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Operational Excellence

Cultural Showcase

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Celebrate, Recognize, Share

In the 6th University of Washington Lean Cultural Showcase, 69 teams from across campus came together at the University’s Intellectual House to celebrate our Lean journey and promote a culture where improving the work, is the work. In this culture, employees are continuously looking for ways to enhance customer service, increase efficiency, and continue to learn and grow.

The event was a great opportunity for teams to reflect on their journey, document their results and share ideas with their peers. In addition, when preparing for the showcase, teams had the opportunity to recognize their accomplishments, celebrate progress with their leaders, and motivate themselves to continue the journey.

This was our largest event to date, representing the great work of more than 800 team members and the diversity of Finance & Administration, including: electricians, plumbers, buyers, financial advisors, accountants, investors, designers, custodians, etc.


There were teams at the event that model the four different levels of team maturity practiced at the University:

  • Launch + 90 Days – 19 teams such as the Summer Punchlist and FS Corp Yard teams
  • Daily Kaizen – 15 teams such as the BSD Physics & Astronomy and Financial Reporting teams
  • Maturing Systems – 31 teams such as teams in Creative Communications and Procurement
  • Aligning Value Streams – 4 teams such as GCA Budget Set-up and GCA Invoicing

Key Takeaways

As visitors made their way around the showcase, and had a chance to talk with our teams, they had the opportunity to witness some key indicators of their journeys:

  • Team goals that connect to the organization’s overall strategy
  • Ability to align their improvements to business outcomes
  • Reflect upon how their use of tools and systems have matured over time
  • Articulate and celebrate their results
  • Share what has worked for them and what might work for others

If you would like to learn more about the University’s Lean journey, or to follow up on how your team can get involved, please feel free to contact the Lean Team.