2018 NH Lean Summit is Coming

Posted by Heather Barto on September 21st, 2018

2018 NH Lean Summit

University of New Hampshire, Durham Campus

October 26, 2018

Theme: Times are Changing: T-Transforming     I-Inspiring    M-Measuring    E-Engaging

Registration is now open: https://www.unh.edu/lean/lean-summit

The 2018 “Times are Changing” Lean Summit is hosted by the University of New Hampshire and is in partnership with the State of New Hampshire

State of NH employees are eligible for a discounted registration rate. Contact NHLean@nh.gov for additional details.


Join us for a day to expand your knowledge and skills with process improvement

Project DICE Scores-What Are They?

Posted by Heather Barto on August 17th, 2018

Greetings Fellow Process Improvement Engineers!

Today we spend some time on a model used in change management practices.  Lean facilitators have a keen perspective for change management and often times know the “secret recipe” for successful project implementation. Change management is a complex component of process improvement. How do you know if a team is ready for change? How do you know this from a data perspective?

Have you heard of the term DICE used for project management readiness scoring? It may be a useful and applicable tool for process improvement projects.

DICE stands for:

Duration is the length of a project. How long is the project or what is the span in between projects?

Integrity refers to delivering on time. Does a team possess the necessary skills to complete the project on time?

Commitment explains how committed are executive leadership to lead and support a change. Employees are also scored on this scale. Because there are two different scores, this adds objectivity to the calculation.

Effort is defined as the actual work required above and beyond the employee’s current tasks. What is the level of effort required to complete a project?


Each of the four components are broken down into a scoring system of 1-4 and computed into the following mathematical formula

= D +(2 x I) + (2  x C1) + C2 + E

The scoring of DICE categories is staged in 3 zones:

Win Zone: Scoring of 7-14 have a high confidence of being successful.

Worry Zone: Scoring of 14-17 have risk associated with the project and require attention right away.

Woe Zone: Scoring of 17 and over have a high level of risk, need decisions to be made ASAP in order to save the project.


With any Lean process improvement project, we must explore and expand our personal tool boxes. The DICE method may offer an objective way to evaluate a project team’s change investment and level of readiness.

We’d love to hear if you have used this method and how it worked.

References: https://explore.easyprojects.net/blog/project-management-101-dice-framework


DHHS Uses Lean Tools For People Engagement

Posted by Heather Barto on July 17th, 2018

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

Posted by Tom Lencki on July 9th, 2018

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!!!

Summer Blog Challenge

Posted by Tom Lencki on June 29th, 2018

Creating a (Positive) Lean Culture and maintaining that culture takes a TEAM EFFORT! Passing on your story or group success is contagious and motivating. Did you recently read an article/ story that the rest of us can learn and grow from. It is time to share and here are some ideas

Critical Steps for Culture Work using Social Media:

  • Telling YOUR story/ success
  • Motivate or Challenge others
  • Knowledge/ information sharing

This is OUR Summer Challenge. Please send in a small blurb (paragraph and pic), geared toward one or more of the Critical Steps above.

I hope you accept this challenge and look forward to some great posts this summer.

Articles can be sent to:












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