Do the Public Policy Guru’s get it?

Lean government is making public sector inroads through out the US. It is exciting to see this. But I am worried. Some managers seem to see it as a weapon, rather than a tool.

  • The legislature is making us more accountable so we have to do something or else?
  • Do more with less?
  • Cut staff so we can lower the budget?

These attitudes have nothing to do with Lean government and everything to do with poor public policy.

It is important for Lean process analysis to gain some better more understandable public recognition. This needs to be done by not only the Champions, and Managers but more importantly practitioners who understand public policy language. The facts show that Lean process analysis and implementation can make a difference between a well-run, efficient and value-laden, government service and a wasteful bureaucratic mess.

Are any candidates listening?

Comments 5

  1. Chris

    Ok this sound familiar. It kind of sounds like the way people used to use BPR (Business Process Reengineering). I fact BPR got a bad name because of this same reason. They thought of it as a weapon not a tool for process improvement. I agree that they definitely need to get a clue on how these tools need to be used.

    The problem is that the Champions and the Managers as well as most of the Practitioners don’t really know how to use the tools properly so they do what they think is right (most often times is to cut staff rather than look at the process to see if that is the right move). Well I’ll get off my soapbox now but that is a great blog entry to bring to light.

  2. Stephen C. Crate

    Chris thanks. I think in the State of Maine we have tried to use the tools as they were meant to be. While many departments had to lay off with a recent budget crunch, the Maine Department of Labor laid off no one.

    Maine Department of Labor Lean Government Web site: Bend the Curve

  3. dymelinyho

    “The Witcher” is set in the realm of bestselling fantasy saga by the same title, conjured to life by Andrzej Sapkowski

  4. Stephen C. Crate

    Thanks for the squidoo reference.

  5. Keith

    This misuse of tool sets is not unique to government. Plenty of firms start a Lean or Six Sigma program to "reduce costs" or "reduce headcount" rather than to better meet the needs of their customers.

    If Lean government does nothing other than focus processes on the needs of the "customer" – the people – it will be a success.

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