FC Lean Newsletter

In efforts to better support our Lean Environment and our graduates of Lean courses, the FC Lean Team will be providing information on ongoing improvement efforts across the City and continuing education opportunities. If you are not a subscriber, but would like to be added to the subscription list, please email lean@fcgov.com.  

- Welcome Cate Eckenrode to the FC Lean Team! 
- The next Lean Leader Cohort Applications to be released January!!!
- Completed JDIs and Projects to be recognized and showcased at City Hall
- Lean Manager Course Makeover for 2020 (new hands-on activities and shorter)

Success Stories

Marija Balic, a recent Lean Leader graduate, showed great success using the FC Lean problem-solving method (called Problem/Solve/Fix) to address the problem within her project. It was centered around transferring employee benefit eligibility data to providing vendors. When Marija started the project, the compliance rate for meeting all 4 vendor’s deadlines was 22%. This caused some new City employees, who were trying to take advantage of benefits, delays and frustration. Marija used a value stream map to identify 3 major steps in the process. She facilitated brainstorm sessions for her team to identify causes of why they would miss deadlines. Marija utilized a fishbone diagram and “5 Whys” to narrow her root causes down to two. The first centered around the software code; it was not written to withstand future scalability, unable to notify users of errors, and was not standardize across the 4 vendors. The second root cause centered around not having an up-to-date document to assist users in handling the issues that were causing the files to be delayed. Marija’s team brainstormed many potential fixes to address both root causes and ultimately settled on re-writing the code to notify the user of errors and have one standard transferring solution and to revise documentation to address errors on relevant issues. Marija and her team implemented these new fixes and have seen a 100% on-time delivery of files to vendors for 9+ weeks!

As a cherry on top, Marija’s project was chosen to be presented at the 2019 Colorado Lean Summit in Golden, Colorado. Great job Marija!!

Improvement Tool Highlight

6S can be an powerful tool, incorporating various Lean tools like visual management and standard work. The Pottery Studio used the tool to realize more floor capacity and will eventually use that capacity to provide a better experience for their customers. The Pottery Studio performed a second 6S project that reduced clutter in employees’ workspace and improved safety. The Senior Center used the tool to clean out 3 of their storage sheds. Over time, the sheds had become unorganized, making it difficult to locate items. In one shed, the placement of a transportable stage increased the risk of injury. Lastly, the Museum of Discovery used the tool to regain the function of their massive double doors, which had been reduced to a single door due to the pile up of storage items. These are just a few examples of how the tool can benefit your work areas; now, let’s dive into the “how to” portion.

Grab some paper and markers and get ready to begin your 6S project. One important thing to discuss is the overarching “S”, Safety. Safety should be incorporated through the entire project and asking SRM to assist in identifying areas of risk can set you up for success.

The first “S” is Sort and can be one of the hardest steps to take due to the daunting task of having to go through all the “stuff” that has accumulated. Pro tip: begin in one section and slowly move around the space. Use paper and markers to make signs that direct personnel where to place items. The standard signs are “keep”, “trash”, “donate”, and “unsure”; however, be flexible and create new signs as needed to keep the sort process going.

Once everything has been sorted into sections, take the time to perform another “S”, called Shine.Shine involves cleaning the space but is also a chance to identify items that need to be maintained and/or are expiring.

After the space is shined begin the next “S”, called Set-in-Order. Set-in-Order involves placing items back into your area; however, this needs to be strategic! Things that are used regularly should be placed in your “target zone” (waist to chest area) to avoid the risk of an overuse injury. Heavy items should be placed low, along with liquids.

As you complete the Set-in-Order step, determine how you would like to Standardize the space, which is the next “S” in the process. In Standardization, visual management is used heavily. Typically, labels are used to identify where items should be placed after they are used. In some cases, it is wise to label the actual item as well.

The last “S” is Sustain, and can be the most challenging “S”, since it will require constant attention. Sustain techniques include performing monthly spot checks, standardizing rules on how to comply with retrieving/returning/adding new items, using meetings to recognize staff for sustainment or a reoccurring process to keep the space clean, to name a few.   

OMG Help! (Documenting Real-Life Facilitation Struggles)

The Situation: a facilitator, trained in the arts of a Lean Leader, attempted to grow their skills by taking advantage of FC Lean facilitation opportunities. As to be expected, the facilitator’s experience was limited, having only created a process map (maybe) twice before. They entered the room on the day of the facilitation and began to lead the team; the team size was 13 personnel and the process spanned multiple departments. The facilitator’s instructions to the team were simple: write each step of the process on a sticky note and place it on the wall in the correct order. After a few minutes of silence, a team member asked if the facilitator could elaborate on what they wanted. The facilitator re-stated the instructions: write each step of the process on a sticky note and place it on the wall in the correct order.” Frustrated, the team member spoke up again and asked for more direction. The facilitator could not or did not break down the steps on what was expected, simply repeating the instructions again.

FC Lean Thoughts: welcome to facilitating large groups! As a seasoned facilitator, I experienced similar instances early on, and I learned from them. The facilitator, in this example, will be better off having gone through this experience and that is truly the intent of offering these growth opportunities. I was shadowing this facilitator that day and tactfully assisted them through the process. The facilitator’s previous process mapping experience was very small in scope and the process was one they knew very well. The techniques used to create a process map should be the same, no matter the scope of the process. Begin by identifying the scope start and the scope stop and then start at the beginning by asking “what happens next?” Continue the same process and be on alert for possible decision points. As a rule, I map the process with decision points, but map it assuming the best-case scenario. For example, if the decision were, did the employee respond, “yes” would be the best-case and I would continue with the mapping. Once I reach the end of the map (by getting to the scope stop point) I return to the decision points and then map the worst-case scenarios.

Skill Development
Open primarily for graduates of a Lean Leader course, however if you are interested in shadowing to determine if becoming a Lean Leader student is right for you, feel free to contact lean@fcgov.com.

Shadowing Opportunities: 
- Jan 9th from 1-2 PM//Root Cause Analysis and Fix Phase for Police Report Completion Process
- Jan 13th from 2:30-4 PM//Climate Action Plan Future State
- Jan 29th from 9 AM- 12PM//Post Award Grant Future State

Teaching Opportunities:
- Lean Basics Class 23 January  (all-day)
- Lean Basics Class 20 February (all-day)
- Lean Basics Class 26 March (all-day)

What is Going On Around the City?
- Jacob Hoffman completed a JDI on locating violation letters and reduced searching time by 80%
- Charles Claude/Jade Cowan reduced the change request process from 5 minutes to less than 1 minute in their JDI 
- Adam Bromley lead a project around streetlight maintenance that saved 1,560 staff hours yearly
- Sarah Olear/Jami McMannes/David Wimmer/Sapna Von Reich completed a JDI on recreation class proposals and reduced errors by 84%
- Katie Collins completed her Lean Leader project on increasing xeriscape program completion and did so by increasing it from 30% to now 61% program retention
- Eric Lahman simplified the parking permitting process and saved 17 staff hours annually increasing customer service to City contractors

If you have a JDI (Just Do It) you have completed and need help documenting it contact Lean@fcgov.com for assistance

Find our Just Do It Form and other information here

FC Lean
215 N Mason St
Fort Collins, CO 80524