The application of Lean within Higher Education
: A methodology for enhancing stakeholder satisfaction with improvement project outcomes

  • Gazelleh Moradi

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The research problem of this work is that in order for an improvement project to be perceived as successful from a stakeholder perspective their requirements would need to be understood at the outset of the improvement project and that where complexity includes multiple stakeholders, with a
    number of objectives, these would need to be identified and prioritised. In order to provide consistent results and sustained improvement, this action should be an explicit part of the
    improvement methodology utilised.

    The aim of the research is to provide a means of identifying and prioritising stakeholder requirement at the outset of an improvement project, such that in meeting the business needs the resulting outcome provides a ‘better fit’ solution for all stakeholders.

    The research objectives are:
    1. To establish a methodology in order to represent all stakeholders to an improvement
    2. To develop a methodology to determine the importance of the stakeholder requirements
    and their relative importance;
    3. To develop a means of specifying the value desired by each stakeholder;
    4. To design and test a methodology that is able to inform an improvement project such that
    the project outcomes are aligned to stakeholder requirements;
    5. To determine the utility of this methodology in improving stakeholder satisfaction with project outcomes.

    An investigation into relevant literature, primary field work into the effects of improvement projects, stakeholder involvement, engagement and the capture of stakeholder value, and preliminary research into ten improvement projects across five different UK universities, engaged in the application of Lean thinking to service delivery, was undertaken. This led to the conception of an improvement methodology and the empirical development over three improvement projects resulting in the design of the Voice of [the] Stakeholder (VOS), a directed self-assessment model. End-to-end application of the VOS-Model to the final improvement project of the three demonstrated the validity of the model in identifying stakeholder requirements and value and the alignment of these with the final project outcome.

    The wider utility was established through the application of the VOS-model to four further improvement projects. The quantifiable project outcomes in each case demonstrated the utility of the model in the delivery of an improvement solution aligned to business needs, while the qualitative stakeholder feedback confirmed the applicability of the VOS-model in the capture and representation of stakeholder requirement and value.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University

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