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.  

  • Checkout FC Lean's new external website landing page @ fcgov.com/lean 
  • Students from the University of Arizona featured FC Lean in their research of the implementation of Lean, read article here
  • FC Lean Basics Flagship Class redesigned as a Webinar Series
  • FC Lean Roadshow revamped with new products and offerings

Success Stories

FC Lean Basics graduate, Travis Walker, brought in FC Lean to assist the Utilities Light & Power Locates team. The Team’s focus was on the locates administrative processes which were taking 16 hours per day in total. This lengthy process increased overtime pay, risked missing locate deadlines, and negatively impacted team morale. The team completed a current-state map to identify which steps in the process were the most time-consuming. Using the 5 Whys tool, the team identified the root cause of the problem was that the administrative process was riddled with paper-based processes. Travis’s team decided on the use of a technology-based system to replace much of the paper-based processes to “fix” the identified root cause. The team did a dry run pilot of the software system for five weeks and found that of the four major administrative steps, the software integration eliminated two steps and reduced the other two steps by more than 50%. The administrative process now takes just 3.25 hours per day, which is a 12.75 hours per day reduction or 3,315 hours annually. Some additional benefits include the reduction in printing cost, paper costs, and the vehicle idle time.

Improvement Tool Highlight

FC Lean recently developed a new tool called the Process Builder. The Process Builder assists in creating or reimagining new or out of date processes. In this new world of virtual work and COVID-19 impacts to workflow and workspaces, Process Builder is a tool that helps guide conversations and work centered on envisioning a new future state that better serves teams. FC Lean has worked with Recreation, Human Resources, and Financial Services on thirteen projects since launching at the beginning of this quarter. Working with the Recreation Aquatics team, FC Lean used the Process Builder to create visitor flow through the Edora Ice and Pool Center for reopening the facility in early June. In addition, the Aquatics team worked with FC Lean to build the process for visitors to reserve a lane for swimming from the time of reservation through check-in and hitting the pool. 

Similar to the Process Improvement Form, the Process Builder begins with a thorough review of the current issues within a process and/or the goals of building a new process for implementation. If you’re working on reimagining a process, then identifying metrics for comparison and improvement is recommended. In the instance of creating a new process, metrics will be measured after implementation in order to create a baseline for further improvements. 

Next, using traditional process scope and customer identification, brainstorm steps for inclusion in the ideal future state process map that will help you achieve your stated goal. Once you’ve built the future state process map, create an action plan for the team to prepare for implementation. The Volunteer Services Program Adopt-a-Neighbor team identified applications, training, and tracking systems as part of their ideal state for the Adopt-a-Neighbor program. Using the Process Builder, the team was able to envision, build, and launch the program in just five days. 

Lastly, it’s time to either remeasure your metrics or create the baseline for your process using the TEAM mnemonic. Once you’ve measured your metrics and updated your goal, the focus is on sustaining the change you’ve achieved.


OMG Help! (Documenting Real-Life Facilitation Struggles)

Just like that, our world changed. Processes that we were used to and have done over the past years ceased. Likewise, the processes in FC Lean needed modification to adapt to our new remote world. The ways in which educational course were offered and the project facilitation we provided were now obsolete. Through Zoom and its functionality, FC Lean modified the Lean Basics course with only one month lost. As for facilitation, this is and has been a continuous evolution and is the basis of this quarter’s topic. 

FC Lean intakes (the initial meeting and venue for deciding how we can best help work areas) and the subsequent meetings that lay the foundation for our assistance, converted the easiest. The use of MS Teams and screen sharing allow us to display forms and complete them in a collaborative way. The benefit of not having to travel to an office or a meeting venue maximizes participation. The task of performing and facilitating real-time process maps had a bit of a learning curve. Using Visio and its many capabilities in-front of an audience was daunting at first, but it may now become a standard practice. Next, came the process of brainstorming root causes and fixes. There have been a couple of variations, but what works best is a shared screen word document with participants either verbalizing ideas or placing them in the chat. This allows the facilitator time to transcribe them on the shared document. With that said, there can be moments of silence and lag in initiating this step. In this situation, toggling back (via the shared screen) to the current state process map and guiding them through the steps triggers the flow of ideas. 

The art of facilitating has its pitfalls and some have remained and/or have been exacerbated in the remote environment. Ensuring each participant has the opportunity to contribute, gaining consent after closing out a step or tool, and not allowing any one person to dominate the conversation are a few. Being mindful and considering what voices you have heard and who has participated in the chat are critical. For those who haven’t contributed, tactfully ask them if they have anything to add. For closing out a tool/step, call on each participant to see how they feel about the outcome (this replaces the visual fist-of-five tool we used in face-to-face meetings). For a participant who is dominating, begin to direct questions to those participants who have the same expertise versus asking the questions to all. 

Remote facilitation and guiding teams to improve processes is more challenging now than before, but through the use of technology and process adaptations we can still accomplish improvements. If you are a Lean graduate and have stories to share, please send us an email. If you are a Lean graduate that needs assistance in kick starting your remote facilitation, please reach out.   



    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?
    • Paul Wood and Mike Tomasini completed a JDI and replaced the ammunition cart on training gun range to improve safety
    • Salina Hemmen submitted a JDI for improving the Recreation Reduced Fee application using FormLab and is saving over 200 hrs a year
    • Ashley Ruffer completed a 6S on the Fort Collins Senior Center Storage Shed which is saving staff time in getting supplies for various event set up
    • Jennifer Poznanovic and Marci White used FormLab to update the Sales Tax Rebate form
    • Karen Burke and her team used Process Builder to create several COVID-19 related workflows
    • IT Team kicked off their innovation workshops virtually and helped address a systemic problem
      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