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Learn about the impacts and measurable results of UC San Diego's commitment to continuous improvement.

Lean Six Sigma Training: Improving Speed and Accuracy 

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is the process improvement methodology adopted by UC San Diego. Improving speed (Lean) and improving accuracy (Six Sigma) form the core tenants of LSS. Adopting a singular methodology allows practitioners to operate under common frameworks using a shared vocabulary and set of techniques.  

LSS practitioners' curriculum includes the following progression:

  • White Belt: high-level introduction to concepts
  • Yellow Belt: deep-dive training (one full day) with practice exercises 
  • Green Belt: multi-week, intermediate-level course with capstone individual or group project demonstrating $40k in savings
  • Black Belt: multi-week, expert-level course with capstone project demonstrating $100K in savings

To date, staff across campus and UC San Diego Health have earned more than 4,600 LSS Yellow, Green and Black Belts!

Process Palooza: The Great LSS Race


Each year at Process Palooza, teams compete to improve real campus processes. What's more, the sponsoring departments implement the suggestions made. 

Associated Students Travel Request Process (2017)

$96,000 savings, 41% reduction in processing time, 50% reduction of rework, 50% reduction of advising time, increased customer satisfaction by 80%, increased process understanding by 100%. 

Transportation Services New Employee Commute (2017)

By implementing only a small number of improvements, achieved $105,000 in labor savings and a 30% reduction of in-person procession.

Fleet Services Vehicle Request Process (2018)

Request process cut down to three days from up to 20, 50% vehicle reduction, overall $1.7M savings in capital costs.

Study Abroad (2021)

Developed a pilot e-form that routes through various departments/colleges across divisions based upon student majors/minors, which has never been done before. Gained support for a dedicated development team that is continuing to automate the process.

Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars Program (2021)

Implemented several time-saving measures to the application, review and notification cycles. 



LSS Scholarships Tally $17.6M in Savings

Each year, the Office of Operational Strategic Initiatives awards scholarships for UC San Diego staff members to earn Lean Six Sigma Green and Black Belts. Participants must complete a class project in which they apply LSS to job-related processes. Green Belt students must demonstrate a minimum of $40,000 in savings, while Black Belt students must demonstrate a $100,000 savings.

The cumulative savings add up…big time. Since 2016, over 210 staff have received scholarships, with the class projects resulting in a cumulative savings of $17.6M. 

Promapp Usage Builds!

UC San Diego has adopted Promapp as an enterprise process mapping tool for continuous improvement work. Use of Promapp is taking off! To date, over 500 users have been trained. Some 1,200 maps have been created, with 354 maps and variants attributed to ESR and 58 created to support COVID-19 response efforts. 

The training-onboarding process has been adapted to meet the needs of remote staff. Visit the Promapp page on Blink for training schedules and registration information. In addition, supporting maps and guide videos have been created for new users. 

The existing maps have received 400+ pieces of suggestion and feedback, which no doubt have led to improved accuracy of our documentation. Including mini-mode map views, UC San Diego’s maps have received 70,000 views!