King County staff share Lean lessons at state conference

Do you think Lean is only for manufacturing? One of the attendees did at April’s Illinois Association of Public Procurement conference, until she was handed a tennis ball by Kara Cuzzetto and had a hands on experience learning some key improvement principles. Kara Cuzzetto and Danielle Hinz were asked to speak at the conference, held April 7-8, to share how King County is applying Lean tools in government, and specifically in procurement.

The first session they presented was an introduction to Lean concepts and tools, including waste, A3’s, mistake proofing and others.  Then they told the story of FBOD’s cultural journey, and did an exercise to show attendees the importance of flexing personal style based on other personalities.

Then, they spoke about King County leaders learning by teaching each other on A3 thinking and coaching, visual controls and management, huddles, and rounding.

They ended the day by sharing procurement specific stories including WTD and A&E evaluation phase improvement work, waiver improvement work, and small improvements like bid opening standard process work.

The conference attendees previously had little to no exposure to Lean, but walked away with tools and concepts to take back to their workplace to try, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Kara and Danielle.

-Terra Milles

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