The City of Boca Raton Florida (population 87,000), has begun implementing Lean. Lean is a process for continuous improvement that many organizations in the public and private sector have adopted. As stated in their first Lean Newsletter:
Lean is about rethinking what we do and how we do it. Lean is a customer‐centered approach that provides us with tools that help us utilize existing resources to identify areas for improvement by eliminating non‐value added activities. Lean is not about pointing fingers. It is about working as a team, empowering employees to find improvements in a process and taking steps towards improvement.
Twenty five employees have been trained in Lean methods. The first project being undertaken is improving the accounts payable process by eliminating duplication, excessive processing times and errors. By meeting with employees and mapping out the steps involved in the account payable process, many ways for improvement were identified.
The Boca Raton Lean Newsletter provides a brief overview of Lean and a specific project being undertaken. I am a big believer in utilizing Lean as a tool for improving how government operates. In addition to private sector companies such as Toyota, Lean has been implemented at the following municipalities and governmental agencies: San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, King County, Washington, Brown County, WI, Fort Wayne, Ind., Hartford, CT., Cape Coral, FLA., Jacksonville, FLA., Grand Rapids, MI., Florida Dept. of Revenue, Washington State Dept. of Licensing, Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources, Maine Dept. of Labor.