Study Shines Light on Hours Saved Using Lean Six Sigma


Jason Jackson, director of the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services, addresses the audience during a panel discussion about Harvard University’s study of Nebraska on Sept. 24, 2019, in Oklahoma City, Okla. (Courtesy Nebraska Governor’s Office)
By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

A recent case study by Harvard University highlights the implementation of structured daily planning meetings across the Nebraska state government.

The study, “Pursuing a Vision: Nebraska’s Center of Operational Excellence,” recently was a topic at the National Association of State Chief Administrators’ Institute on Management and Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Nebraska Department of Administrative Services Director Jason Jackson, Center of Operational Excellence Director Matt Singh and Center of Operational Excellence Deputy Director Andi Bridgmon participated in a panel discussion.

“My administration is constantly working to create a more effective, more efficient, and more customer-focused state government,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a news release. “The Center of Operational Excellence has been a key piece in working toward this goal. Because of their hard work, Nebraska is being recognized as a leader by Harvard and NASCA for our best-in-the-field process improvement practices.”

The Harvard case study looks at how Ricketts launched a process improvement initiative in 2015 that resulted in structured meetings becoming the norm for the state government.

Ricketts is formerly the chief operating officer for TD Ameritrade, and the experience motivated him to push for the process improvement initiative.

“We should always be thinking about how we can serve the customer better and do it in innovative ways that help us control our costs,” Ricketts said, according to the Harvard case study.

Nebraska’s Center of Operational Excellence uses the Lean Six Sigma methodologies to look for ways to build a stronger, more efficient state government. The COE has helped facilitate more than 300 improvement projects across 16 state agencies, resulting in over 300,000 hours that were directed to other priorities.

“This Harvard study is a validation of our efforts to improve services and save taxpayer dollars,” Jackson said in a release.

Dan Kim, NASCA president and director of the California Department of General Services, said the Harvard case studies offer state administrators a chance to learn how to confront the challenges facing government.

“There are no simple solutions to many of these government operational challenges, yet these dynamic cases share problem-solving strategies to transform government and its services to citizens,” Kim said in a release.

A copy of the case study can be found at bit.ly/3122uBz.

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