Lake Stevens going investing in efficiency with Lean Six Sigma

LAKE STEVENS, Wash – Nine city staff members and one Lake Stevens Sewer District employee recently graduated from a Lean Six Sigma training program in order to better serve residents and improve internal processes in the city.

The idea was paid for by the city staff’s development budget and coined by Mayor Brett Gailey, in support of the executive team, who sought training regarding Lean Six Sigma in hopes to improve various city processes.

Those who were included in this certification were Capitol Projects Manager Aaron Halverson, Parks Planning and Development Coordinator Jill Meis, Building Official Ryan Mumma, Calliope Consulting CEO Lori Erikson, Records Specialist Margaret Cooper, Senior Records Specialist Megan LeBlanc, Sewer District General Manager Mariah Low, IT Director Troy Stevens, Human Resource Director Anya Warrington, Deputy Clerk/Accounts Payable Adri Crim, and Mayor Brett Gailey.

Lean Six Sigma teaches employees to evaluate and process the steps involved with projects to ensure it best serves the end use customer. In a city setting where most services are broken down into a process of steps, this certification allows city staff to make improvements on these steps to maximize efficiency.

Lean Six Sigma and Lake Stevens

In a city press release published June 11, an example of how this can aid in city services is building permits.

‘The city issues building permits through its Planning and Community Development Department. Lake Stevens has fewer planning staff per capita than most cities its size. Less staff could mean delays but applying Lean Six Sigma practices makes the permit process more efficient and faster,’ the press release states.

Staff members participated in a 40-hour course over nine weeks, earning their “green-belts” in the program, which are agents of change trained in the methodologies of Lean Six Sigma and are capable of implementing high-impact projects. Those who are certified in this course have a developed understanding of the everyday practices needed to sustain a continuous improvement culture, manage processes and conduct high-impact Lean Six Sigma projects for any type of organization.

Part of the graduation of this program was to ask participants to identify processes they wanted to improve in the city. Some of those included:

  • Human Resources: Helping employees return to work after an injury or illness using efficient and consistent processes.
  • Police Department: Providing an employee care program for first responders.
  • Information Technology: Developing a mobile device provisioning system for city staff.
  • Code Enforcement: Developing a tracking system for fines and penalties issued for code violations.
  • Procurement: Coordinating purchase of goods and services across all city departments.

Lean Six Sigma Institute (LSSI) has trained and certified over 60,000 Lean Six Sigma professionals and helped more than 700 organizations across various industries achieve their goals and objectives by adopting Lean Six Sigma philosophy, methodologies, and tools.

They help organizations become more successful by providing the following products and services:

  • Lean Six Sigma Training and Certification
  • Implementation and Problem-Solving Coaching
  • Continuous Learning Material
  • Development of Continuous Improvement Teams.

Since 1998, LSSI has helped people and organizations reach their highest potential, maximize profits, and increase value by providing knowledge and guidance on implementing continuous improvement culture change, methodologies, and tools.

Organizations employing Lean Six Sigma Institute training and coaching services to achieve significant improvements in speed and quality in providing products and services to their customers.

“We are planning to conduct black belt training for 1-2 employees at the city in the near future,” Anya Warrington, HR Director for the city of Lake Stevens, told the Lynnwood Times.

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