Lean Six Sigma Case Studies Government

Six Sigma, with its emphasis in many cases on hard, current-year results, is often not associated with government agencies and their processes.One reason is that a government’s mission is as much about providing services to the public and other stakeholders as it is about cutting costs and realizing efficiencies.Hence, improvement efforts ultimately center on improving the bottom line of the organization.

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These regulations potentially affect the behavior of the private sector – the customers.

In some cases and often for good reasons, companies must comply with acts and regulations that add to their operating costs.

In fact, there is frequently tension between these two aims.

On one hand, government agencies want to provide comprehensive services.

On the other, they want to be seen as lean and efficient, using tax payers’ money wisely.

Likewise, the public and other stakeholders want – and indeed demand – effective services from government agencies; however, tax increases are always unpopular, even when they are used to expand service levels.Therefore, Six Sigma professionals working in government agencies must shift their focus from financial savings, the primary goal of projects in the business world, and make added value for customers their first priority.Government agencies, by their very nature, exist to administer regulations.Second, the process for receiving, approving and issuing permits was examined and made leaner.In this case, a DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) analysis revealed that the turnaround time could be reduced significantly by implementing the preferred solution – online permits.And in so doing, the agency is helping drive down the costs of its important customers – a win-win situation.This type of red tape reduction can be illustrated using the heavy vehicle permits example.Unlike the profit-maker, the government agency is foremost concerned with its customers, existing to serve their interests.If this involves financial benefit, so much the better.Looking at this red tape reduction in terms of the Balanced Scorecard shows an opportunity to refocus the scorecard for government environments.When Robert Kaplan and David Norton first proposed the scorecard with its four perspectives –, Financial, Customer, Internal Business Processes, and Learning and Growth – they were primarily looking through the lens of a profit-making entity.


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