El Paso, Texas City Manager Tommy Gonzalez unveiled some major positive results from the Lean Six Sigma Training program he recently introduced into city management. As the El Paso city leaders anticipate some big increases to next year’s city budget, they’re seeking ways to trim spending. Simply on the initial results of training implementation, the city has found a way to save $300,000 using Six Sigma.

The process involves city employees, rather than high level managers, to work together to analyze current workflows and find ways to be more efficient. It also asks the ordinary citizens of El Paso who use city services to help brainstorm better practices. One showcase change of streamlined city processes is how the city issues park reservations.

City residents formerly waited three weeks and paid $214 to get a permit to reserve a city park. This was problematic and embarrassing to city park officials who wanted to facilitate park use, not restrict it. By using the Six Sigma process, they lowered the cost to process the permit to $13. Now, instead of taking three weeks, it takes but 30 minutes to get a park permit. Involving front office clerks and park users in the process team made that difference possible.

Implementing the principles learned at Six Sigma Training revolutionized the way city management worked. As with all change, there were some challenges to surmount. But, Gonzalez says, the results of perseverance are worth it.

Next, the city plans extend Six Sigma Training throughout all the city departments. They anticipate even greater savings lie ahead.

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