Below is a growing list of Lean Six Sigma success stories in Government. For success stories in other industries, please visit our Lean Six Sigma Success Stories page.
The new government regulations under the Affordable Care Act have created a need for improved technology. With that, there are Human Resource and staff burdens. For healthcare organizations to cut expenses and cover new technology advancements, Lean Six Sigma methods are being used as support.
Zack Scrivner, elected representative on the Kern County Board of Supervisors, reflects on a successful 2017 after deploying a Lean Six Sigma driven program, the LaunchKern Initiative. Open to every county employee, the program aimed to utilize their firsthand knowledge of processes to become better, faster and stronger. By focusing on the processes (and not the people), Kern County was able to save $24,000 in Behavioral Health & Recovery by changing their fleet policy, $120,000 through redesigning the tax bill by making them easier to understand and decreasing submission errors, and $27,000 by switching to an electronic benefit package. It didn’t end there, with Planning and Natural Resources using Lean Six Sigma to streamline their Oil and Gas permitting process, driving the turnaround time from nine months to seven days. It’s apparent Kern County has figured out a way to save money with out cutting employees, and with another great year ahead, they’ll look to stay the path to success equipped with Lean Six Sigma.
The Akron Police will assist the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer. The department is expecting a lot visitors, booked hotels and problems. In addition to convention issues, the city committees will review school enrollment numbers and trash regulation in residential areas where Lean Six Sigma can be applied.
The top seven finalists competing for the 2018 Innovations in American Government Award presented their projects to Ash Center’s National Selection Committee on September 27th, 2018.
“Everyone knows that saving energy is a good thing, but most people will only be motivated when you can demonstrate just how much energy is being wasted, and how much potential there is for improvement.” The Building Energy Monitor (BEM) Program at Fort Campbell is raising the energy awareness of all installation occupants to achieve high energy savings. The BEM program manager is also pursuing Lean Six Sigma training to improve the program by “learning new tools to measure progress, analyze causes of poor performance, improve the program based off of results from the analysis and control the program for long-run success.”
In an attempt to streamline Oklahoma City’s government processes, Zach Sumner, Logistics Director of the E Foundation for Oklahoma builds his case. A program that the E Foundation has created, SoonerStat, harps on Lean Six Sigma principles that are aimed to streamline service delivery, reduce cycle time, and cut overtime for the government of Oklahoma. With looming revenue gaps and cuts in service, Sumner argues the problem must be solved by identifying root causes and addressing them with streamlining processes rather than raising funds.
Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) and Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) representatives are currently partnered in a collaborative effort to review and improve workloads and processes. Joan Sherwood, DCMA director, shares that the team’s improvement methodology is called Business Process Reengineering- a Lean Six Sigma analysis approach.
Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, is all in when it comes to fighting local government waste. Some of Cuomo’s greatest and most repeated phrases are, “Most communities,” and “Great waste and duplication.” Cuomo believes “every taxing entity should be required by the state to conduct efficiency studies every year.” This means using Lean Six Sigma and alike methods.
Thanks to Lean Six Sigma, the City of El Paso has recently overhauled their entire process for pothole repairs. Before utilizing Lean Six Sigma, the repair crews only acted upon public service requests. Now these same crews are assigned to specific geographical areas and repairs are scheduled based on geographic focus. By incorporating Lean Six Sigma, the city has improved time management and efficiency, as well as increased the number of potholes repaired.
The City of El Paso uses Lean Six Sigma to save money, reduce employee work hours, and streamline operations. This year, so far, Lean Six Sigma Training has saved the City of El Paso $704,468! In fiscal year 2016, the first full-year under the city’s process improvements, the city is expected to save another $456,000.
Once upon a time, Washington State cut $50,000 checks to 165 small cities under 5,000 population to fund street resurfacing. This was not economical nor making sense. The Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) then conducted a PDCA study of how best to provide street preservation support. After gathering the data and establishing targets, “the $50,000 checks process was replaced by a pavement-management approach that resulted in funding the right street, with the right treatment, at the right time.”
When budget discussions for 2017 began at Oshawa City Hall, Councillor Rick Dubeau points to Lean Six Sigma to improve on services and costs for the local governments. He believes that the Lean approach can offer local governments a different way of thinking, with an effective, structured methodology for creating sustainable change both culturally and operationally.
City of San Diego Teams Up With UC San Diego Extension to Improve Customer Service and Increase Productivity
The University of California San Diego Extension and the City of San Diego have teamed up to improve and expedite 911 wait times, customer service billing support and project infrastructures. The City of San Diego sent seven people through the 16-week Lean Six Sigma program with process success occurring across the board.
The City of El Paso is back in Lean Six Sigma news again! This time, the city is sharing a savings of $570k after an employee-led Lean Six Sigma project related to processes for initiating and terminating phone and Internet services for city staff. “Lean Six Sigma is a strong management and leadership tool that empowers our employees to do amazing things for our city and our citizens,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. Bravo, City of El Paso!
The City of Wisconsin Rapids has launched an initiative to train city employees in process improvement. Called “Rapid Improvement”, the initiative’s goal is increase efficiency, productivity, and savings and will utilize Lean Six Sigma methodology. Employees will be encouraged to examine processes in order to improve the quality of services for residents.
“We encourage everyone in the department, and especially front line staff, to improve our day-to-day operations, which ultimately enhances safety and improves the lives of the users of our system,” explains Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Michael Lewis.
CDOT recently won a Harvard Award, which is a testament to their fervent approach to inspiring employees to “fix what bugs them”. Since the inception of the Lean Everyday Ideas program (LEI), CDOT has captured 569 ideas from employees within the organization, in which 340 have been implemented as solutions and 277 have been vetted to become organization wide best practices.
From eliminating wasted labor when collecting roadkill, to improved safety signage at facilities, LEI has created a formalized, centralized system to create, foster and publicize new ideas.
“The Lean Everyday Ideas program provides a crucial platform for CDOT’s more than 3,300 employees to engage in continuous improvement,” said Office of Process Improvement Innovation and Improvement Lead Geneva Hooten.
When an organization is this good at process improvement, it comes as no surprise when rewarded with such a prestigious award.
For the state of Delaware, 2016 has been full of learning and growing! The $17,000 grant from the state is being put towards Lean Six Sigma programs in an effort “to get lower trash rates for residents” and “set economic development priorities for the county” over the next 10 years! There’s a way to reduce waste (literal trash!) and the chamber, directors, and commissioner are all on board.
The federal workforce is currently reduced as budget reductions take place. According to Steve Goodrich, federal agencies have become highly inefficient over time. Hiring decisions, procurement actions, and budget approvals are not executed as effectively or efficiently as they should. To streamline government practices, methods such as Lean Six Sigma need to be applied to daily agency operations instead of being looked over.
The city of Dallas, Texas integrated five different management tools under one umbrella to create a better overall customer experience and performances. Lean Six Sigma, benchmarking and surveying are just three of the tools used under the umbrella which is reducing costs, motivating employees and even leveraging partnerships. Dallas’ goal is to have an innovative approach and deliver services as efficiently as possible.
In the launch of a talk-show style informational show by Kern County Administrative office leaders, Megan Person, Director of Countywide Communications looks create dialogue around the basics of the county’s financial situation. With topics ranging from budget status, pension costs and to the county’s efforts with Lean Six Sigma, addressing the $40 million dollar deficit created several years ago stood to take precedence within the conversation.
Since it’s journey into process improvement, the county’s general fund has been able to shrink it’s deficit to just $12 million over the past two years. By adopting a culture of innovation and training managers and line employees in Lean Six Sigma, Brown, the Chief Human Resources Officer for Kern County has shed four positions through attrition without an impact on the service level the public experiences.
With a turned focus on a growing Fire Department Deficit of over $12 million, it’s now more important than ever that the county and the Kern County Fire Fighters union negotiate changes to help address the financial problems they face together. They’ll continue to harness Lean Six Sigma to support their efforts.
Earlier this month, Delaware County commissioners announced that they are moving forward with Lean Six Sigma training. The overall goal for the state’s team from the training is to “gain a better understanding of the processes you have in place and find the efficiencies.”
With the rising impact of Oklahoma’s current budget situation, Preston Doerflinger, Secretary of Finance and Revenue for Oklahoma, presents a path towards a solution: implementing the Lean Six Sigma methodology. Doerflinger cites process improvement projects within the Oklahoma Pardon, such as reducing docket preparation time from four weeks to three days, reducing parole processing time by 75%, to an estimated cost savings of $13.4 million in the fiscal year of 2014. Doerflinger certainly provides the evidence in building a case to implement Lean Six Sigma, but for now it lies in the hands of state agency leaders.
Gilbert, Arizona is the best, safest and happiest city in the US according to Money Magazine, Tech Co and Law Street Media. With the city’s ongoing growth, they’ve managed to keep tax increases low and eliminate waste in their leadership with Lean Six Sigma tools.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts launched initiatives earlier this year in order to make state government more effective and efficient. Utilizing Lean Six Sigma methodologies, these initiatives have created significant new time savings, helped agencies refocus on customer service, increased surplus auctions, and improved agency work culture.
Having already completed 52 project improvement projects so far this year, Governor Ricketts of Nebraska highlights his administration’s record for improving processes and focusing on delivering better customer service for the people of Nebraska. By reducing waste and utilizing automation to decrease cycle time for numerous department’s processes, Nebraska continues to pave the way as a leader in process improvement. For example, staff was able to reduce application processing time by 87% and increase application output by 150% in just one month. Through the entire effort, all 14,000 or so state employees have received training on process improvement, including the 8 Wastes!
Business Savannah reports coastal Georgia to require a “larger, more skilled applicant pool to fill available jobs created as part of projected industry growth.” Over the next three years, amongst the military presence, the community hopes to hire skilled veterans for many of the positions. In addition to the desire to hire veterans in the expansion project, Lean Six Sigma will be implemented for the coast’s high demand.
Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky shares his thoughts on what makes Louisville a great city. In recent years, the city has become a source of inspiration and has been squeezing its way up next to cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. Fischer also mentions recent initiatives like LouieStat which uses Lean Six Sigma to improve traditional government statistic programs. The city is also currently looking to tackle air quality and green initiatives.
Kern County, in Bakersfield, California, is embarking on their new Lean Six Sigma journey to dig out of the fiscal hole drilled into it’s tax revenues by the decrease in gas and oil properties. Funded and hired by Kern County’s Behavioral Health Department, the top managers have been introduced to the process improvement system, led by Master Black Belt Scott Thor, in an effort to identify waste, eliminate it and deliver better service for less money. Using ping pong balls, a catapult and a target, Thor introduces Lean Six Sigma by way of a fun, time-paced, team activity to help “catapult” their process improvement efforts and understanding.
In this 2012 Forbes opinion piece, the author nods to Lean Six Sigma as something top lawmakers should be wise to note and lead on. During this same year, presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, made Lean Six Sigma one of his core campaign platforms. The platform and pitch would serve as a way to overturn the 2007 and 2008 financial turmoil in the United States. The Department of Defence and their Transportation Command both implemented Lean Six Sigma then, so why are politicians ignoring it and the opportunity to save?
In King County Washington, the Finance and Business Operations Division (FBOD) has been recognized with a Financial Management Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The award went to FBOD for their “streamlined operations, provided value to customers, and [their] work culture focused on problem solving and respect.” Happy or not…FBOD continues to strive to serve with respect and courtesy.
At the Idaho State Police Headquarters (ISP), a red ribbon was cut after one year of construction to usher in the Lean inspired $6M facility, which, for the first time ever, houses the forensics, administrative, investigative and patrol divisions all in the same building. By utilizing Lean Six Sigma principles in the design of the new facility, ISP has been able to greatly reduce the amount of steps involved in processing evidence, which allows them to solve crimes faster, and save more lives. Colonel Ked Wills exclaims, “Today, we are thankful for those who are here that see that and are able to help us as we realize these goals.” Equipped with better technology, partnered with the ability to process more efficiently, the Idaho State Police leads the way with Lean Six Sigma and sets a new precedent for law enforcement around the globe.
The City of Tyler in Texas has exceeded $5 million in hard and soft dollars savings through Lean Six Sigma. City employees trained in this methodology have completed ninety-two projects as of late April. Leaders of the city say that Lean Six Sigma has saved more than money; it has also saved time.
In October, leaders with Veterans Affairs Health Care started to get trained on Lean Six Sigma. Veterans Secretary Robert A. McDonald is the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs and leading the Lean Six Sigma initiative to “understand what customers want and need, and then design customer experiences to meet those needs.” In addition to customers’ wants and needs, the VA hopes to speed up the processing of claims.
In 2009, King County, Washington needed to make things better for citizens and decided that Lean was they way to do it. Since then, the Lean implementation plan has grown tremendously! Lean has given the county the capacity to produce public value with constrained resources. King County’s implementation plan is three fold: strategy deployment, transformation improvement of operations, and daily management.
Ohio Department of Administrative Services started reducing costs and speeding up processes alongside improved customer satisfaction when LeanOhio launched in early 2011. Since the launch of LeanOhio, there have been a reduction of burdens on taxpayers and 80 major improvement efforts which have resulted in saving taxpayers $156 million.
Bob McDonald, secretary of U.S. Veterans Affairs (VA), is set to embark on the biggest reorganization of VA in its history through the new “Road to Veterans Day Action Review.” McDonald is focused on rebuilding trust, improving service delivery, and setting the course for long-term excellence and reform. In addition, VA is trying to improve its processes and change its culture is by applying the concepts of Lean Six Sigma.
A small decision at the King’s County Riyerson Base bus maintenance shop in Seattle, Washington has eliminated 40 eight-hour working days per year from the whole shop. Walking from Seattle to Death Valley, California is no longer an annual event in this Lean shop. The shop workers, Lean is the culture and concepts are part of the daily management.
New city manager for Carson City, Nevada and former Marine Corps Colonel, Nick Marano, has a one-year plan that focuses on how to best advance the interests of the people and the community. Within Marano’s first 60 days, he had a three-page plan prepared and supported by Lean Six Sigma techniques to minimize costs and stay efficient.
The City Council of Pittsfield, Massachusetts has requested their mayor to review the city’s budget for possible reductions and to bring Lean Six Sigma to the council. Councilors voiced looking for the “best bang for our buck” and a “thought-out task force” to “to streamline systems, reduce waste, eliminate duplication, and review purchasing while improving customer service.”
Part of Dublin, Ohio’s initiative, Dublin Difference, is to commit to ensuring taxpayer dollars are used in the most cost effective manner possible. Dublin district has embraced the concepts involved in Lean Six Sigma to run their efficiency programs and to provide data driven results in their initiates. Additionally, in the past three fiscal years, Dublin has steadily increased revenues and they are continuously looking for alternative sources of revenue.
Republican candidates for Township Committee, Louis Reiner and Richard Chen, want to see bonding proposals submitted to the voters in a referendum. Chen says he favors referendums “for major expenditures.” This is Chen’s first time running for public office and with his request to see bonding proposals, Chen says he would apply Lean Six Sigma techniques. The techniques that he would apply would save money while continuously improving the quality of the organization’s products and services. Chen previously served with the Army, during that time he successfully streamlined budgets and saved the Army millions of dollars.
In an effort to drive performance management and process improvement, Results Washington looks to continues its path towards improving the life of Washingtonians. Launched in 2013, Governer Jay Inslee established five top priority goals and challenged state government leaders to track their progress. In collaboration with several different departmental lines, Results Washington has been able to: save one million hours in lobby wait ties, establish a fifteen percent decrease in speed related deaths, and save $6.2M in overpayments. The state of Washington continues to pave the way for other local and state governments.
Lean Six Sigma has been credited with saving companies hundreds of billions of dollars over the past several decades. However, the government has never really taken to Lean Six Sigma and held on to the process improvement methods. Cities around the country can not afford their current uprising costs and now Lean is making its way back around to the most skeptical minds in government.
The Spokane County Utilities Billing team assists more than 45,000 customers with their solid waste and sewer billing accounts. In an effort to better serve their customers, the team uses Lean strategies to maintain consistent and open communication. Daily huddle meetings allow everyone to participate with the projects going on using their own strengths and weaknesses. Lean has allowed everyone to play a role in daily operations with effective and positive customer responses.
Pete Ricketts, Governor of the State of Nebraska, has invested an immense amount of time and effort to help state government improve and progress. “We set goals to deliver better results for our customers. We measure improvement and progress. And we hold our team accountable for those results,” says Pete. By training almost 13,000 members of their team in Lean Six Sigma methodology, they were able to achieve amazing process improvement results. Their Developmental Disabilities Division was able to cut down their meeting preparation time from 65 hours to 10 hours, thanks to their process improvement team’s streamlining efforts. In addition, the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) has incorporated a new system that allows residents to renew their conceal carry permits online. By having the application process online, the agency saves an estimated 4,700 hours of processing time a year. Pete closes by saying, “We have successfully worked to change the mindset of state government from doing things the way they have been done for years to making government work for the people of Nebraska.”
In an effort to reduce waste and accelerate response times for form submittals, the city of Fort Worth, Texas will be deploying a Lean Six Sigma effort with “Process Director” from BP Logix.
Ranging departments from HR, finance, law enforcement, fire and water are all partnering with IT in what is called Phase I of the implementation. By focusing on a digital transformation which aims to automate 13 major processes (including nearly 400 highly-used forms), Kevin Gunn, CTO, has his sights set high.
“We are evaluating our business processes to reduce errors, improve cycle times, reduce wait time and facilitate adoption,” Gunn shares. Fort Worth has already seen improvements in overhead and shares that entire processes are significantly faster.
A new police substation opened in Tyler, Texas earlier this month. The police station is an addition to a rapidly growing city where safety is a priority. Prior to the station’s opening, a Lean Six Sigma report determined the station would save the department about $219,000 a year due to savings in manpower, maintenance and fuel!
Using strong management efforts and thoughtful, conservative fiscal projections, Ventura County was able to save $43 million in the past year. “Approximately $15 million of the savings came from savings in expenditures with almost $4 million resulting from the County’s commitment to lean six sigma process improvement.” These savings have been placed into reserves, which will only be used for significant facility and program investments like homeless shelter development and animal service facilities. “The lean six sigma savings are a demonstration of the fiscal responsibility that is an organizational imperative at all levels of the County,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers.
Ventura County Public Works Agency Announces $7 Million in Cost Avoidance From Lean Six Sigma Program
Over the past 6 years, the Ventura County Public Works Agency (VCPWA) has saved nearly $7 million in cost avoidance with Lean Six Sigma efficiency programs. Over 175 events have been conducted over the past 6 years in the agency and over 350 employees have been trained in Lean Six Sigma to continue to transform into a high-performing organization.
In Pinehurst, North Carolina, the mayor has been awarded with the Milestone 3 Award for it’s overall state performance. The award is difficult to achieve and “measured very carefully.” The council said, “It’s just about making continuous improvement” and each year, they’re getting better.
At the annual Washington State Government Lean Transformation Conference, hosted by Results Washington, ideas and inspiration were shared about using Lean thinking in government. Attendees deepened their understanding of Lean principles and tools in dozens of sessions led by local and national leaders in Lean.
Business Insider Australia offers a primer on basic lean principles including customer focus, process analysis, removing waste, measuring & metrics, and long-term sustained value.
City staff of Lindsay, Ontario is giving free parking in downtown to survey and determine parking needs June 16 to July 13, 2014. Parking will be free for two hours at all metered parking and is aimed to consolidate and improve the management of the City’s public parking lots. This is a process improvement project part of a Lean Six Sigma performance management initiative.
In Kingston, Toronto, a bill by Cheri DiNovo proposes an amendment to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to acknowledge post-traumatic stress disorder among emergency response workers. If the bills passes, it means that emergency responders who become diagnosed with PTSD would be covered under the act, assuming the injury is workplace related. Frontenac County has programs in place to help paramedics cop with the stress of their job. Lean Six Sigma is just one of many programs which helps responders get a handle on root causes of workplace illnesses.
In Ontario, Canada, signs of positive economic development are new construction and business collaborations. Mike Manikowski, the county’s economic developer said, “We’re putting money from economic development into workforce development, and it’s really paying off.” The economic development office has also requested funding for Lean Six Sigma training.
In the world today, companies face many uncertainties. Between changing environments, poorly understood relationships, and other uncertain variables, it is essential that companies have efficient processes and designs. This year, India had the highest voter-turnout in the history of Indian general elections. With this turnout, business leaders expect a boom in business! However, there is still uncertainty. With the uncertainty comes structured cause-and-effect experiments, random field trials, and trial-and-error experiments.
The Royal Dutch Shell’s legal department is filled with thousand of professionals and much larger than many others. However, more professionals does not mean a shared vision, consistency or unbeatable skill sets. To generate more value and long-term business, in-house lawyers need to “do more with less” and “deliver sustainable improvements over the long-term.” Adoption of Lean, Six Sigma and Kaizen can support set targets.