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Governor's Continuous Improvement Leadership Conference

“We all need to lead by example and work to make state government work better for Minnesota,” Governor Dayton wrote in a May 3rd memo to commissioners.

Toward that objective, the Governor’s Office hosted a half-day Continuous Improvement Leadership Conference on September 14. The goal of the conference was to enable agency leaders to create and sustain a culture based on innovation, efficiency, and quality improvement. An estimated 100 leaders from 23 cabinet-level agencies responded.

The opening speakers educated participants about the elements of continuous improvement and helped leaders understand the commitment needed, as Governor Dayton stated in his memo, “to make continuous improvement part of the ‘DNA’ of Minnesota state government.”

Conference participants also learned about Lean experiences at General Mills, Department of Corrections, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Department of Human Services and Department of Employment and Economic Development. Presenters highlighted improvements in safety, productivity and access to resources that resulted from continuous improvement activities.

The conference provided participants with tools to identify next steps to initiate, build or refine their agencies’ continuous improvement efforts. Agency leaders will use these tools to guide and report continuous improvement efforts in coming months.

Technology Purchase Request Kaizen Event, Crow Wing County

Crow Wing County’s divisions of Facilities, Purchasing and Information Systems held a Kaizen event on June 24 to examine their technology purchase request process. The goals of the event were to streamline the technology ordering and receiving process, reduce time spent processing requests, and more clearly identify responsibilities throughout the process.

The current process, the Kaizen team observed, took too much time and duplication of effort. The team’s recommendations for the future process included creating a standard form for technology purchases and creating a central location for information.

The Kaizen team developed a new process that will reduce tasks by 47 percent, waits by 70 percent and handoffs by 63 percent, for a reduction of up to 55 percent in total process time. In addition, the new process will make it easier to access information, eliminate confusion, and improve customer service and staff morale.

Crow Wing County government serves more than 60 thousand full-time residents in an area covering nearly 1000 square miles.

LEAN Training and Event Dates

See LEAN Online, www.lean.state.mn.us, for current training and events:

Sept. 26-29, Department of Human Services Kaizen Event
Oct. 3-5, Department of Human Services Lean 101 and Kaizen Trainings
Oct. 6, Olmsted County Lean 101 Training
Oct. 11, Governor’s Continuous Improvement Awards Announced
Oct. 12, Lean Presentation, University of Minnesota Conference on Policy Analysis
Oct. 25, Lean 101 Training, Registration Open
Oct. 26-27, Kaizen Facilitator Training, Registration Open
Oct. 31-Nov. 4, MnDOT Kaizen Event

Are you Lean?

More than 4,000 people have participated in Lean activities — how about you? Visit the Lean website, www.lean.state.mn.us, for opportunities to get involved in Lean efforts at your agency!