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Lean higher education: increasing the value and performance of university processes

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about the book

In an environment of diminishing resources, growing enrollment, and increasing expectations of accountability, Lean Higher Education: Increasing the Value and Performance of University Processes, Second Edition provides the understanding and the tools required to return education to the consumers it was designed to serve—the students. It supplies a unifying framework for implementing and sustaining a Lean Higher Education (LHE) transformation at any institution, regardless of size or mission.

Using straightforward language, relevant examples, and step-by-step guidelines for introducing Lean interventions, this authoritative resource explains how to involve stakeholders in the delivery of quality every step of the way. Author Bill Balzer details a flexible series of steps to help ensure stakeholders understand all critical work processes. He presents a wealth of empirical evidence that highlights successful applications of Lean concepts at major universities and provides proven methods for uncovering and eliminating activities that overburden staff yet contribute little or no added value to stakeholders. Read more >


"Lean Higher Education is a must have for anyone considering implementing lean at their university. It used to be that we didn’t have good examples of lean implementation in higher education. That is no longer an excuse. Bill Balzer has done an excellent job of making the current state of 'how to' (and how not to) accessible to everyone."

Eric O. Olsen, PhD, Chair, Industrial Technology and Packaging Area, Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, CA



"William Balzer is a highly respected author across the global Lean in Higher Education community. Anyone who has an interest in Lean in Higher Education or is keen to understand more about it should read this book."

John Hogg, Director of Continuous Improvement, University of Strathclyde


"This book is an invaluable resource for anyone practicing Lean in higher education. The new material is on the leading edge of what we know about how to successfully implement and sustain Lean in the complex higher education ecosystem. The emphasis on culture and building capability is spot on, and the resources appendix is a bonanza of helpful links for our Lean HE community of practice."


Ruth Archer, PhD, Director of Continuous Improvement at Michigan Technological University; Chair, Lean HE Americas Division


"Lean Higher Education broke new ground and helped defining the new field of Lean in higher education. This second edition is a valuable update especially with the extension into academic processes. The reader will find the book a rich source of ideas and inspiration. It is an essential source for everyone engaged in the improvement of education for the sake of our students and academic staff."

Dr. Vincent Wiegel, co-chair Lean & World Class Performance research group, HAN University of Applied Science, Arnhem, Netherlands.

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