Zambardi on "Leaning Out" Processes within the University