QMT News: October 2010
Hewlett Packard signs 'lean' deal with University of Portsmouth
One of the globe's most recognisable IT brands started new 'lean' training for its top executives in how to recession-proof the organisation.  Hewlett-Packard, one of the world's largest multinational IT Corporations, has signed a deal with the University of Portsmouth in the UK to train its 'Black Belt' change champions.  This elite group of individuals will study a bespoke Masters programme to support 'lean' methodology which is designed to help them turn HP into a more responsive and efficient company.
'Lean' methodology is based on identifying waste within an organisation and focusing on customer needs.  The course has been tailor-made to precisely match Hewlett-Packard¿s business requirements by the University of Portsmouth Business School. 

Hewlett-Packard, which has approximately 304,000 employees worldwide, has already identified 22 potential high flyers from their global staff who begin the work-based learning programme this week.  Each individual will take on a specific business objective fundamental to the organisation which will form the basis of their studies. 

Paul Maguire, director of Strategic Initiatives for HP EMEA said: "By understanding process improvement and linking 'lean' to HP's strategy and growth agenda we can increase value and even surpass the expectations of our top customers worldwide.  Our lean 'black belts' will help us achieve this by learning new concepts, tools and methods and changing the way we work."

The MSc programme is designed to last around 18 months at which point their strategic goal should be achieved.  The individual is honoured as a 'Black Belt' within HP and will receive a Master's qualification in Strategic Quality Management from the University. 

Course Leader, Barbara Savage, said that the University had taken a work-centred approach to the course which supports the students through various projects core to the company's objectives. 

"The idea was to work very much in partnership with HP to deliver a bespoke course to complement the strategic objectives of a growing organisation while retaining the rigor and integrity of a Master's qualification.  The organisation especially liked the tailored and flexible approach we were able to bring to the programme.

"We've avoided duplicating students' existing knowledge and training and focussed purely on adding value.  Students will be exposed to fresh ideas from other sectors while focussing on increasing customer engagement." 

Black belt students spend just two week-long sessions at the university and the remaining study is done via distance learning with access to University facilities such as the library and on-going email and telephone support from a mentor.  Student assignments will combine academic theory with academic application through their company based improvement projects.  

The agreement with the University of Portsmouth Business School was signed last night by HP's Head of Strategic Initiatives in EMEA, Maurice Fitzgerald.  During his visit he gave a public lecture about how to make the 'marriage' of new acquisitions and partnerships work.

For more information about engaging with the University on a similar objective, contact Nick Capon via
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