Is Iowa the only state with a concerted, identified effort to improved quality, cost, and service, even having a â€œLean Day Proclomationâ€? Just read a post from Jamie Flinchbaugh on Mark Grabanâ€™s blog. Jamie will be speaking at the Lean Government Exchange in June in Des Moines, IA. Glad to see Iowa government continuing to be a leader in this arena. Iâ€™m starting to develop a fire for what I can do to contribute to the application of lean in both government and healthcare, because I see huge opportunities to improve quality and cost in these arenas. Glad to see my friends at PDG Consultants as a primary contributor to the event as well.
Stumbled on this article which was posted on Thursday (7/17/08) about the Air Force District of Washington and its efforts to improve operations. The article lists these five areas of focus: Productivity, Assets Availability, Response Time, Safety, and Energy Conservation.
These desired effects guide improvement initiatives that contribute to the demands of the warfighter—our most important customer. In other words, linking mission and customer may encourage doing more things the right way, with the same or less effort. Every Air Force process can be improved; none is immune from critical reviews. These effects help identify opportunities that could have the greatest immediate effect for the Air Force.
Great focus on the customer and also on the fact that there is always opportunity for improvement. They also list key elements in ensuring success in implementation:
It requires a start-to-finish process review; strong leadership buy-in; knowledgeable participants with a vested interest in an improved process; an implementation plan; and good follow-up to ensure traction.
This is all great stuff from the military. And, in true lean fashion, they’ve got lots of acronyms: JDI (Just Do Its), RIE (Rapid Improvement Events), and AFSO21 (Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century)!
I was impressed to read an entry on the Lean Insider blog about the Government of the State of Iowa taking on lean initiatives. They have improved processes, reduced long wait/lead times for government approvals, reduced re-work and process steps, and eliminated backlogs of work. Read more of the above article to see further information regarding their improvements.Â It will be interesting to see if I ever personally feel the effects of an “easier-to-do-business-with” state government, and definitely encouraging to hear they are focusing on customer needs (like timeliness and quality) and trying to add value for its “end-users”. Go State of Iowa!