Lean Six Sigma in Government with Heather Barto

Heather Barto, with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is currently supporting the department in a senior process improvement leadership role.

Her advice for anyone who is starting to apply Lean Six Sigma in government are these 3 things:

  • Find a mentor
  • Prepare to be resilient
  • Meet people where they are.

A common mistake she sees people make when applying Lean Six Sigma in Government is not trusting the experts. In order for a change in any process to have the best effect with people, the subject matter experts must be included. The majority of their work and successes are accomplished through influence and not authority.

Every aspect of process improvement motivates her to do better every time. Self-reflection is critical and required in this line of work. The nature to give back through coaching sessions and mentoring in creative venues feeds her nature to both lead and influence people.

New Hampshire adopted Lean 10 years ago, and initially focused on a Continuous Improvement Practitioner model. It continues to rapidly evolve with additional training and a community of support providing coaching and practice opportunities.

New Hampshire has made important and wonderful strides, with a particular focus on the customer service aspect in government.

She even uses Lean concepts at home and implements the using the following practices in her household:

  • Checklists (mental and physical) to assist with error-proofing
  • PDCA modeling to perform a pilot run-through of game-day prep and make adjustments in the flow as a family
  • “How to” teaching lessons on organizing personal items in backpacks or while at school
  • Breaking each activity, assignment, and chore into micro steps

Read the entire article at https://goleansixsigma.com/expert-excerpts-heather-barto-on-lean-six-sigma-in-government/