Process Improvement

Quality Assurance works to promote a culture of continuous improvement at San Francisco State University. We collaborate with business administrators and other central operations units to implement effective process improvement solutions. Quality Assurance is committed to using best practices to optimize various departments' operations and services to achieve organizational excellence.

Continuous Improvement Cycle: 4 components connected as separate parts of a circle: Engage, Streamline, Execute, Monitor




Process improvement is a continuous cycle that consists of four primary components:

  • Engage - Document the process "as is" and collect baseline metrics
  • Streamline - QA team leads the data analysis and revision and the improvement team provides feedback
  • Execute - Implement and test the new process while establishing communication and change management plans
  • Monitor - Measure and monitor the impact, and conduct revisions where necessary

Lean methodology focuses on the value to customer and business process flow by eliminating wastes in an end-to-end process, with waste being defined as transportation, waiting, overproduction, defects, inventory, movement, and extra processing. Lean can help organizations reduce costs and cycle time, increase service capacity and productivity, improve efficiency, and empower a culture of continuous improvement. Our goal is continuous incremental improvement and respect for stakeholders.


lean methodology – cycle of 4 elements: plan, do, check, and act”

The Lean process improvement approach consists of: 

  1. Document current process 
  2. Design process improvement solutions 
  3. Collect feedback from process improvement advisory committee 
  4. Implement process improvement solutions 
  5. Refine improvement solution based on process performance 
  6. Monitor improvement for sustainability 


The Process Improvement Advisory Team (PIAT) is led and facilitated by the Quality Assurance department. The group has been meeting biweekly since July 2016. It focuses on improving and streamlining the existing campus processes, concentrating on creating incremental change and removing administrative barriers in order to support the campus community. It aims to improve University business processes by reducing costs, eliminating waste, enhancing service capacity and quality, and by creating a culture of continuous improvement. PIAT also often invites guest speakers to present on the process improvement work their department has done.


The Process Improvement Advisory Team is comprised of business managers and administrative professionals from:

  • Administration & Finance
  • Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
  • College of Business
  • Graduate College of Education
  • College of Ethnic Studies
  • College of Health & Social Science
  • College of Liberal & Creative Arts
  • College of Science & Engineering
  • Division of Graduate Studies
  • Library
  • University Corporation

Below are some of the continuous improvement projects that Quality Assurances has facilitated and completed:

  • Procurement Training Modules

  • Revise Honorarium Payment Request

  • Develop Direct Payment Request training materials

  • Streamline Direct Pay Request process

  • Streamline Employee Reimbursement Request process

  • Revise SFSU Campus Specific Travel policy