El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez, wanted to ensure that all employees were empowered to serve as agents of change. Some of the greatest innovations and improvements come not from the top down, but from the bottom up. The city challenged each department to look within and identify areas for enhancing performance or streamlining operations, giving them the opportunity to put their new tools and skills to the test, work as a team, and truly own the process and resulting outcomes.
There are three essential components in this process:
- Investing in employees
- Empowering them as agents of change
- Recognizing successes
Here are two examples of the power of Lean Six Sigma – and teamwork – in effecting change.
Example 1: Parks and Recreation (P&R) Department and Public Works Department set a goal of reducing time and costs required to process outdoor space permits. The team identified opportunities for streamlining, ultimately reducing the permit-processing down from an average of 16 days down to 30 minutes and at a cost of $214 per permit, was able to cut costs to $13. An annual savings of more than $32,000 was achieved.
Example 2: Public Works examined the process of making asphalt repairs. By setting up consistent processes and developing overall operating procedures, the team has increased the number of repairs completed each week by 40 percent (from 200 to 280), reduced the program costs by 14 percent, increased overall production by 24 percent, and reduced employee data management by 50 percent, while at the same time improving data accuracy.
Ultimately, the department is on track to achieve $200,000 in annual savings.