DHHS Uses Lean Tools For People Engagement

Culture Development Through the Lean Lens Part 1: Meet People Where They Are At

Remember the first time you learned how to ride a bike? Scooped ice cream at your first job in high school? Or what about powering up a new cell phone? How about when you first learned to speak a new language or used a new software product? It takes some practice right? It takes time to apply the information learned, practice the new skill, and then learn how to use it regularly. Continuous process improvement is no different. Whether it’s a new skill learned in Lean or brushing up on meeting facilitation skills–practice and involvement are key.

Part of every workplace culture engagement plan should bet to meet those who are new to Lean process improvement work “where they are at”. Lean training can be a powerful process improvement tool for state government work to establish efficiencies.  Support and integration of newly acquired skills are pivotal.

The NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has developed and has implemented the Lean Wrap Around Services framework since 2017. The DHHS Lean Wrap Around Services model is a supportive and collaborative method to aid newly trained Lean professionals into adopting work place efficiencies. Trained Lean facilitators are either of a Black Belt or advanced Green Belt status to support these efforts. Mentoring is included for every step of the way.

The model includes 3 steps;

  1. A trained facilitator meets with a team before a Lean Yellow Belt training to develop a charter and project scope. The DHHS facilitators encourage a team to bring an actual work project to the training.
  2. The facilitator guides the team through a Kaizen event at the 3 day Lean Yellow Belt training. Work in this stage includes current state mapping, collection of bright ideas, future state planning, and implementation tools for follow through.
  3. The facilitator meets with the team after training to reflect on the information learned during training, provides sample strategies for daily Lean Thinking and application, as well as provides assistance with implementation planning.

How can other agencies deploy culture changes? Sustainable culture work in any business sector involves a team. Culture change needs to be thoughtful, inclusive for people at every level in an organization, and is progressive. Culture change takes time and is done with great consideration. Reach out to the State of NH Lean Network to find a mentor and learn about additional culture work being performed across agencies. Click here to find a mentor.

Three DHHS Lean Green Belt facilitators (Patrick McGowan, Ricardo Mason, and Suzy Easterling-Wood) recently deployed the Wrap Around Services model for two projects at the July 2018 Lean Yellow Belt training. This is a win-win situation for the project teams as well as a simple tool application that diverts training time into mapping and root cause activities. Team photos below.

DHHS Health Facilities Complaint Process Team


OQAI Choices for Independence Case Management Agency Quality Service Review Process Team

Stay tuned for the next installment of DHHS Culture Development Through the Lean Lens.  For more information contact Heather Barto, Process Improvement Specialist at Heather.Barto@dhhs.nh.gov.

Introduction to Lean the Judicial Branch way

In 2016, a hands-on approach to lean was introduced and, over a six month period, 108 Superior court employees came to learn about the core concepts of lean, brainstorming, value stream mapping and team building in a fun and interactive way. On June 28, 2018, 13 recently hired employees came to find out what lean was all about, why it is important to our culture, and how the Superior court is committed to continuous improvement.  Feedback included

Although the activities were fun, they were also a great learning tool; great training and I enjoyed it very much.”

I feel like it was a great introduction to the lean process. It gave me a good foundation to build upon

I liked that it wasn’t just sitting and listening but actually doing hands on projects to demonstrate the principles.

The Superior Court will be taking a team to the Yellow Belt class held at BET on July 10th through 12th to review and lean the network outage policy.

Congratulations to Joanna Bailey for accepting the Summer Challenge and being the first to submit a post!!!