Reducing Cost Center Addition Lead Time in King County (WA)

New projects for King County mean new grants and new cost centers. But setting up cost centers was taking too long and nothing could proceed without the new cost center. There were customers waiting over 30 days—and some 80 days—to have their forms processed. Megan Rulien, an Administrator at King County Finance and Business Operations Division (FBOD) decided to address the problem by turning it into a Lean Six Sigma project.

Megan reviewed the past two years of cost center forms and learned it took an average of 7 business days to process a new cost center with some customers waiting months. No one had mapped the process and there were no instructions.

The team conducted a Process (Gemba) Walk and analyzed the 8 Wastes. They also discovered there were three different processes related to different types of cost centers.

Using what they learned from the Process (Gemba) Walk the team came up with the following solutions to reduce processing time and bring clarity to the process form:

  • Eliminated the supervisor approval
  • Reduced handoffs between groups
  • Eliminated the need to send the form to the agency
  • The person responsible for each section
  • A list of Stakeholders
  • A link to the new Standard Work
  • A dropdown list of the cost center type being created
Lean Six Sigma Success Story: Reducing Cost Center Addition Lead Time by 40%, Featuring Megan Rulien -
Reduced handoffs!

After implementing improvements, the process of adding a new cost center went from an average of 7 days to 4.2 days. And there of customers waiting weeks or months.

Watch the video above, or read the entire transcript at: