Industry, business, and government increasingly look to continuous improvement through Lean Management principles. In addition to creating efficient operating processes, Lean is about changing operating culture and shifting mindsets towards a culture of problem solving and continuous improvement.
Last year the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, through Executive Council, commenced a continuous improvement process based on Lean principles. Government is focused on leading continuous improvement implementation efforts through training and guidance of teams in various Departments.
Current projects were selected based on an evaluation of issues presented, and cross-functional teams were formed to address various issues dealing with service delivery, processing times, and client needs. All projects address different problems, but are all aimed at enhancing current government services.
Currently there are nine (9) Lean management projects being undertaken. Included in these projects is an effort to improve the turnaround times on applications for Crown lands, a project focused on improving the turnaround time for applications to the Canada - Newfoundland and Labrador Job Grant, a project reviewing processing applications for housing and improving vacancy turnaround time at the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, and a project reviewing summer road maintenance activities in the Department of Transportation and Works.
To ensure long term success and growth of Lean within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, a formal training program is also being developed which is designed to enhance capacity from within the Public Service. This program will eventually result in each department having the expertise to lead and implement their own Lean projects. This incremental but steady growth in capacity will support the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in its efforts to handle the challenges ahead and work in parallel with the actions described within The Way Forward.
The overall goal of implementing Lean within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is to create an improved culture of problem solving and one focused on continuous improvement. In doing so, the people of the province will benefit from government services that can be delivered more quickly, in the most cost effective manner, and with improved quality outcomes.