Using Lean Six Sigma process improvement methodology provides VCPWA staff with simple-to-use tools to identify service improvements that can be quickly implemented. This is done by eliminating steps in a process that do not add value to the customer experience. This in turn frees up staff time and resources for more critical needs. Embracing process improvement is more than using the tools, it is a system of thinking and a way of working engrained at all levels in the organization. The PEAK program strives to make process improvement and Lean Six Sigma thinking a natural, everyday occurrence in the workplace.
A core concept of Lean is to eliminate waste by looking for root causes of unnecessary steps and then seek out solutions to eliminate or minimize them.
To date, VCPWA has successfully completed over 200+ process improvement events with a combined savings of over $9 million over the past 10 years! Each department within VCPWA has completed numerous process improvement events involving staff at all levels within the organization resulting in meaningful service improvements to the public we serve.
Some recent examples of process improvements include enhancing the Central Services Real Estate database resulting in a cleaner, more efficient, and authoritative data source and saving staff time.
Engineering Services eliminated multiple handoffs and decreased wait time of invoice processing in the Survey Division by leveraging available technology resulting in scanned receipts which are now electronically filed.
Roads &Transportation modified the notification form for unauthorized encroachments in the right-of-way of county-maintained roadways. The new notice eliminates excessive writing and saves time by using check boxes for the most frequently encountered encroachments.
Water and Sanitation introduced location-based messaging to its customers. Now targeted text or voice messages by contact type, group membership, district, location, can be sent in bulk to landlines, cell phones, or by text message, allowing critical notifications to reach very specific individuals in a timely manner.
Watershed Protection identified an easy change to where monthly meetings were held which resulted in the elimination of a monthly room set up charge.
Improvements to our work environment happen all the time but are often not documented, shared and celebrated. Through the efforts of all staff and the PEAK program, we can change our way of thinking and look to provide better service, in a better way, every day.