Ken Miller (author of “We Don’t Make Widgets” and monthly columnist for Governing Magazine) recently wrote an article discussing the impact of Lean in government. With budget constraints and travel restrictions across the board, times are tough for many federal, state and local government agencies. In these times, we need to focus more than ever on the effectiveness and efficiency of government operations and programs. However, instead of looking to improve operations and find those efficiencies, many government organizations are turning to the same playbook: hiring freezes, budget/travel freezes, training freezes etc. As Ken writes “They’re not examining the actual work being done – the operations are fundamentally the same. Instead, they’re left with tired, overworked employees trying to do the same operations with fewer resources. This approach creates and illusion of efficiency. Real efficiency is about looking at the systems…”.
In this article, Ken talks about how Lean can benefit all government organizations and the barriers to successful Lean implementation in government (starting with the jargon).
Let me know what you think. And keep in mind, this article is not about running government like a business. It’s also not about how to apply Lean Six Sigma as it is applied in the private sector/manufacturing to government operations. In fact, Ken wrote another article called “Running Business Like a Government” which talks about how much business could learn from the great things government organizations have accomplished. (http://www.governing.com/column/running-business-government)