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.  

  • A few City projects were highlighted in Quality Digest earlier this year - https://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/lean-article/lean-public-sector-012820.html 
  • Police, PDT, IT and Parks are in various stages of piloting the Fort Collins Improvement System, which is a venue that systematically supports process improvement.  
  • FC Lean Roadshows have been updated with new products offered for 2020: Project 6S, Form Lab, and Process Builder. Contact FC Lean to setup a date and time for your work area at lean@fcgov.com.  
  • FC Lean is here to help if you need assistance creating a new work process in this current remote working environment 

    Success Stories

    On March 14, as the City began shutting down the Recreation facilities, in particular the Senior Center, concern arose over what community members would do for services. Lieutenant Jim Byrnes, Director of Emergency Preparedness and Security, contacted Sue Schafer, Volunteer Services Program (VSP) Manager, to ask what the City could do for vulnerable community members who were sheltering in place. Neighborhood Services already had an Adopt A Neighbor program for snow shoveling but we needed something much more robust.  A team of staff with experience in volunteer management convened to work on broadening the program. This team included Charlotte Norville and Diane Ernst from the Natural Areas Department, Cate Eckenrode from FC Lean, Matt Murphey from CPIO, and Sue Schafer from Volunteer services.  

    Sue Schafer likened the expansion process to building, loading, and navigating the boat all at the same time.  This initial team met virtually to discuss all aspects of the program expansion including both internal and external processes. Through their work with FC Lean, the team was able to create a Value Stream Map and Standard Work for application and matching processes of the Adopt a Neighbor program. Process building is an ongoing service of FC Lean that allows for sustainable processes and ideal state creation. For Volunteer Services and the Adopt a Neighbor program, process creation and documentation were important for role clarification and responsibility.  Additionally, quality control in training and matching, and communication across departments as the program was designed, rolled out, and implemented within 5 business days on March 20, 2020 was important. Having standard work and a documented process will make the transition of the administration of the Adopt a Neighbor program from Volunteer Program Services back to Neighborhood Services smoother. As of April 3, 2020 the program processed 258 volunteers, 36 neighbors in need, and 36 pairings of volunteers with neighbors. The outreach is ongoing for this program and if you would like to volunteer or know of someone who is in need of assistance at this time please visit fcgov.com/volunteer or call 970-416-8000. 

    Improvement Tool Highlight

    A tool that has been in high demand as of late is one called future state process mapping. As our City grows, some of the processes in place will need to evolve. No longer can we depend on heroic measures to get the job done. Those efforts often lead to inefficiencies and an outcome riddled with errors. Creating a process is not as easy as it sounds and often incorporates other Lean tools in order to render a successful new process. To create an effective future state process map use the following tools in this order: process overview worksheet, brainstorming, and PICK chart. 

    The process overview worksheet (POW) is a great tool to use with just a few experts of the process. A sponsor will still be needed to approve the new process. However, the POW will outline the current high-level steps and act as a guide as you proceed. The POW also assists in understanding which individuals should be present in building a future state process map. With the POW complete, you should have a good understanding of the process and individuals selected to create a team. 

    Brainstorming ideas to incorporate into a new future state process map is your next step. Dealer’s choice on either to use quiet brainstorming or out loud brainstorming. The intent is to get as many ideas from the team to make the future process better.  The ideas generated are “fixes”, so use phrases to prompt the team to think of ideas; “think of ideas that will reduce errors” or “how can we make the process more efficient.” Once brainstorming is complete, use the PICK chart tool to sort through ideas.  

    A PICK chart allows a team to judge an idea on the impact it has on the process and the level of effort (often considerations of cost and level of approval). PICK stands for Possible/Implement/Consider/Kiss it Goodbye and is the title for each of the 4 quadrants when drawn. Allow the team to voice their opinion on each of the ideas based on impact and effort. The ideas in the “implement quadrant” are the ones that will help inform the future state process map. 

    Now, with fresh new ideas to incorporate into your future state process map, you can begin the process. Begin with a trigger, something that tangibly starts the process. Use the high-level process information gathered in the POW to guide the facilitation. Assist the team in incorporating the new ideas along the future state process map until you reach the end of the scope. Create an action plan to implement the new ideas and then implement the new future state process map.  

    OMG Help! (Documenting Real-Life Facilitation Struggles)

    The Situation: A facilitator was working on a project and scheduled the first meeting with the team. The facilitator created an agenda, booked the room, and gathered the necessary supplies. The day of the meeting, the facilitator arranged the meeting space and set out refreshments. The team began to arrive and took their seats. The facilitator noticed an atmosphere form that could be described as uncollaborative. The facilitator began and struggled to get cooperation. A few team members believed that the process under review was fine the way it was. The facilitator quickly fell behind a very optimistic agenda, which added to the tension in the room. The meeting ended with not much progression.  

    FC Lean Thoughts: This is a very tough way to facilitate and, unfortunately, all too common. After a few years of running into the situation of no “buy-in” and unable to stick to an agenda, here are a few recommendations from lessons learned.  

    • Incorporating the sponsor is crucial! 
    • A good common practice is to invite the sponsor for a project “kick-off.” The kick-off is a 3 to 5-minute persuasive talk on why we need to improve the process at the beginning of the first meeting. That should ease the burden of having to motivate team members for the facilitator. 
    • As for the agenda, keep it simple. An agenda is simply a guide and it would be prudent to relay that to the team early. 
    • You can expect facilitating a tool, either for the first time or for a growing team, to take longer than expected. Stating that we will get as far as we can with the time dedicated is a good approach. 

      Skill Development
      To keep growth opportunities relevant, we are going to use the Lean Leader distribution list to advertise shadowing opportunities at the beginning of each month. With that said, this section will be removed after this quarter. If you have any questions or would like to be added to the distribution list feel free to contact lean@fcgov.com.

      What is Going On Around the City?
      • Benjamin Griswold from the Museum of Discovery employed the 6S tool to reduce prep time saving 52 hours and enhanced staff’s work environment 
      • Frank Barrett in Police Services reduced the errors related to a data entry process, saving $7.1K in re-work cost 
      • Paul Wood addressed the metal ammunition cart issue at the shooting range and significantly reduced the chance of officers loading the incorrect caliber of bullets  
      • Carrie Ripsam in the Special Operation Division saved over 48 hours of unnecessary work by procuring a compliance phone which eliminated transportation 
      • Maryann Lasco and the records team improved walk-up window customer service by installing a lighting system that would alert other team members of additional customers needing assistance  
        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