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.

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