Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kaizen - An economic solution for athletic budgets?



The current economic situation has everyone searching for ways to save money. A recent article by Julie Carr Smyth of the Associated Press examines the steps that state governments are taking to eliminate red tape - and hopefully obtain savings for tax payers. The process is called Kaizen.


The premise is to gather people throughout an organization and have them pursue continuous improvement to eliminate waste, save time and improve their end product, not only for themselves but for their customers as well.

It may be as simple as asking "Why" five times.

Gathering the key individuals in any process and examining why their process is as it is - "Why do you do what you do?" - can educate people about their role in the organization. Critical analysis and justification - providing a rationale - can create major improvements. The process is so successful that books written about the success of automobile manufacturer Toyota cite Kaizen as an important part of their organization - and we all know how well Toyota is doing.

As athletic programs and higher education search for savings, might Kaizen provide answers? Potential processes to examine include:
  • Ticket office
  • Business office
  • Facilities
  • Equipment room
  • Academic advising
  • Athletic communications
  • Fundraising
  • Athletic Medicine

The list is likely endless.

Cutting budgets and adjusting to the current economic reality may be difficult, but Kaizen may uncover smart solutions that not only leave your core whole, but make it stronger while saving valuable financial resources.

- ultimatesportsinsider.com

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