Too often, our newly trained Lean facilitators were not engaging, and the facilitators that remained active were not actively growing their Lean thinking and practice. Our facilitators needed systematic coaching, mentoring, and training. We developed a Lean certification framework that clearly defines Lean facilitator expectations, gets supervisor buy in, builds our Lean community of practice, and provides a structured way for our facilitators to grow in Lean knowledge, skills, and abilities. The certification process also enables us to better define, measure, and report our facilitator activities. Actively managing this valuable resource will ensure its continued success.
Ruth Archer is the Director of Continuous Improvement at Michigan Technological University, where she manages the continuous improvement activities for the university. Ruth is responsible for advising, encouraging, and supporting Lean culture and principles in Michigan Tech students and the Leaders in Continuous Improvement (LCI) student organization; providing consultation and education on Lean thinking to academic and administrative units; and creating Lean capability in Michigan Tech's workforce, students, and the community. She also teaches courses on Lean principles, teamwork, and communication. Before working at Michigan Tech, Ruth was in the United States Air Force. She held multiple positions, including aircraft mechanic master technician, test equipment designer, aircraft electromagnetic signature collector, radar modeler, current and future radar engineer, and AFROTC instructor.