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A general “rule of thumb” is that a lean kaizen workshop should identify improvements of about 50%. Normally, this is a reduction of processing time of about 50%. But the question is this: will the principles of lean work in government? Let’s review the values of lean:

  • The value of people
  • The value of learning
  • The value of innovation and adaptability
  • Standard work processes
  • The value of transparency
  • The value of velocity vs. speed (or speed and direction)

Do any of these values sound like impossible for any government agency to honor? Of course not. If any organization should adopt these values it is government. But question still stands, will it work.

Two examples: a workers compensation trust that self insures 34,000 public school staff and an office of financial aid. Both government agencies. Both adopted lean as a performance improvement methodology. And both identified opportunities to reduce processing time of – 50%. Guess it does work.