La Trobe University has been a leader in education for more than 45 years. Highly regarded both for its academic excellence and research achievements, La Trobe has some 21,000 students at its Bundoora campus in suburban Melbourne and more than 5,900 students at campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Mildura, Melbourne City and Shepparton. This includes some 7,600 international students from more than 90 countries.

Project statistics

Project challenge

To remain competitive among other universities, La Trobe’s focus was to improve business processes across the ICT, Human Resources and Finance departments.


Melbourne, Victoria


The university was in dire need to organise its workspaces for employees to improve efficiency which included cleaning up email handling, optimising management of queues for request such as password resets, apps and desktop assistance. The goal was to create a system and structure which the university can sustain and continuously improve without additional outside help.


After conducting workshops to introduce more than 90 staff to Lean concepts, Vative and the university identified key areas for improvement through Lean analysis tools including value stream mapping and value stream design. More than 60 projects were identified, training was delivered and the La Trobe teams set about implementation.


The university started to see real results and significant outcomes after 18 months of working with Vative. After two and a half years, more than $2.6 million in savings have resulted for the ICT department alone. ICT staff at the university completed 62 projects with an average ROI of 250 per cent per project.

Human Resources redesigned a number of processes to achieve greater automation, reduce rework and cut double handling in the on-boarding process. This resulted in fewer errors, further reductions in dedicated HR time and greater satisfaction for staff joining the organisation.


The ongoing Lean program has delivered major financial and human resource advantages to La Trobe University. The Lean process added enormous value to La Trobe University’s processes and staff initiatives.

“The benefits we can achieve across our operation, more than covered the costs associated… The size of the projects that people tackled has been quite variable. The biggest ones have delivered something in the order of $1.9 million in bottom-line improvement.”

Peter Holland, Director of Business Engagement & Information & Communications Technology, La Trobe University