Their first kaizen event conducted by the Office of the Secretary of State was to improve the creation of the annual “Blue Book,” which contains lots of information from many local, state and federal programs, along with historical documents. The process takes almost the entire year to complete, and then they have to start the process all over again for the next year. They are working towards automating the process, and were able to reduce the response time to get information from different sources.
Another improvement project involved the 3-5 year strategic plan. They were able to organize a 3-day retreat with agency leadership to figure out key initiatives and goals, along with a yearly roadmap to get there, and created a X-matrix to show alignment of goals to each project and initiative. They had to define the goals using the SMART format, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
They conducted a Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) analysis with each leader, and aligned it to the customers and stakeholders of the Secretary of State office. One of the threats they identified was succession planning due to a large number of expected retirements happening in the next few years. With a lot of experience going out the door, they are investing in standard work, to capture best practices and document how the work should be done, so the retirements are as least impactful as possible. These improvements have also helped them absorb some of the workload when the budgets have been restricted, and they haven’t been allowed to backfill many open positions.
You can watch the 6-minute video called “2016 Lean Showcase – Office of the Secretary of State” at https://www.gembaacademy.com/guests/state-of-connecticut