CLE1.2: Achieving Strategy through Operational Excellence

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The course will focus on the principles of OE in the HE environment. Operational excellence is described as a system for optimising performance through the effective management of people, processes and products or services. Within HE, OE aims to achieve a stable and visible flow of value to staff, students and other stakeholders through the fundamentals of managing people, processes, facilities, and the services that the university offers through its academic programmes, research, consulting or technology-transfer programmes.

An integral aspect of the course is providing participants with the opportunity to relate the methodologies of operational excellence to their own sphere of responsibility within their university. Therefore, this course will allow participants to develop their own framework for OE implementation based on the design of lean value streams with the clear purpose of optimising performance whilst acknowledging the increasing complexity of the environment in which the university functions.


Course Coordinator:Eileen Arnold
Course Facilitators:Prof. Rene Pellissier



René Pellissier is a strategist, researcher and systems engineer.   She is the recipient of several merit awards as researcher, has written, or contributed to, textbooks and countless scientific publications on technology and innovation-research convergence and on complexity in the management sciences.  She has held several executive and academic positions in Europe, the United States of America and in Africa, thus understanding the complexities of management and strategy, nationally and internationally.  Yet, she believes her heart belongs to Africa. She has published over 50 research articles, supervised nationally and internationally mode that 50 M& D students successfully, all of which still refer to her as MamaBoss and, who then become part of the elite ‘Einstein group’ she formed as research-led community of practice.  She is a sought-after keynote speaker regularly standing in for the VC in at international events. 
René says her fundamental flaw is her questioning nature and non-acceptance of status quo whilst driving change.  Her specializations are on the impact of technology on the future world of work due to 4ir and the future world of work based on black swans such as COVID-19. She is a sought-after presenter, facilitator, mentor and trainer with more than 30 years’ experience in the field.   She was the lead strategist in the design and implementation of CPUT’s new Vision 2030, as well as the designer of the smart internationalization strategy and the RTI Blueprint v 2 based on trans-disciplinary knowledge production using mode 1, mode 2 and mode 3 science. She was advisor to the DVC and VC.
René  holds  PhD (Systems Engineering) from University of Pretoria, an MSc (Mathematical Statistics)(Cum Laude), University of Pretoria and an MBA (Cum Laude) from the University of Stellenbosch.  She has recently retired from CPUT and is working as strategy and research consultant focusing on 4IR and the emergence of Black Swans in a VUCA environment, specialising in the complexities of HE globally.
She holds the following honorary international positions:
Adjunct Professor, University of Reading, UK
Visiting Professor ESC-Rouen, France
Adjunct Professor, Dept of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, UMass Amherst, USA
Extraordinary Professor, University of the Western Cape
Professor Emeritus, University of South Africa
Faculty Associate, The Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership, UP