Stop Second Guessing About the Stimulus Package

As pundits debate the effectiveness of the stimulus package, a new study released by the Government Business Council (GBC) says that agencies feel “overwhelmed” and “anxious” about the ability to successfully implement designed programs. These concerns reflect the current reality of an economy that continues to falter, with a rising unemployment rate, expected to exceed 10%, a weak lending market and risk averse consumers that continue to keep their wallets closed. Despite the gloomy news the question of whether congress did the right thing is irrelevant – it’s done and stakeholders must shift focus to making the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) deliver the maximum amount of benefit possible. The alternative is that taxpayers spend a lot of money and have nothing to show for it.

The question is how can we get the maximum impact for the funds already allocated.

-First step: Slow down spending to speed up the processes. The processes for managing the applications, etc. can only move as quickly as it is designed. Simply putting more volume into the process will lead to bottlenecks, distractions and complexity.

-Second step: Quickly redesign the processes by removing wasted effort. This will allow for more volume to flow and provide an added boost in speed. Tools such as Lean and Six Sigma can be quickly applied to identify the opportunities for removing waste and within weeks a new streamlined process can be in place.

-Third step: Don’t reinvent the wheel. Leverage best practices – like Lean Six Sigma – to make the back office operations more efficient, accountable and transparent. Simply combining the tools from previous performance efforts such as the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 with improvement tools and strong committed senior leadership will go a long way toward improving results.

At the end of the day debating whether Congress did the right thing isn’t important and won’t close the gaps in the current results. Take advantage of common sense tools and practices and it is possible to rapidly right the ship.

By Ron Wince, CEO of Guidon Performance Solutions
Post taken from The Ascent Blog:

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