What is Lean?

Lean is a systemic approach to identifying and eliminating waste, improving quality and improving safety in order to provide value for customers. A Lean culture cultivates this approach as a way of life by embracing principle based behaviors such as respect for people, value for customers, continuous improvement, humility, collaboration and learning.

Why Lean at DOL?

We are building a culture where employees are:

  • Excited to come to work
  • Valued for their skills and talents
  • Included in process improvements that impact their work
  • Respected
  • Trusted to make decisions
  • Empowered to fix what bugs them
  • Creating more value for our customers
  • Helping build trust in government

Employees that do the work improve the work. We value our customers and stakeholders. We engage them in process improvements that impact them.

Lean Accomplishments as of March 2016:

  • 1079 (91%) of our current permanent full time employees have taken formal Lean training.
  • 438 (37%) of our current permanent full time employees have participated in a Lean workshop to improve their processes. This is the best training and exposure to Lean that they can get. Employees experience being empowered to improve their process and they learn problem solving skills.
  • In 2015 an estimated 9,097 hours per year was saved through Lean workshops. This is time that has been redirected to more value added work and usually work employees are more excited to do. Time savings is often realized by reducing errors and rework loops, which are typically pain points for employees.
  • Received the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Excellence in Government Partnership Award for our use tax valuation Lean workshop with the Department of Revenue.
  • Delivered our own facilitator training which enables smaller class sizes, saves money, and allows us to customize the training to meet our agency needs.
  • Included external customers and process partners in our Lean workshops.

For more information about Lean, visit Results Washington: About Lean (results.wa.gov).

Success stories
For examples of how we’ve improved service and reduced waste with Lean, see Success stories.

Washington Healthcare Finder
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Access Washington – official state government website