While departments have all been mandated to cut 1% of their total budget for the next fiscal year, there till lies the issue of employees streamlining their work processes in order to eliminate any unnecessary waste. Problem Statement Employees of the City of Houston are being asked to streamline their current processes in order to do more with less and become much more efficient in their daily tasks. Employees do not currently have the skills and abilities to re- engineer their processes, properly identify waste, or understand how to utilize key performance indicators to recognize when their processes are not performing as expected.
Differences Between Current and Desired State Current State The City of Houston has launched a Lean Six Sigma course Of study. TO date, there are 1 100 employees trained at a yellow belt level which; provides practitioners with a broad overview of tools and techniques used to eliminate waste in processes. With a population of 23,000 this equates to 5. 2% of employees having the ability to identify waste and use high level tools to begin to document their processes.
This however; does not give employees the breadth of knowledge or tools they will need in order to completely re- engineer their processes and begin to drive lasting changes throughout the itty, particularly as it relates to high value processes. Employees by in large view their jobs as possessions rather than processes. Because of this pervasive attitude throughout departments across the city, employees are very resistant to changing their processes to be more efficient. Desired State The City of Houston would benefit from having a wide base of knowledge as it relates to Lean Six Sigma.
An ingrained culture of continuous improvement and a workforce that is fully engaged in making the necessary changes to processes in order to close the budget gap and avoid the same circumstances in the future. Employees would have a plethora of tools and techniques to pull from that will help them to re-engineer and/or create processes that better serve customers, save money (taxpayer dollars) as well as eliminate both Waste and variation in processes. Data Collection Process Data Collection Instruments used two collection instruments to collect data related to this issue.
The first collection instrument used was a questionnaire; I focused my efforts here on front line employees. My aim was to determine the current sentiment about the budget deficit, whether or not employees felt they have been given the accessory tools to do what has been asked of them and their feelings about their current processes. I chose 10 employees from various departments all of whom had different functional roles. The questionnaires were sent via e- mail and were received back interoffice anonymously.
The second collection instrument I used was individual interviews, these interviews were conducted with 1 0 department Directors (3 via telephone and 7 in person. ) The department Directors are ultimately responsible for their employees and would be pivotal in the deployment of a robust Lean Six Sigma program. Interviewed the Directors looking for information about what they thought the barriers to adoption would be. Their responses were infinitely valuable in learning how and if the program should be rolled out City. Did. Data from Other sources did not collect data from any other sources. Summary of Results Data Analysis Technique uses asked closed questions (yes/no) on the employee questionnaire and was able to categorize the answers and produce quantitative data. I did a simple count of the responses which gave me a relative percentage of employees responding in either the affirmative or the negative. In addition, incorporated the use of a Liker scale which provided me with the average of responses for employees. Questions No.
Responses Yes No Do you feel you have the skills necessary to re-engineer your current work processes? 3 7 Do you feel as though your processes are currently producing what they are intended to produce? 1 9 Have you heard of Lean Six Sigma? 10 Have you taken the City of Houston Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt course? 6 4 Would you be interested in an in depth Lean Six Sigma course? 8 2 Do you believe that Lean Six Sigma will help you to do your job more efficiently? 9 Are you interested in learning how to eliminate waste in your daily job functions? 5 Do you believe that employees have been given the tools or guidance they need in order to reduce departmental budgets by 1%? 2 8 Do you feel as though the City is spending tax payer dollars responsibly? O Average On a scale of 1-5 with 1 being unrealistic and 5 being very realistic, how realistic do you think it is for City employees to close the current budget gap? 2. 5 For the department Director interviews, I used both open ended questions as well as yes/no type questions. Roped responses into common themes and totaled the number of responses for each theme. Director Interviews Us reeve Question Responses What do you feel the biggest hurdle is in cutting your departmental budget budget by 1% Providing the same level of service avoiding layoffs of employees Do you believe that your employees have the skills necessary to re-engineer processes in your department? Yes NO Would you support deployment of a Lean Six Sigma Green belt program in your department?
Yes what do you believe the biggest barrier to implementation of such a program would be Adherence to the Status quo Fear of the unknown 6 3 What approach would you use to implement a robust Lean Six Sigma program in your Department? Make it mandatory for employees Create Lean Six Sigma Teams Data Results Findings of Needs Analysis Neither employees nor leadership believe that there are adequate skills amongst employees to re-engineer processes or close the budget gap the City is currently facing.
There is widespread acceptance of Lean Six Sigma as a remedy for inefficiencies although, it seems there may be some concern about resistance to fully adopt the methodology. However, there may be a disconnect between what leadership believes to be true and the actual intention of employees at lower levels of the organization. While 80% of employee respondents said that they were interested in an in depth program, leadership sentiments were that there is a strong attachment to the status quo ingrained in the culture at the City which may make implementation difficult.
While I believe that some employees, particularly at lower levels of the organization may have a very difficult time letting go of old habits. This stems not from fear of change but, fear of loss. Loss of value, loss of comfort and sometimes fear that jobs may be lost. That being said, employees have a sire to make their jobs and processes easier to navigate which is in direct conflict with the sentiments Of leadership.
The data clearly shows that both leadership and employees need additional skills to perform Despite the discrepancies in perceived acceptance and buy-in It is apparent that both leadership and employees have an interest in the Lean Six Sigma program. Employees have already embraced the methodology as something that will help them resolve the pressing issues that they are facing as well as identified a need for improvement in skills necessary to re-engineer processes.