UCLA is no longer going to be in the NCAA basketball championship dance, most likely due to the jinx that our fellow lean blogger Mike placed on them. Bill Waddell did a rather unique piece over a year ago titled Low Tuition + Good Football = Useful Education where he analyzed various qualities of universities offering lean manufacturing programs. As he succinctly put it,
There seems to be an inverse relationship between the cost of the schooling and the relevance of the knowledge. For a cool 66 grand a year, the Sergueis at Wharton will explain 1970’s inventory theory to you, and teach you all you could ever want to know about outsourcing. For $34K, you can join the fellas at Warwick in their quest to see if there really is anything to this ‘lean business’.
On the other hand, it’s less than seven thou to sit on the leading edge with Larry Grasso up in Connecticut. For less than half the cost of Warwick, Dr. Johnson [Portland State], listed as one of the most influential business people in the nation by the Harvard Business Review, will fill your head with more lean than you can handle. Dr. Irani at Ohio State? $20K – less than a third of Wharton. Shahrukh Irani is an absolute lean industrial engineering maniac. The University of Kentucky, the U of Tennessee, Iowa State, just about all of the state schools in California, and a whole bunch of other schools are doing great work in lean manufacturing.
We’ve taken Dr. Irani to task in the past for questioning some aspects of lean manufacturing and for a determined focus on software solutions. However as we pointed out late last year it is important to always question everything, including lean. We may not agree with all of Dr. Irani’s opinions, but we do believe his students are probably receiving the best academic education on lean that can be had, anywhere.
Dr. Irani, of course, is from Ohio State And that’s why our friend and Florida fan Mike should be nervous if not downright riddled with anxiety.
A search of the University of Florida’s website yielded very little with respect to lean manufacturing. Drs. Stanfill and Tufekci have it mentioned in their bios, and there is a project to investigate how to teach lean thinking. But that’s about it. Nothing even close to the likes of Dr. Irani’s Job Shop Lean projects, conferences, and research.
So from an admittedly completely irrelevant lean perspective, Ohio State will win. Which is perhaps why our spy cam caught Dr. Irani sneaking a play in Daequan Cook’s uniform during the Final Four game last night.