How the Department of Corrections is having success with Lean

In 2014, the governor notified all agencies that he wanted to implement Lean at the State of Connecticut.

Cheryl Cepelak had done some process improvement and organizational development work in the Department of Labor, and wanted to launch a similar campaign within the Department of Corrections (DOC).

To help with the effort, they assigned Michael (Mike) Lettieri as the Lean Coordinator for DOC, and focal point for the steering committee at the state level. In the video, Cheryl and Mike discuss their roles and lessons learned from implementing Lean.

DOC has some challenges for implementing Lean in their department, but she’s seen great progress in the last few years. They have conducted 6 kaizen events and 21 projects that are linked to their strategic plan, with the goal of establishing key performance indicators, tracking changes, and measuring progress after action items are completed.

They have been working hard on improving communication inside and outside the department. They set up a “fireside chat” the Monday after the kaizen event, to have more honest discussions than what either group (participants and leadership) were comfortable discussing during the report out. They also invited past event participants prior to the event to set expectations with new participants.

You can watch the video called “Department of Correction Deputy Commissioner Cepelak” at

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