Getting in Shape Team: introduction and expansion


May 9th, 2023

Getting in Shape (GiS) is a university service that works with teams to build Lean capability – contributing to a strong, effective and engaged organisational culture, improving processes and reducing waste.

Like many other university services, we are dedicated to delivering positive change to enable continuous improvement across the organisation at both major strategic and local levels.

Our team works with departments and cross-university teams to apply Lean principles and assist staff with the planning and implementation of change within their areas.

The vision for the Getting in Shape team is to build a strong and engaged organisational culture by helping to remove pain points, improve processes/ways of working and reduce waste so that staff can invest their time and resources in ways that will address challenges across the university and build on our strengths.

The principles and methodologies of Lean thinking are being used to enable that delivery.

The Getting in Shape team is now growing from a busy team of eight. We will be increasing capability by the recruitment of two additional Lean Practitioners, who will be working with numerous teams across a broad spectrum of Faculties, Schools, and Professional Services.

Building Lean Capability

The GiS team works with other teams or departments in the university to introduce the principles and concepts of Lean thinking and can hold workshops that are led for the whole team with additional support for those in leadership roles.

The GiS team has Lean Practitioners working as part of a central team and embedded within Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Nottingham University Business School (NUBS), Research & Innovation and Digital Core.

Our Practitioners are key to the creation of local capability in Lean, by assisting colleagues from all job families with techniques and mentoring as part of both local and major strategic improvement initiatives.

This is also followed up with coaching and further Lean training as required.

Enabling Improvement

GiS works with teams, departments, or cross-university teams to apply Lean principles to an identified issue that is a problem or has potential for improvement.

We can also employ a Rapid Improvement Event approach that can be applied to scope and follow a process of change to deliver fast results.

Embedding Lean

There are now 590 members of the Lean Community, where staff develop their Lean skills with like-minded colleagues through further training and Lean events.

Teams can be supported through bespoke or standalone improvement initiatives at all levels/size.

GiS offers a suite of high-calibre Lean training, enabling staff to embed Lean within their Schools/Departments. The team also work with external partners linked to the university and Higher Education sector, delivering bespoke training and coaching in Lean techniques.

Darius and Kim, two of the university’s new Lean Practitioners, discuss joining the Getting in Shape team:

Darius Akhavan-Hezaveh:

‘Getting in Shape has been an inspiring team to me since first attending the Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt course. Their belt training series has been an empowering experience, which has helped to build confidence in myself and the way I work. I’m looking forward to joining Getting in Shape and instilling this same confidence to others across the university.’

Kimberley Byrne:

‘I applied for the Lean Practitioner role after doing the Green Belt course and working with the team as a Change Champion. I’m really looking forward to starting in my new role and meeting the rest of the Getting in Shape team.’

For more information about the GiS Team, initiatives and Lean training, please visit and follow the GiS SharePoint Site.

If your team, School or Department needs advice, enquiries can be directed to BB-Gettinginshape@nottingham.ac.uk .

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