2019 Lean Black Belt Project Highlight: Lean for Leadership Collaborative

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

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.

Value of Mentoring

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/

Process Improvement Work with Case Management

Question: What do Public Health and HIV Case Management Work Have in Common?
Answer: Process.

Process impacts all of each and every day. Both good and bad processes affects our home and work lives. Whether it’s waiting in line at the grocery store, making an online purchase, completing a job application, reviewing a grant, or selecting your favorite lottery ticket at the corner store. Improvements can be made to just about any process, including an application for enrollment process.

The NH Ryan White CARE Program has been leading process improvement efforts under leadership of Lean Black Belt student Melissa Richards, Quality Care Coordinator. Melissa is supported by her supervisor, Sarah McPhee, Lean Green Belt to roll out trainings and engagement with stakeholders. Melissa shares, “The value of Lean and engagement with our stakeholders is exciting and rewarding. When we first rolled out Lean, we worked with our contracted AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) to improve the process of submitting documentation for enrollment in the NH CARE Program. This improvement led to increased satisfaction for both the Case Managers at the ASOs and for the staff at the NH CARE Program. With buy-in from the success of the first project, additional trainings have been conducted. Momentum at this ASO has helped to create further readiness among others and has enabled the NH CARE Program to begin the next iteration of teaching process improvement. By improving the knowledge of Lean and quality improvement at our ASOs, our clients will benefit from smoother processes and improved health outcomes. We are absolutely thrilled.”

The benefits of the improved work flow are being seen at the agency level, within the program, and for clients. The use of the Plan Do Check Act cycles have been pivotal for pulling out lessons learned that later inform adjustments to the process.

Congratulations to Melissa and team members on their investments with process improvement!

About the New BET Lean Professor

Chuck grew up in New Hampshire avidly enjoying the outdoors and working school around that passion whenever possible.  Pursuing this passion academically, he acquired an associates in forest technology from UNH’s Thompson School and a bachelor’s in forest resource management from Central Washington University in Washington State.  He has worked on fire crews, timber crews, and water quality and soil conservation projects in the Pacific Northwest.  His experience with the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program sharpened his skills in facilitation along with his experience at UNH’s Browne Center, BU’s Sargent Camp, natural resource planning, community facilitation and workplace training.  Chuck’s other great passion is learning about learning.   In pursuing optimal learning, Chuck received a master’s in adult learning and development and a CAGS in the neurodevelopmental approach to teaching.  He’s taught a variety of topics at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as English to refugees and created several faculty development programs.  He is currently completing a doctorate in education focusing on facilitating the development of effective learning practices.  Chuck currently teaches the Yellow Belt, Green Belt and Black Belt certification courses for the NH Bureau of Education and Training.

Welcome to BET Chuck!

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