We have experienced a Lean process with Soren Pedersen as coach, where everyone at the school participated - from teachers to employees in the after-school day care to the janitor/cleaning personnel to the administration.
We were guided to a better way of structuring daily tasks, specific routines and specific problem solving and we achieved an enhanced way of collaborating with clear roles and responsibilities. At the outset of the Lean program and coaching we set up goals consisting of clear guidelines, a more manageable day and last but not least insight into each other's tasks as well as delegation of responsibility from leaders to other employees.
In addition, there was a strong wish to "lean" the common staff rooms in order for everyone to know where everything is, or at least to have the same prerequisite for finding given materials.
To finish off with we had decided that all employees complete a personality indicator. The purpose of that was to nurture a deeper understanding of each other and reaction patterns and of course to further awareness of the strengths that resided in the group.
Soren has coached the administrationen, he has participated in some office meetings in order to gain specific insight into the running of a school - an administration with a multitude of unpredictable tasks. Under Soren's guidance we have discussed the importance of who does what. With Soren's help we were able to see our daily tasks in a different perspective which made us more aware of waste and unnecessary use of our time. We were able to focus on tasks where the process could be made a lot simpler. The office girls got their usual tasks put in a set framework, freeing up time to accomplish tasks landing on their desks during the day.
The rooms have been "leaned" which has yielded more space, and unnecessary "noise" has been removed. It's now clear for everyone to see what lies where and we have implemented a borrowing system so that no-one just grabs something which someone else then is in need of. This has given rise to a sense of responsibility for our educational tools.
The personality indicator which we employed, MBTI, gave us an understanding of each others' strengths, actions and weaknesses - previously there had been a lack of understanding of actions and this could lead to people becoming irritated - this picture has changed, and now we can have a good laugh about the fact that we are so different at times.
We find that follow-up is of vast importance, and like-wise it was also crucial that all departments in the school participate. So we look forward to our follow-up meetings with Soren in the future.
- Liselotte Christensen, School Principal, Riberhus Private School
By ensuring that it is simple and very visible where the dedicated spot for every item is, we have made it easier for staff to prepare for their lessons. This saves considerable time for the teachers and other employees.
In a similar way it has now become very fast to find things and to put them back in their place in our creative room in the after-school day care, and that's the case even if you are not in there every day - and then you don't have to walk around trying to remember everything.
- Brian Jorgensen, Leader of the after-school day care, Riberhus Private School
To optimise the administration and to make work easier for everyone at the school. In the administration the focus was to delegate tasks from leaders, improve the visibility of responsibility and ensure that everyone sticks to routines agreed upon. For the teachers and after-school day care staff and cleaning personnel the key was to make the work easier, ensure better tidyness in all rooms and free up time to become the best teachers.
For 3 years Lean & Strategy has supported Riberhus Private School in their work with Lean. By introducing methods to work in a continuous, structured way with Lean stability was achieved in the administration, after which we involved all staff in the school in working with Lean - from teachers to the after-school day care staff, the cleaning personnel, administration and leaders.
Today there is a culture to work with continuous improvements, there is more of a calm atmosphere and surplus time and energy to prepare better. All of this was reached with a minimum of capital investment. At the same time a better understanding of each others' differences has been built.
Riberhus Private School is based on the values: equality, security and satisfaction. The student number - which today is based on 0 to 10th class - has grown considerably from the first year with 41 in 2005, to 240 in 2009 and 260 before the summer holidays in 2011. There are 5 people in the administration, 16 teachers, 7 in the after-school day care and 3 technical staff. The school started its Lean journey in 2008.
Number of students
- The number of students has risen dramatically at Riberhus Private School. Given such a growth the staff's efforts with Lean have helped to keep a calm atmosphere despite a busy schedule.