Improving Capital Design Review Process at Wastewater Treatment Division by 30%

King County Wastewater Treatment Division successfully improves the Capital Design process featuring Roger Browne, an Engineering Supervisor.

Roger realized that since the Wastewater Treatment Division was short on staff, they had to find a way to reduce the time it took to deliver capital improvement projects in order to free up resources to get more projects done.

They determined that construction projects under $10 million had an average review cycle of 12 months. The team discovered they didn’t have enough information up front in the process to produce the basic package. That led to stops during the consulting work because they didn’t realize there were information gaps until too late.

The planning, permitting, community involvement and consultant negotiation steps were moved to occur earlier in the process. They didn’t actually eliminate any steps but they collapsed waste and defects into a 2-month savings that will impact future projects. They trimmed about three months overall through their process improvements; by reducing the wait time, got staff engaged earlier, improved the sequencing of tasks, created Standard Work tools, and streamlined the review. They trimmed about three months overall. Mission accomplished!

Roger and his team used basic tools like Process Mapping, Fishbone Diagrams, Checklists and Standard Work to achieve their goals. It wasn’t hard, they simply followed the process. With their process work done, they are off the transfer the gains across the department.

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