Reducing Fund Request Lead Time From 22 Hours to 8 Hours with Chris Franco

Chris Franco was a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Special Projects Coordinator at King County in the state of Washington.

His team at King County decided it was time to focus on the Special District Fund Request Process. It was a painful process for the customer which made it a great opportunity for improvement.

The challenge was to reduce the Lead Time for their Special District Fund Request Process.

Before the team conducted a Process Walk, they attended a Process Walk Orientation to ensure everyone had a clear understanding of the purpose of a Process Walk, then Chris created a SIPOC map of the as-is process to help plan the interviews for the Process Walk.

The team made some critical discoveries during their process walk:

  1. 9 step total in the process
  2. 50% of the time, the process was taking 8 days to complete
  3. The whole process only equates to two hours of actual work known as Process Time or “Touch Time”
  4. Under ideal conditions, the cycle time could be as short as 22 hours
  5. No current customer target for process time
  6. Process completion time varied greatly, anywhere from 3 to 35 days or more

Chris and his team were ultimately able to eliminate 5 steps within the process (55% reduction), the county saved $150 per Special District Fund Request, and no requests went over their new Lead Time target of 3 days.

The entire project only took them 2 days to complete, and the team had some valuable takeaways from their efforts:

  • Process improvement is about the process – not people – so the team learned to let go of their fear for scrutiny
  • Communication, collaboration, and their available Lean tools are powerful devices for achieving great results
  • Process improvement can make life easier for everybody involved
  • The team learned how to shape a process with their customers in mind

Watch the 30 minute video at

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