Transforming School Business Office Operations

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Byron discusses the various wastes that can eat up revenue and resources in a school system. Participants later worked in small groups to identify waste and variation in their office processes.

The Alabama Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) convened Tuesday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for their Chief School Financial Officer (CSFO) Certificate Program and their Payroll/Personnel Certificate Program.  LEAN Frog President and co-founder Byron Headrick led a “Lean Office” workshop entitled “The Lean Six Sigma Office Advantage: Transforming School Business Office Operations” for the 160 participants who selected the “Lean Office” elective continuing education credit option.

Tying into the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO Intl.) guiding principle to “make the well-being of all students, staff and fellow members a fundamental value in all decision-making and actions,” the workshop addressed how school business management offices can consistently apply lean six sigma (LSS) thinking, systems and tools to 1) improve the speed and quality of their work 2) reduce team member stress and 3) better allocate resources.

During the interactive workshop, participants worked in small groups to  identify waste and variation in their office processes and discuss the impact on the team, the school system as a whole and on the students and parents of the school system.  Participants also identified which LSS tools would be most beneficial to them on an individual basis and to their department as a whole.  As Avery Embry, CFSO of Talladega County Schools remarked, “Bryon’s presentation is thought provoking, refreshing, and concise.  Lean Six Sigma is needed in order to move your (departments/school districts) in the right direction of streamlining your processes.”

From L to R: Jason Taylor (CFSO, Huntsville City Schools), Barbara Locke (CSFO, Barbara Locke) and John Jones (Personnel Director, Madison City Schools) share how lean six sigma thinking, systems and tools has helped their school systems improve operational efficiency

From L to R: Jason Taylor (CFSO, Huntsville City Schools), Barbara Locke (CSFO, Barbara Locke) and John Jones (Personnel Director, Madison City Schools) share how lean six sigma thinking, systems and tools have helped their school systems improve operational efficiency.

The interactive workshop also featured panelists from Alabama schools who shared how implementing the “lean office advantage” has helped their school systems improve operational efficiency in specific departments.  Barbara Locke (CSFO, Wilcox County Schools), Jason Taylor (CSFO, Huntsville City Schools) and John Jones (Personnel Director, Madison City Schools) shared the benefits they experienced with this approach, discussed how the lean six sigma tool set worked in comparison to other school office improvement approaches, and answered audience questions about implementing the tool set.

 

Headquartered in Huntsville, AL, LEAN Frog’s mission is to help public schools succeed through increasing the value they deliver to students, parents and communities while fully engaging employees, reducing costs, and building a spirit of continuous improvement.  LEAN Frog offers various training opportunities such as DISC leadership team training, Yellow Belt and Green Belt Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Certifications to help public schools solve problems and help their team members discover and implement sustainable improvements in their non-instructional departments.

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LEAN Frog Wins 2014 Small Business of the Year Award

The 29th Annual Small Business Awards were held this past Thursday night, September 4th at the Von Braun Center.  This year’s “Get Your Groove On” theme was a throwback to the 70s as guests wore plaid shirts, afros, and bell bottoms and reminisced to the sounds of the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor and the like.

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LEAN Frog team, family and friends pose with awards from the 29th Annual Small Business Awards

LEAN Frog President and Co-founder Byron Headrick (in his victory frog tie-dye t-shirt) accepted the award on behalf of the team as he walked down the carpet to Three Dog Night’s “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog.”  He remarked “I’m truly humbled to accept this award, but the fact is this award really goes out to the people at table 54 and 55 (the LEAN Frog team members). Not only do we get to do what we love, but we get to help a lot of schools and students in Alabama and Tennessee doing it.  That in and of itself is a reward enough for the team and me to keep doing what we’re doing, but this recognition means a lot.”

In addition to the Chamber award, LEAN Frog also received the prestigious “Excellence Is Not Optional” award from Alabama A&M University.  As Dave Knowles, LEAN Frog Sales and Marketing Director pointed out, “Since so much of our work is in the area of public education, it was especially gratifying to receive this award from A&M.”

The Chamber’s Small Business Awards recognize individuals, businesses and organizations that make a positive impact on our economy, schools and community.  A review panel conducts a blind review based on merit without knowledge of the names of the nominees.  Nominated businesses are evaluated on Community Involvement, Financial Strength, Business Goals, ​Growth in Employment, ​Innovative Products or Services, ​Number of Years in Business and Challenges/Response to Adversity.

Headquartered in Huntsville, AL, LEAN Frog’s mission is to help public schools succeed through increasing the value they deliver to students, parents and communities while fully engaging employees, reducing costs, and building a spirit of continuous improvement.  LEAN Frog has won numerous awards including the 2013 Small Business of the Year Award from the Madison City Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama’s 2013 Torch award for Marketplace Ethics for Small Businesses.  President and Co-Founder Byron Headrick won the 2013 Excellence in Leadership & Service Award from the Madison City Chamber of Commerce.

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LEAN Frog to Facilitate Strategic Planning at Hartselle City Schools

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LEAN Frog President and Co-founder Byron Headrick outlines the Strategic Planning Process at the Hartselle City Schools board meeting. LEAN Frog will assist Hartselle City Schools as they build a strategic plan with the community.

PastedGraphic-1PastedGraphic-1Hartselle City Schools is shaping its path forward and has asked LEAN Frog Business Solutions to assist with strategic planning.   The Hartselle City Schools’ Board of Education approved Superintendent Dr. Vic Wilson’s recommendation of LEAN Frog as an external facilitator.

LEAN Frog will assist the Hartselle school system with developing a measurable strategic plan that incorporates their mission, vision, values and strategic objectives over the next 5 years.

“It takes proactive district leadership –the superintendent working together with the board members– to recognize the need to redefine and refocus priorities,” said Byron Headrick, President and Co-founder of LEAN Frog.  “LEAN Frog is proud to work shoulder to shoulder with Hartselle City Schools as they begin their strategic planning process with all of their stakeholders.”

Hartselle’s superintendent, Dr. Vic Wilson, frequently commended for having the same values of the people of Hartselle and for valuing educational opportunities for Hartselle students, said that the strategic plan ties in with his emphasis on creating learning opportunities for every child.  “The strategic plan helps us better anticipate and prepare not only for challenges and how to minimize them, but also for opportunities so we can plan to take advantage of them,” he said.

Parents and community members are encouraged and invited to become involved in this process. It is the goal of the strategic planning process to involve everyone in the community.  A survey seeking opinions and priorities from everyone in the community will be made available beginning in Mid-October.  Community members are encouraged to watch the Hartselle Enquirer for further details about how they can participate.

 

Located in Hartselle, Alabama, Hartselle City Schools is one of the top fifteen school districts within the state.  Established I 1975, it quickly became a sought after district of educational excellence. Hartselle City Schools is dedicated to equipping students to meet the 21st century global opportunities and challenges with confidence, skill and passion.

Headquartered in Huntsville, AL, LEAN Frog’s mission is to help public schools succeed through increasing the value they deliver to students, parents and communities while fully engaging employees, reducing costs, and building a spirit of continuous improvement.   

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LEAN Frog is a Contender for 2014 Small Business Awards

The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce recently announced that LEAN Frog Business Solutions Inc. is an official contender in the Chamber’s 2014 Small Business Awards.  LEAN Frog is one of the contenders for the Small Business of the Year Business/Professional Services Category and LEAN Frog

LEAN Frog Team

LEAN Frog Team Members (from Left to Right): Dave Knowles; Byron and Sherri Headrick; Chasitie White and husband; John Higginbotham and wife.

President and Co-founder Byron Headrick is included on the short list of professionals nominated for the 2014 Russell G. Brown Executive Leadership Award for excellence in leadership and entrepreneurship.

“We have an outstanding team that is dedicated to continuous improvement, but more importantly we are passionate about the impact our work has on students.  I’m proud of the work our team has done to help public schools in Alabama and it is an honor to have our company nominated and make it this far in the review process,” said Byron.

The Chamber’s Small Business Awards recognize individuals, businesses and organizations that make a positive impact on our economy, schools and community.  Once nominated, companies and individuals must meet strict submission standards.  A review panel of CPAs conducts a blind review based on merit without the knowledge of the names of the nominees.  Winners will be announced at the 29th Annual Awards Ceremony held on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at the Von Braun Center.

 

Headquartered in Huntsville, AL, LEAN Frog’s mission is to help public schools succeed through increasing the value they deliver to students, parents and communities while fully engaging employees, reducing costs, and building a spirit of continuous improvement.  LEAN Frog has won numerous awards including the 2013 Small Business of the Year Award from the Madison Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama’s 2013 Torch award for Marketplace Ethics for Small Businesses.  President and Co-Founder Byron Headrick won the 2013 Excellence in Leadership & Service Award from the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

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Addressing the Concern of Fiscal Sustainability in Public Education

Fiscal Sustainability in Public Education being taught in middle TN

Dr. Rebecca Sharber (Franklin Co. Schools), Chad Moorehead (Moore Co. Schools), and Jerry Boyd (Putnam Co. Schools) discuss applying DMAIC to specific challenges in their school systems

If there is a single concern shared by superintendents, it is fiscal sustainability while providing the best education for students.  To address this concern, LEAN Frog provided a half day training course to small groups of superintendents in East, Middle and West Tennessee as part of the company’s partnership with the Tennessee Organization of Superintendents (TOSS) Leadership Institute.   The course “Strategies for Fiscal Sustainability in Harsh Economic Times: Building School System Efficiency through Lean Six Sigma (LSS)” addressed how LSS could be applied to create fiscal sustainability in public education through reducing costs and increasing the value provided to students.

Discussing what he refers to as “the big squeeze”–pressure to excel in academics and at the same time having funding reduced, instructor Byron Headrick, MBB (LEAN Frog co-founder and president) emphasized, “Pressure can drive feverish action. The key is to take action based on what’s most important.  We have to engage in the activities that produce the most value for our students, parents and communities.”

Teaching Fiscal Sustainabilty in Public Education in west TN

Susan Bunch (Lexington City Schools), Steve Wilkinson (Henderson Co. Schools), Dr. Buddy Bibb (Tipton Co. Schools), Johnny McAdams (Carroll Co. Schools) and instructor Byron Headrick (LEAN Frog) use a fishbone diagram to analyze substitute teacher shortages

The course provided an overview of LEAN Frog’s “Five Lean Principles for Public Education,” addressed Value Stream Mapping and DMAIC–LSS approaches for innovating and problem-solving,  and provided pointers for where and how to start applying LSS tools.  As the superintendents learned about the tools, they engaged the instructor and each other about how to apply the tools to specific challenges they faced in their respective school systems.   Technical terms like fishbone diagrams, SIPOC, and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) became more understandable as the concepts were applied to challenges ranging from substitute teacher shortages to rolling out new initiatives in transportation departments.    The course concluded with DISC leadership training so the superintendents could have a basic understanding of facilitation and communication styles when working with teams to innovate or solve problems.
Barry Olhausen (TOSS, Assistant Executive Director) remarked “With the expert guidance of Byron, our Tennessee superintendents dug deep to discover how Lean Six Sigma could assist us in reducing waste, saving time and increasing efficiency in our non-instructional areas.  The real payoff came with the realization that savings in these areas would help us in enhancing our instructional programs.”

east TN superintendents discussing fiscal sustainability in public education

Dr. Dale Lynch (Hamblen Co. Schools), Dr. Jeanne Barker (Lenoir City Schools), and Johnny McDaniel (Bradley Co. Schools) discuss operational and organizational wastes.

After successful completion of the training exam, course participants will receive a yellow belt certification in Lean Six Sigma.

Have questions about applying Lean Six Sigma to improve fiscal sustainability in public education?

Need help implementing LSS tools in your school?

Have concerns about sustaining the improvements your team has already made?

Simply want to know why and how Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) should be utilized in public education?

Feel free to contact LEAN Frog.

 

 

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Yellow Belt Certification for Tennessee School Superintendents

The Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS) and LEAN Frog, a TOSS Institute Sponsor, are TOSS Logoinviting Tennessee School Superintendents to attend a Lean Six Sigma workshop in mid-July 2014.  This free half-day workshop will be held at locations in eastern, middle and western Tennessee in mid-July.  Participants will receive:

  • Yellow Belt Certification (Executive Leadership Training) in Lean Six Sigma approaches to drive efficiencies in school system’s non-instructional operations
  • Their own DISC behavior profile (a useful tool that can provide understanding of communication styles and approaches) and training on how to use DISC to enhance improvement team performance
  • One day of CEO credit from TOSS.

Registration will  begin at 8:30 AM each morning and the program will conclude by early afternoon. Lunch will be provided. Interested Tennessee School Superintendents may make a reservation here. 

LEAN Frog specializes in helping school districts reduce costs (thereby increasing resources for academics), avoid litigation, and decrease fiscal risk through the deployment of Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement and Performance Management Tools. LEAN Frog has worked with a number of school districts in with very impressive results and is now beginning to offer its services in Tennessee.

The title for this workshop is:  Strategies for Fiscal Sustainability in Harsh Economic Times:  Building School District Efficiency through Lean Six Sigma.

This course is an executive leader overview on using Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement and Performance Management Tools to drive efficiency in school system’s non-instructional departments. By the end of this course attendees will have a detailed understanding of:

1.  Understand Operational and Organizational Wastes and how they negatively impacts school system performance;

2.  How to use Process Improvement and Performance Management approaches (i.e. Lean Six Sigma) to eliminate and reduce Operational and Organizational Wastes;

3.  How to select and set-up key process metrics;

4.  How to use those measures through a management system to drive fiscal sustainability and academic performance;

5.  What pitfalls should be avoided when implementing process improvement techniques.

For further information about the TOSS Institute, please contact Barry Olhausen at (615) 254-1955 or at barry@tosstn.com.

 

TOSS is the leading advocate organization for public education in the state of Tennessee.  Since 1975, TOSS has been progressing public education and addressing the needs of its administrators.   For more information about TOSS, please go to:  www.tosstn.com

Headquartered in Huntsville, AL, LEAN Frog’s mission is to help public schools succeed through increasing the value they deliver to students, faculty, parents, and communities while fully engaging employees, reducing costs and building a spirit of continuous improvement.  

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“Alabama’s Best” Contest Announced by LEAN Frog and Alabama Association of School Boards

Huntsville, AL – (June 9, 2014) – LEAN Frog in association with The Alabama Association of School Boards Alabama's Best Contest Logo(AASB) is proud to announce an exciting new contest for Alabama Public Schools. The “Alabama’s Best” Award is for Best Practices and Innovations in non-instructional departments.

“Our goal is to shine a bright light on the non-instructional support services that are critically important to student achievement and promote effective and efficient use of public resources” says LEAN Frog President and co-founder Byron Headrick.

  • The winning entry will receive $3000.
  • Two second place winning entries will receive $1000 each.

 This contest is open to all Alabama public school districts. Districts may submit up to three entries describing a Best Practice in their non-instructional departments.  The Best Practice must have been implemented within the last two school years (i.e., 2012-2013, 2013-2014).

Applicants must complete an official entry form and submit either a PowerPoint presentation or video about the best practice.  Entries will be evaluated on the following:

  • Creativity – the uniqueness of the practice or its application
  • Sustainability – practice makes lasting improvement
  • Impact on Students – practice improves student achievement and increases value by 1) improving students’ environment or well-being, 2) improving the quality of service provided to students, or 3) reducing costs or increasing revenue for the school or district

Entry forms, rules and regulations, evaluation criteria and further details will be available on the LEAN Frog website on June 20, 2014.  The competition runs from June 23, 2014 through October 17, 2014.

Award presentations will be made during the AASBA’s Annual Convention in Birmingham, AL.  In addition to the cash prizes, the winning media presentations will be recognized during the AASB’s award ceremony on Friday, December 5, 2014.

 

Headquartered in Huntsville, AL, LEAN Frog’s mission is to help public schools succeed through increasing the value they deliver to students, parents and communities while fully engaging employees, reducing costs, and building a spirit of continuous improvement. 

The Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB) represents all of the state’s public local school boards. The association’s mission is to develop excellent school board leaders through quality training, advocacy and services.

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LEAN Frog Receives 2014 Best of Huntsville Award

HUNTSVILLE, AL April 24, 2014 — LEAN Frog is honored to be selected for the 2014 Best of Huntsville Award in the Business Development Service category by the Huntsville Award Program.

Each year, the Huntsville Award Program identifies local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through their service to customers and the larger Huntsville community. Recognition is given to those 2014 Huntsville Best Award Winner LEAN Frogcompanies that have shown the ability to implement programs that generate competitive advantages and long-term value. “The goal of our Assess, Improve, Sustain approach to working with school systems is to create a culture of continuous improvement. For LEAN Frog to be recognized for generating competitive advantage and long-term value is indeed an honor,” said co-founder Byron Headrick.

About the Huntsville Award Program The Huntsville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in the community and acknowledge the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy. Various sources of information are gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Huntsville Award Program and data provided by third parties.

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Superintendent Study Councils: A Fantastic Way to Lunch and Learn!

Dave Knowles presents a check on behalf of LEAN Frog to Ms. Susan Steele (Director, Culinary Arts, Stewarts Creek High School) as Dr. Clark Harrell (Principal, Stewarts Creek High School) and Mr. Don Odom (Director of Schools, Rutherford County Schools) look on.

Dave Knowles presents a check on behalf of LEAN Frog to Ms. Susan Steele (Director, Culinary Arts, Stewarts Creek High School) as Dr. Clark Harrell (Principal, Stewarts Creek High School) and Mr. Don Odom (Director of Schools, Rutherford County Schools) look on.

You may or may not know that prior to moving to the Huntsville/Madison County area, our Sales and Marketing Manager Dave Knowles had a 30 year career in the hospitality industry, working specifically in college and university food service management.  Imagine his delight witnessing new generations of young culinary artists work their magic while he and colleague Dr. Jim Kerner (LEAN Frog Lean Consultant) enjoyed the delicious meal Stewarts Creek High School students prepared under the supervision of Ms. Susan Steele (Culinary Arts Director).

Dave and Jim traveled to Smyrna, Tennessee yesterday to support the Mid-Cumberland and South Central Superintendent Study Councils.  The Tennessee Superintendent Study Councils  are organized to provide an opportunity for the continuous study of problems of the profession and to jointly evaluate, with the Tennessee Department of Education, ongoing instructional programs and recommend changes designed to improve these programs.

Superintendent Study Council Participants enjoy a delicious meal prepared by culinary arts students at Stewarts Creek High School.

Participants enjoy a delicious meal prepared by culinary arts students at Stewarts Creek High School.

Ms. Steele and her team of students prepared and served lunch for the gathered superintendents and guests.  Stewarts Creek High School is part of Rutherford County Schools.

LEAN Frog thanks Ms. Steele, her students, Dr. Harrell and Mr. Odom for their hospitality and we thank the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS) for the opportunity to lunch and learn.  LEAN Frog is honored to be a TOSS Institute Partner.

 

 

 

 

Headquartered in Huntsville, AL, LEAN Frog’s mission is to help public schools succeed through increasing the value they deliver to students, parents and communities while fully engaging employees, reducing costs, and building a spirit of continuous improvement.

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Reach Out and Read: A Great Prescription for Young Developing Minds

Getting off to a good start in reading is critical to children’s academic success.  The non-profit organization Reach Out & Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.  They work with pediatric health care providers to incorporate pre-literacy counseling with families into their well-child visits and to provide new books at each of those visits.  To date Reach Out & Read has served over 4.2 million children annually.

Mr. Verrazano Davis, BOE Member of Midfield City Schools (Left), David Knowles of LEAN Frog (Center), and Polly McClure, Statewide Coordinator for Reach Out and Read Alabama (Right)

Mr. Verrazano Davis, BOE Member of Midfield City Schools (Left), David Knowles of LEAN Frog (Center), and Polly McClure, Statewide Coordinator for Reach Out and Read Alabama (Right)

Reach Out & Read Alabama is a non-profit partner of the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB).  At the recent AASB 2014 Spring Academy Conference “LEADERSHIP for Delivering a Highly Effective Staff,” LEAN Frog awarded a Kindle e-reader to door prize winner Mr. Verrazano Davis , Board of Education member at Midfield City Schools and ten (10) books for Mr. Davis to donate to Reach Out & Read Alabama.  LEAN Frog thanks Mr. Davis, Midfield City Board of Education and Reach Out & Read Alabama for their examples of effective leadership and for their commitment to literacy promotion.

For further information about Reach Out & Read visit their website at www.reachoutandread.org.  For Reach Out & Read Alabama, you may contact Polly McClure, R.PH. at 205-223-0097.

 

Headquartered in Huntsville, AL, LEAN Frog’s mission is to help public schools succeed through increasing the value they deliver to students, parents and communities while fully engaging employees, reducing costs, and building a spirit of continuous improvement.

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