Lean Government is a systematic process that makes customers happy by listening to them. It makes local governments more efficient and effective by empowering employees to develop better ways to perform their processes. Rinse. Repeat.
Increase value – eliminate waste. Who decides how and what to change? The people who do the work. They know it best. How do you know it works? You measure carefully before and after to monitor the changes. Things like:
• How long it takes to complete a building permit
• How many tax notices get delivered on time to the correct address
• How many snowy miles of road get plowed in a given time
• How many emails are in your inbox
• How many you’re afraid to open
Muda is Japanese for waste. Toyota identified seven 7 wastes:
• Over processing
• Moving things around
• Moving people around
• Wait time
• Waste headed for the landfill
None of the things on the muda list are things the customer wants to pay for. The way you track muda is through Value Stream Mapping; tracking a process from beginning to end. At each step, ask the question: “Does this add value for the customer?”
Lean uses a set of tools including flowcharts, Pareto Charts, Metrics Summaries, Project Charts, Kaizen Events and six sigma tools. It isn’t the tool that makes the difference, it is the attitude and the new way of looking at processes that makes the difference. Now the good part: when you tune up a system, you save money, you save time, you provide better service, and you take fewer steps to accomplish more with less inventory.
Steve Elliott was the Chief Deputy Treasurer for Boulder County. He is happy to give his introduction to LEAN to any local government agency or department at no cost. The presentation takes about an hour and a half with questions. Comes with a reading list and a list of web links to other governments using Lean. (303) 651-1964; stevekelliott at gmail doot com