I advocated during budget for the development of a "lean" initiative in the RDOS. I have seen the application of lean at First West Credit Union (Valley First) and think it could have some benefits in local government. The keys, in my mind, are:
- Provide RDOS front-line employees with specific and proven problem solving tools (e.g., process mapping)
- Empower front-line employees to make improvements.
In the board report Bill Newell, the RDOS CAO, provides an overview of some initial training he undertook to get a sense for what is involved in lean. I think the slides in his presentation provide a good sense of the nitty-gritty of the approach as it was applied to a business process at BCIT.
The ultimate goal, of course, is to drive out waste in order to (a) improve service and (b) reduce cost. Easy to say, but hard to do.