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Running Lean: Refactoring and the Multiliteracy Center

Computers and Composition Volume 41, Number 1, ISSN 8755-4615 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This article addresses ways in which multiliteracy centers can be administratively structured to respond to change by encouraging stakeholder participation. To argue for the approach, the article draws from the computer programming concept of refactoring, which is a process software development teams use to share in the development of a system by cleaning up messy computer code. Used as a lens for thinking about the administration of a system like a multiliteracy center, refactoring provides Writing Center Professionals a method for responding to changing institutional contexts by using participatory methods. Further, to illustrate how refactoring as a concept is useful in multiliteracy centers, the article describes a framework for working with stakeholders to support a shared approach to assessment, particularly when considering ongoing revision of a center's policies, procedures, and tools. Finally, the article makes connections between refactoring and lean management principles such as a focus on outcomes, team discovery, shared understanding, failing successfully, and user-centeredness. Drawing from such principles, the article investigates methods of encouraging stakeholder expertise as a way to navigate change in multiliteracy centers, and to create environments that encourage collective engagement and action.


Lauren, B. (2016). Running Lean: Refactoring and the Multiliteracy Center. Computers and Composition, 41(1), 68-77. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved February 6, 2023 from .

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