Metform Takes Lean Manufacturing Principals Back to School and the Community

A physical education teacher at a Savanna, Illinois elementary school holds an Elementary Track and Field Day in the afternoon at the end of every school year. Students invite their families to come and watch various themed activities — from Luaus to Olympics, to collecting donations for a new playground. It's an opportunity for students to showcase what they've learned throughout the school year.

After 38 years of holding this Elementary Track and Field Day, the teacher has implemented many suggested improvements — having volunteers run activities, so multiple events can take place at once; having track events in the morning and field events in the afternoon; color-coding t-shirts for specific grade levels, etc. As with most events, there are still improvements and issues that need addressed.

Improvement Opportunities
For 3 years, a Metform volunteer team has helped to run activities at Track and Field Day and has recommended improvements. The 2017 volunteer group helped with the 'Let's Get Ready for the County Fair' Track & Field Day with activities, such as: 'Fill the Bushel Basket,' 'Shovel Race,' 'Hay Bale Hurdles,' 'Country Obstacle Course,' 'Jump Over the Gate,' and 'Stick Horse Race.' There were 8-10 activities created for each age group — Kindergarten to 2nd Grade, and 3rd Grade to 5th Grade.

Once the activities were completed, the Metform team met and compiled a Muda Walk list of improvement opportunities for the teacher to review. Looking at a process that has been continuously improved upon and fine-tuned over decades is challenging and an eye-opener that Lean isn't something done only at the work place. It is something that can be of benefit in everyday life.

Taking Lean back to school and the community is the beginning to changing the culture and mind-set at MacLean-Fogg.


2017 Metform Volunteer Team on pedal tractors