2019 Lean Black Belt Project Highlight: Lean for Leadership Collaborative

Posted by Heather Barto on June 5th, 2019

Part 2 of a 3 Part Series

 This month we used an interview style format to hear what Colin and Suzy are up to with their Lean Black Belt project work.

 

Question: What are the intriguing components that drew you into developing a Lean for Leaders Collaborative?

Colin:There seemed to be a real need to find a way to get the message out about the value that Lean offers. I was also interested in supporting alignments with our Black Belt learning with the Lean Executive Committee’s strategy work and planning.”

Suzy:I think that for me, the intriguing part of the project was how many elements of the Lean for Leaders program seemed to be “un-Lean”. It is a perfect example of how a good program, with good Lean intentions, can fall prey to all manners of waste and inefficiency. It was a challenge to evaluate those components that we felt were key to getting the message across to leadership without getting bogged down in the minutiae.”

 

Question 2: What does the data say from the Lean for Leaders Collaborative?

Colin:Initially, we discovered that there was no way to trace back and report on the impact of past Lean for Leaders seminars. Our main goal with data is to try to measure the number of attendees at a given collaborative, the number of those attendees that want a follow-up discussion relating to lean tools, and ultimately proof that such follow-up resulted in an actual Lean event reported to the Lean Executive Committee.”

Suzy:#1 Data doesn’t lie. Overall, the majority of the feedback was very positive. 19  surveys were returned after two sessions, which tells us straight out of the gait that we need a more efficient system to get a larger number of surveys back! If we are raising awareness and piquing interest in the value of what Lean has to offer, we have accomplished what we set out to do.”

 

Some of the survey data included:

Were you aware of Lean before this session?

100% of the survey participants had a baseline know of Lean.

Does your organization have a robust Lean Culture?

  • 42% responded yes
  • 37% responded no
  • 21% did not respond

Which tools did you find helpful? Will you be applying these tools and concepts in your organization?

  • 8 Types of Work Waste Mode (also known as the acronym DOWNTIME)
  • Impact Effort Matrix
  • Self Assessment Tool
  • Overview of Kaizen event work
  • Gemba Walk

 

Question 3: To close out this interview, what do you see as the most challenging elements in keeping momentum for the Lean for Leaders Collaborative?

Colin: “The most challenging element will be to successfully re-direct Lean inquiries to the lean website and ensure communication channels remain open at the agency, coordinator, and LEC level. Additionally, we need to ensure that the materials are presented appropriately on the site and remain easily accessible.”

Suzy:Now that we have completed our part of the project and successfully (based on feedback) presented the material, there is always the possibility that the Lean for Leaders collaborative will stall. There are still moving parts and elements that need attention but are beyond our control. For example, the uploading of Lean materials on the Lean Website and establishing a consistent method of feedback such as through Survey Monkey. Without being directly involved we will continue to support the endeavor independently and hope that people find the content as valuable as we believe it to be in continuing to move the Lean initiative at the State of New Hampshire forward.”

Part 1 of the 3 Part Series is available at:  https://prd.blogs.nh.gov/das/NHLEAN/?m=201905

Suzy and Colin have one more blog series to share their lens post Lean Black Belt graduation and reflections.

Stay tuned for more information.

For more information contact Colin Capelle at Colin.Capelle@das.nh.gov or to Suzy Easterling-Wood at Susan.Easterling-Wood@dhhs.nh.gov.

Congratulations to Suzy and Colin on their Lean work!

Successful Lean Event Among Two NH State Agencies

Posted by Heather Barto on May 23rd, 2019

Teamwork is pivotal for any project success. Lean project work is no different. Every team member has a role and valuable information to provide. When processes impact multiple organizations or agencies, Lean can offer an avenue for common group and support critical improvement paths.

This State of New Hampshire two-agency (Department of Information Technology and Department of Environmental Services) Lean event team was charged to develop a new and improved software ordering process. The current business process included extra processing steps and periods of waiting, which created confusion at times. The goal for the team was to develop a clear process through using Lean methods and tools.

The multi-agency team came together to address organizational items including:
• Discrepancies with who gets software licenses
• Inconsistent information on order forms
• Current process not documented

Photo: (left to right) Lean Black Belt Candice Weingartner (NHDoIT), Anne-Marie Martin (NHDES), Terri Sabbia (NHDES), Lean Green Belt Dean Robinson (NHDES and Co-facilitator), Elaine Bolduc (NHDES), Lean Green Belt Susan Bergeron (NHDES and Co-facilitator), Lean Green Belt Muriel Lajoie (NHDES and Project Manager), Lean Green Belt Rob Cole (NHDoIT) and Dave Cormier (NHDoIT – not shown).

Overcoming recent staff turnover, three different ordering procedures (due to the class of funds), and multiple-agencies (not to mention involving outside vendors), the team worked hard over three half-days to systematically and deliberately craft a solution, using Lean and continuous improvement practices. Specifically the team used the project charter to identify the central problem and scope, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), identification of 8 Types of Waste (DOWNTIME), identified bottlenecks, brainstormed improvement ideas, through a facilitated Kaizen event.

The team used the VSMP approach to create a detailed map of the process, identified areas that could be improved and then documented a new and improved process. In addition, the team inventoried the list of information included on software order forms, and came up with more effective forms. The solution they developed that was effective, efficient, addressed all the original concerns, while being approved by all stakeholder groups, including the outside vendor.

With new recommendations identified, Muriel Lajoie will lead the charge to implement the improvement actions including creating a shared group mailbox, simplified but thorough software ordering checklists, and communicating a new procedure.

Candice Weingartner, DoIT Lean Coordinator and facilitator shares her insight stating; “DES and DoIT came together and effectively mapped out both current and future states.  They also came up with some fabulous bright ideas which were incorporated into the future state, along with some which will be used with the next phase.  All participants were dedicated to the process and engaged.  Kudos to all involved for a successful event.”

Congrats to the NH Department of Information Technology  and NH Department of Environmental Services on developing a streamlined process for ordering software!

For additional project information contact Candice Weingartner at Candice.Weingartner@doit.nh.gov or Dan Hrobak at Daniel.Hrobak@des.nh.gov.

Visit the State of New Hampshire’s Lean training website for additional information about Lean in NH State Government.

2019 Lean Black Belt Project Highlight: Lean for Leadership Collaborative

Posted by Heather Barto on May 6th, 2019

2019 Black Belt Capstone Project Highlight: Lean for Leaders Collaborative

Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

Photo: 2019 Lean Black Belt Candidates; Colin Capelle, State Procurement Card Administrator and  Suzy Easterling-Wood, Director of Utilization Management at NH Hampshire Hospital

As part of course work, the NH Bureau of Education and Training’s (BET)Lean Black Belt program requires a capstone project. The scope and purpose of a Lean Black Belt Capstone Project is to engage candidates in advancing the practice of Lean within their organizations or at a statewide level. At the end of the program year, candidates have a deliverable product demonstrating knowledge of the core foundations of Lean and as a Lean practitioner, demonstrating knowledge of how to engage in fostering a robust Lean culture.

As students of BET’s Class of 2019 Lean Black Belt program, Colin Capelle and Suzy Easterling-Wood set out to develop a project that provides a holistic, comprehensive overview of Lean culture, and emphasizes Lean tools easily accessible by leadership. Colin and Suzy designed a structured approach to educate leaders for the framework of a Lean culture.  This Capstone Project work places particular emphasis on the importance of clarifying roles for leaders, managers, employees, and facilitators. The Lean for Leaders Collaborative identifies those components essential to advancing Lean project work such as the importance of a holistic flow of communication and the practical application of Lean tools to advance the workforce towards a Kaizen event or other process improvement work.

An important element with Project Capstone work and any process improvement work is to review the current state. Colin and Suzy’s Capstone Project completed a formalized review of the Lean for Leaders curriculum in it’s previous state. They found accessibility points and delivery inefficiencies. The new and improved Lean for Leaders can be provided at a weekly team management meeting or a working lunch. Additionally, the Lean for Leaders practical application  adds value to programs as it can brought on site where “the work gets done”. To promote sustainability of a Lean culture within the State workforce, the session provides the opportunity for participants to share constructive feedback regarding the evolution of Lean awareness, how helpful the Lean for Leaders Collaborative session was by engaging in a practical application of a Plan Do Check Act cycle.

The goal of this project is to highlight Lean and relevant process improvement tools to use for practical application in the workplace. In alignment with the strategic plan for the Lean Executive Committee, the primary goal is to promote the use of Lean tools, methods and solutions at all agency levels.

Want to learn more? Join us for the next installment of Lean for Leaders Collaborative. We will find out more about Colin and Suzy’s roll out of the program, data collection efforts, and the statewide impact of their work!

Value of Mentoring

Posted by Heather Barto on April 15th, 2019

Program Advancement with Continuous Process Improvement

The Bureau of Quality Assurance and Improvement (BQAI) manages several critical components within the NH Department of Health and Human Services. Jill Fournier (photo above), a Lean Black Belt, a Quality Assurance Nurse has been with the Department of Health and Human Services for over 20 years. Jill has been offering “Lean learning bits” since her 2015 graduation of the Lean Black Belt from the NH Bureau of Education and Training. She began slowly introducing Lean principles to the BQAI in 2015 and now routinely provides training, mentoring, and coaching as her colleagues evolve with their skills.

Trainings are provided during staff meetings with a short formal presentation followed by an interactive activity to reinforce learning. To date, approximately 20 staff have been trained in Lean 101, A-3 System Thinking, the 5 Whys, and Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycles. Jill has received positive feedback from numerous staff and plans to continue promoting Lean thinking in a variety of ways. Jill shares “It has made a tremendous difference in our Bureau by helping to standardize processes; reduce cycle times in data collection and data utilization; and improve data integrity.”

                                                       

Mary Fields, Michele Harlan, and                                                                      Susan Knight, Patrick McGowan,

Paul Lakevicius work through an exercise                                                        and Jen Batchelder complete a round of

for the PDSA cycle                                                                                                  the PDSA including documentation

 

To learn more from Jill about mentoring application and program development contact her directly at Jill.Fournier@dhhs.nh.gov

For more information about Lean in NH visit http://lean.nh.gov/

Graduate Studies and NH Lean Credits

Posted by Heather Barto on April 1st, 2019

Edith Chiasson, Lean Black Belt, is a 2019 MPA Graduate Candidate for the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy Master of Public Administration program.  She earned her Lean Black Belt certification through the State of New Hampshire’s Bureau of Education and Training in 2016 and is a member of the State of NH Lean Executive Committee.

Edie shares, “The study of Lean adds value to public service initiatives by acquiring effective process improvement tools complementing the leadership, program evaluation, budgets, planning, personnel, collective bargaining, and policy analysis tools offered as part of the University of New Hampshire’s Master of Public Administration program. Lean management techniques align with public policy implementation, using innovative process improvement to support purpose-filled missions and value-driven cultures. Lean methods and tools are carefully designed to reduce process challenges and improve customer service at every level in our government.”

Edie is currently employed as the Audit Supervisor at the NH Lottery Commission and is using Lean approaches as a system of evaluating effectiveness and efficiency in current policy and procedures to uphold reasonable administrative costs to support and advance the agency’s mission. Edie has also provided leadership and Lean Coordinator support to initiate a pilot mentoring program, onboard newly trained facilitators, and more.

For more on how Edie has integrated Lean into everyday work, contact her directly at Edith.Chiasson@lottery.nh.gov or 603-271-7151.

Congratulations Edie on your upcoming academic achievement and for being a constant champion of continuous process improvement!

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