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Contact information
For information on DNR’s Lean Government Initiative, contact:
Kristy Rogers
Administrator

About the DNR Lean Government Initiative

The Department of Natural Resources completed its pilot phase of a Lean Government Initiative aimed at reducing workload, accelerating permitting timelines and improving agency efficiency in 2012. The DNR was one of the first state agencies to formally try Lean tools conducting nine process improvement projects.

The DNR has taken a very structured approach to Lean projects. Each division within the DNR conducted at least one project and all of the projects worked toward achieving five consistent goals.

  1. Reduce DNR staff workload.
  2. Reduce lead (delivery) time. (Lead time is the total time it takes for a customer to receive a product or service.)
  3. Improve Customer Satisfaction.
  4. Simplify the Process.
  5. Ensure Staff and Customer Safety.

The DNR has been building on the success and lessons learned from the first initiatives and it is an ongoing process. Stay tuned for more information on the next projects and goals.

Lean Six Sigma

The department uses a business-tested approach called Lean Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma is a systematic approach that employs a collection of principles, methods and tools to improve speed and efficiency of processes by eliminating waste.

Lean I Projects

The following are the projects that were completed in July 2012. Each link contains the project charter that identifies the project’s purpose and goals and a quick summary of the final results.

Administration

Legal Opinion Process [PDF]
Analyze the process used to issue legal opinions and implement improvements that make the process more efficient, timely and trackable.

Wild Game Serving Permit Process Improvement [PDF]
Analyze the process and implement improvements in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.

Air, Waste, and Remediation & Redevelopment Division

Air Construction Permit Process [PDF]
Analyze and streamline the steps taken to issue a construction permit.

Chapter NR 726 Closure Completeness Reviews
Analyze and streamline the steps taken to determine if a complete closure packet has been submitted.

Division of Customer and Employee Services

Clean Boats, Clean Waters AIS Grant Projects [PDF]
Reduce the amount of time volunteers spend on developing grant applications, documenting time contributions and developing final project reports.

Division of Forestry

Forestry Equipment Center Stockroom [PDF]
Analyze and improve the order fulfillment process at the LeMay Forestry Center in Tomahawk.

Land Division

Phase 2 of the Master Planning Process [PDF]
Analyze the Phase 2 portion of the Master Planning process and make improvements that eliminate variation in the quality and speed and improve process flow and speed.

Endangered Resources Reviews [PDF]
Analyze the Endangered Resources reviews conducted agency wide and implement improvements that promote consistency and timeliness.

Water Division

Nutrient Management Plans [PDF]
Analyze and improve the review process for nutrient management plans.

Lean II Projects

The following are the projects that began the Fall of 2012 into Winter 2013.

Administration

Administrative Rule Process [PDF]
Legal services successfully streamlined the previously complex and time-consuming administrative rule process.

Customer Feedback Process [PDF]
Customer Service and technical staff worked together to create a system to better track and report on customer feedback.

Green Tier - Tier 1 Acceptance [PDF]
Green Tier staff streamlined the Tier 1 application review process to meet or exceed a 60-day processing time goal.

Law Enforcement Annual Credential Review [PDF]
Law Enforcement staff achieved remarkable efficiencies with streamlining the annual law enforcement credential review process.

Office of Communications Calendar Upgrade [PDF]
Office of Communications (OC) staff improved customer service by updating and improving the OC calendar tool that helps the DNR better coordinate social media communication – e.g. Facebook, Twitter, video, etc.

Operator Certification [PDF]
Science Services staff simplified the training approval process for operator certification.

Air, Waste, and Remediation & Redevelopment Division

Air Management Stationary Source Enforcement Referral Process [PDF]
Air Management staff created a more efficient process for making enforcement case referrals resulting in a 60% reduction in the time needed to make a referral to the Department of Justice.

Closure Approval Process – Phase II [PDF]
Remediation & Redevelopment conducted a second Lean Six Sigma initiative focused on improving the closure process.

Hazardous Waste Compliance Inspections [PDF]
Waste & Materials Management staff developed a more efficient process to consistently and safely conduct hazardous waste large quantity generator inspections.

Division of Customer and Employee Services

Disabled Hunter Permit Process [PDF]
Customer Service and Licensing staff enhanced the processing of disabled hunting and fishing permit applications by eliminating wasteful duplicative permit applications.

Local and Long Distance Phone Service Fulfillment Process for the Regions [PDF]
Bureau of Technology Services staff led a group that have introduced a consistent backbone work flow process for delivering telephone services to DNR staff throughout the state.

Mail Room [PDF]
Customer Service staff improved mail room distribution through eliminating non-value added steps and implementing a staffing plan to enable cross training and mail room back up.

New Hire Pay Setting Process [PDF]
Human Resources staff improved the pay setting process for new hires.

Staff Onboarding [PDF]
Finance staff analyzed the current On-boarding process for newly hired employees and created one agency wide course.

Division of Forestry

Aeronautics Management Review [PDF]
Aeronautics staff reduced program costs through more efficient and effective management.

Forestry Program Review Assessment, Phase 1 [PDF]
Forestry staff streamlined the data collection process for program reviews, created a new operating procedure to collect more quantitative, useful data.

Increasing Accessibility to MFL Open Lands [PDF]
Forestry staff developed a new standard procedure for electronically mapping Managed Forest Law (MFL) and Forest Crop Law (FCL) lands that are available for public access.

Land Division

Development Project System Improvements [PDF]
Facilities and Lands staff took a cumbersome process for approving capital development projects and eliminated wasteful process steps and unnecessary approvals.

Dog Training & Trialing License Process [PDF]
Wildlife Management and Customer Service and Licensing staff turned a cumbersome, paper licensing process into a fully automated process.

Heritage Data Mapping Project [PDF]
Natural Heritage Conservation staff improved Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI) mapping timeliness, data quality, and delivery to internal and external customers through a number of process efficiencies.

Implementing Hunting in State Parks [PDF]
Parks & Recreation staff had a unique opportunity to create a new Lean process from the ground up, rather than improving a currently existing process.

Water Division

Grant Opportunities Focused on the Great Lakes [PDF]
Office of the Great Lakes staff led a group that developed a process to better coordinate efforts when responding to Requests for Proposals for projects focused on Great Lakes restoration funding.

High Capacity Well Review Process [PDF]
Water staff redesigned the high capacity well permit process by simplifying the data entry to eliminate redundancies and enhancing tracking to provide more consistent and predictable timelines.

Improved Fish Quota Request Process [PDF]
Fisheries staff reduced the number of fish quota requests and approvals needed to stock Wisconsin’s lakes by a remarkable 90%.

Permitting Lake-wide Fish Habitat Projects [PDF]
Fisheries staff improved the process for permitting large woody fish habitat projects in Wisconsin’s lakes.

Stormwater NOI process [PDF]
Water staff analyzed the Stormwater Construction Site Notice of Intent (NOI) process.

WPDES Specific Permit Re-issuance [PDF]
Water staff aimed to reduce average time devoted to re-issuance as well as reduce the average delivery time of an individual WPDES permit.

Lean III Projects

The following are the projects that are currently underway or have been finalized in 2014.

Administration

Legal Opinion Process: [PDF]
Administration staff led a team with representation from each of the Divisions to simplify the process for responding to open records requests by simplifying the billing process and creating tracking efficiencies, reducing the overall staff time spent on intake of complex open records requests by 45%.

Warehouse Storage and Publications Management: [PDF]
Office of Communication staff led a team that improved the efficiency of the publications management process by utilizing pre-approved vendors for printing services and by conducting a large “5s” effort to eliminate waste and increase productivity, resulting in recycling 2.25 million documents and 370 titles that had been held in long-term storage.

Air, Waste, and Remediation & Redevelopment Division

Air Management Compliance Documents: [PDF]
Air Management staff worked to improve the process for how compliance documents are handled. A new electronic filing system will be created for most Air Management compliance documents, which will give the public better access to compliance documents and reduce the amount of paper handled and filed.

Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award (PECFA) Claims Process: [PDF]
Remediation & Redevelopment staff developed a more efficient process for processing PECFA claim payments by eliminating wasteful process steps and unnecessary handoffs, reducing the time it takes DNR to make a claim payment by 32%.

Recycling Annual Reports: [PDF]
Waste & Materials Management staff improved the annual recycling report process by focusing on ways to decrease staff time spent following up with late report filers. By eliminating non-value added steps and focusing efforts on the value-added steps, DNR staff reduced time following up with late report filers by 68%.

Division of Customer and Employee Services

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), Lakes, and Rivers Grants: [PDF]
Community Financial Assistance staff improved the AIS, Lakes, and Rivers grant process, developing a consistent and streamlined approach for the grant application by merging applications and identifying one grant period. The improved process reduced redundancy, increased consistency and simplified the process by decreasing process steps by 16%.

Appointment Letter Process: [PDF]
Remediation & Redevelopment staff developed a more efficient process for processing PECFA claim payments by eliminating wasteful process steps and unnecessary handoffs, reducing the time it takes DNR to make a claim payment by 32%.

System Development Framework (SDF): [PDF]
Bureau of Technology Services staff led a group that created a streamlined SDF process, eliminating 19 “stop and wait” process steps and eliminating non-value added meetings so BTS staff can focus on providing great service at meetings that are directly adding value to its customers.

Division of Forestry

Incident Qualification System (IQS) Updating Process: [PDF]
Forestry staff improved the process for maintaining and updating the IQS system by defining what is entered into the IQS database versus the HR database, thereby eliminating duplication. The process was simplified by reducing the number of process steps by an average of 42%.

Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP): [PDF]
Forestry staff improved the quality, value, and efficiency of the annual Karner blue butterfly HCP reporting process by mistake-proofing the process through automation and eliminating non-value added steps, reducing lead time by 62%.

Public Safety Radio Inventory: [PDF]
Forestry staff streamlined the public safety radio process to deliver radio equipment in a timelier manner through improved inventory control by right-sizing the number of radios, ensuring that radios are in the right geographical area to meet the needs of staff, and reducing handoffs by 30% to simplify the process.

Land Division

Natural Heritage Conservation (NHC) Grant Management: [PDF]
NHC staff improved the grant submission, approval, and management process in the NHC program by creating one consistent process for submission and approval of grants, and by developing standardized spreadsheets and databases to improve the ability for staff to track expenses, reducing staff time spent tracking grant expenses by 85%.

Recreation Policy Development: [PDF]
Land Division staff developed an efficient and consistent process for recreation policy development through benchmarking efforts to learn about best practices found in other Department processes. The new recreation policy development process will reduce lead time by an estimated 90%.

Last revised: Friday August 29 2014