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NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 838 days

DNR achieving new goals with first Lean Government Initiative

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Published: August 8, 2012 by the Central Office

Contact(s): Kristy Rogers, 608-235-3922

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources continues to lead by example after completing the agency's pilot phase of a Lean Government Initiative aimed at reducing workload, accelerating permitting timelines and improving agency efficiency.

The department is one of the first state agencies to formally try Lean tools, conducting nine process improvement projects over the past five months.

"Our first Lean Initiative has been a huge success," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "With the help of Lean tools, we are now implementing improvements that will help us do our job more efficiently, make our customers happier and all while maintaining or improving environmental protection. It's a win for everyone."

The agency set out to test the effectiveness of Lean tools by conducting and evaluating at least one process improvement project in each DNR Division. A total of nine projects were completed, all of them successful at recommending improvements that met five agency wide goals.

Examples include:

  • Clean Boats Clean Waters Project - staff eliminated wasteful steps in the grant application process, and reduced the time it takes to get an answer to the grantee from 90 days to 14 business days;
  • LeMay Forestry Center - forestry staff at the center redesigned their stockroom to make filling orders more efficient, and reduced the steps taken to fill an order from 1,583 feet to 319 feet, a reduction of 79 percent; and
  • Wild Game Serving Permit Process - agency staff reduced the time needed to secure a permit from weeks to hours. Dale Maas, a customer of the recently improved permit process, shared his feedback with DNR staff: "This new process is great! Those of us that have dealt with the old one appreciate the change."

The department will be building on the success and lessons learned from the first initiative. The Secretary's Office has appointed long time DNR employee and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Kristy Rogers to lead the agency's process improvement efforts full time. Rogers has worked for the DNR since 1998, most recently as a drinking and groundwater supervisor for the South Central Region.

"Kristy is an amazing leader. Her hard work and dedication exemplifies the commitment and passion so many DNR employees have when it comes to protecting Wisconsin's environment and improving the agency's customer service," said Stepp.

Gov. Scott Walker recently signed Executive Order #66, requiring Lean Government initiatives throughout state cabinet agencies. Secretary Stepp and the DNR continue to lead state government in reviewing and streamlining processes.

"I'm proud of all the DNR staff that have participated and who have embraced lean government principles for this first 'toe-in-the-water,'" said Stepp. "I can't wait to see the big things to come under Kristy's guidance and the efforts of dedicated DNR staff."

Additional information about the projects and results can be found by using the keyword search "Lean Gov" to reach the Lean government page of the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristy Rogers, 608-235-3922.

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Last Revised: Wednesday, August 08, 2012