Here’s an interesting blog post in the Chronicle of Higher Education “Why More Colleges Might Want to Measure What Regulation Costs Them” (6 January 2014). Why put effort into measuring the cost of regulation when the effort would be far better spent improving the processes used to comply with regulations?
The Lean higher ed leader already knows that it costs too much, takes too many people, and too much time to comply with federal, state, accreditors, and other regulating bodies. Measuring the cost precisely would be considered waste. Instead, they would kaizen the processes reduce ambiguity in interpretation of regulations, combine and eliminate steps, and simplify.
Staff would then be able to spend more time with students. The resources saved should, of course, be invested in ways that expand the value proposition for students and payers. The focus of investment from this and other sources should be on instruction, which has been starved for so many years.
They would also embark on a longer term effort to lobby government and non-government agencies to combine some regulations and eliminate others where it is sensible to do so (and keep doing this as things change over time). They would team up with other universities in the state, region, or nationally to get this done using a low-cost process.
That’s just one of the many differences between conventional thinking and Lean thinking.