The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has provided government agencies with great opportunities to spend money on their local projects. The President’s new initiatives also require accountability. With these new expectations in place, it would not be prudent to spend the funds wildly. However, as is often the case, the funds will only exist and be available for a limited time frame.
How do you balance the need for speed with the need for planned decision making? Implementing process improvement techniques throughout your organization can help you through this type of measured opportunity. Setting plans in place now can help during this initiative and will also help build solid process improvements that will take hold and help during future initiatives.
Lean Six Sigma management processes have been proven to be effective at some of the largest and most successful corporations in the world. These same principles can be applied to government agencies to help improve process, lower costs and ultimately benefit the taxpayer.
A great example of Lean Six Sigma for government implementation is the story of Stephen P. Lisauskas and the city of Springfield, MA. The city was experiencing economic hardship and the community government was at a virtual standstill. Lisauskas led the way to implement Lean Six Sigma for government. By the end of the process, his team was able to make dramatic improvements to the city operations and showed an immediate savings of $96 million dollars over 5 years.
It is important to recognize that there are specific differences between the way that private sector and public sector organizations operate. However it us equally important to recognize is that in spite of these differences, Lean Six Sigma management principles continue to show great effectiveness on organizations and can prove to show remarkable and proven cost savings. (full article, Squeeze Maximum Value Out of ARRA Funds, Step One: Process Improvement published in The Federal Manager).