Implementation of Lean Practices in a Higher Education Institution’s Student Affairs Office: A Case Study from a Bosnian University

Amina Krdžalić, Amina Brgulja, Benjamin Duraković


Higher education is a key element of prosperous communities, and the quality of education should be a priority in attracting prospective students. Good education implies good academic staff, well-equipped laboratories, facilities, and efficient processes. Maintain efficient processes is challenging abut achievable. One of the possible solutions to improve education processes is to pursue a lean strategy in order to reduce waste and non-value-added activities. The purpose of this paper is to combine paying off strategies from manufacturing companies with higher education institutions (HEI), in order to enhance the quality of education and efficiency of higher education institutions. This research deals with application lean tools in university processes with the aim of investigating the possibility of applying lean concepts in HEI. Processes from the student affairs office from a Bosnian university were taken as a case study. The tools were used for data collections, student satisfaction measurement, process efficiency analysis and assessment whether the university is ready for the implementation of the lean concept. As a result, it was observed that communication channels between university and students are weak, the student information system does not respond to students’ needs, internal communication channels need to be improved and human resources are underused. Overall, it was found that the lean strategy can be applied in HEIs but for the successful implementation of lean thinking, lifestyle from top management to lower management must be adopted.


lean; strategy; higher education institutions; student satisfaction; continuous improvement; quality; value stream mapping.

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