Denver Human Services Create “Flow Cells” to Improve their Process

In 2012, Denver Human Services (DHS) was taking up to five days before a worker could begin reviewing a case to determine if an individual may be eligible for benefits. To better meet the needs of their customers, the scanning team decided to make their process more efficient.

Over the course of 6 months, process maps were created, rapid experiments were conducted, and the scanning team created what they called “flow cells” (pods where groups of workers would process applications as a single unit, moving work down the line as soon as each piece of work was completed).

Their efforts resulted in reducing:

  • 29 step process to three steps
  • Two mail rooms to zero mail rooms
  • Three floors to one floor
  • Five day process down to a single day (and in some cases, a single hour)

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