Nov. 8, 2019 — As long as Organizational Effectiveness Specialist/Trainer Brian Lindgren has been at CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI), he remains impressed at how well people can streamline a process if they just take the time to sit in a room together, face-to-face, and hammer it all out.

That’s what happened when Lindgren sat down with the people and departments involved with getting paychecks for faculty who teach for CSUCI’s Extended University.

The process went so well in fact, that CSUCI recently won its first ever Focus on Efficiency Award from the California Higher Education Coalition, which includes all of the CSU, UC and community college systems.

“It was really exciting,” Lindgren said. “I was attending a conference and I saw the Focus on Efficiency Award and it was kind of serendipitous. I just entered it because I was so proud of how well the team worked together.”

Lindgren was impressed with the way the Human Resources, Payroll, Extended University and Information Technology areas were all able to take time to sit together in one room to hash it out and who needed what and why.

“At first we had 97 steps, 5 different forms which required multiple verifications, original or ‘wet’ signatures and duplicate actions,” Lindgren said. “The team then worked together and realized there were only two forms necessary and reduced the total steps in the process to 37. The total time saved is estimated at 49 hours for a yearly time/cost savings of over $17,000.”

CSUCI is among a growing number of colleges and universities using a streamlining process generally used in corporations called “Lean Six Sigma,” which is used to identify and eliminate waste.

Critical to the process were two manager “champions” of the process, Dean of Extended University Osman Ozturgut and Interim Assistant Vice President for Administrative Services Laurie Nichols, who gave their employees a chunk of time to put their heads together and come up with a solution to an overly complex faculty pay process.

“When I started in July of 2018, one of the goals we established as a team was to be a ‘green’ division within Academic Affairs,” Ozturgut said. “This is not only for cost-saving purposes but it is our responsibility as concerned citizens for the future of our world.”

Lindgren hopes more areas on campus take advantage of the Organizational Effectiveness program in order to give the University the leanest, greenest procedures possible.

Since Lindgren began working with areas about five years ago, the process has saved CSUCI $1.2 million in time and money.

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