Lean/Six Sigma for Design

By Penny Macias | February 11, 2016

LEAN/Six Sigma is often discussed in the context of improving a process to improve results and increase customer satisfaction. Cities across the country have worked to implement LEAN/Six Sigma in their organizations to improve results for their citizens and have seen a variety of successes. This program is not just for improving an existing process; it can also be used to design a new process.

One of the fall 2015 Green Belt MAAP classes recently helped Asset Management. Its Facilities Maintenance division was tasked with creating a portfolio of all City-owned facilities to determine the state of those facilities, help them move forward with budgeting, and request funds to keep them in the best condition possible. Within the portfolio they needed a Facilities Condition Index (FCI) to score the condition of buildings. Since this was a new task for them, Department Head Mark Hogan and Manager Thomas Chandler reached out to the MAAP for assistance in helping. Our Green Belt class was eager to assist.

The class, comprised of Jason Boyd, Asset Management, Thomas Chandler, Asset Management, Jesse Drury, Human Resources, Cheyann Grayson, WIN, Terry Hope, Asset Management, Teresa Nowlin, Legal, and Dafne Pharis, Finance worked to understand what Asset Management needed, why, and how to best provide it. Recently, the group provided Facilities Maintenance with a process for obtaining the FCI and related forms to fill out. In return, Facilities Maintenance provided great input/feedback and will begin using the system soon to score a few select priority buildings for a pilot. They may need to modify the pilot, and the MAAP team can help them with this.

If you're asking yourself if this was necessary to create a process for one group's usage, I'd say, it wasn't necessary, but it was beneficial for a couple of reasons. First, the Facilities Maintenance team has many jobs and like most departments has few resources. By sharing the project with other City employees, it decreased their burden and sped up the delivery time. Second, the team came from diverse backgrounds, offering perspectives and asking important questions that might not have come from a single team.

"The vetting process for the City's portfolio of buildings allowed me to see the importance of having the diverse perspectives of the group to ensure that once the project was complete, it would provide us with the best process for doing an FCI on our entire portfolio of buildings," said Thomas Chandler, Building and Operations Manager.

"The big savings will come after we have a facility professionally assessed, and then have City folks assess the same facility. This will allow us to compare work, and learn and expand on our knowledge, thus offering savings in the future as we move to self-assessment of our facilities," said Mark Hogan, Asset Management Director.

So, cheers to the team for a successful project. Also, thank you to Thomas and Mark for trusting us to deliver a good product and improve our skills. If you're curious how the MAAP can help you design a process, I hope you'll reach out to us and let us help you as well.