Healthcare, farming, and now government!  Lean Six Sigma is making an impact in a wide variety of fields, helping people everywhere reduce inefficiencies and improve processes.  Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have realized the value of Lean Six Sigma training and are considering ways to use the program to help distressed communities.

Pennsylvania currently has nineteen municipalities designated as financially distressed.  In an effort to help these cities and boroughs improve their operations, Representatives Mike Schlossberg and Seth Grove have recently drafted a State House bill that would require training in lean government practices for both state and local government employees.

According to the proposed bill, Pennsylvania began adopting some lean government practices in 2011 and has saved nearly $700 million since then.  The new bill would provide an opportunity for the state to codify the lean practices that are working and develop a new model for training that can be implemented in distressed communities.  Lean Six Sigma training would be an integral part of this development process, helping both the state and local governments make processes more efficient and productive.

Representative Schlossberg explained the need for improved efficiency training, saying:

The phrase ‘do more with less’ is quite possibly the most popular one in government and has been since the start of the recession.  While there’s obviously validity to that, at the state level we have to give local governments the ability to actually do more with less.  If we give them the tools that they need to be successful, we can expect more out of them, but otherwise asking them to do more and not telling them how to do it is a complete waste of time and money.

While the new bill is still being debated and discussed in the House, a pilot program is underway in Pittsburgh, one of the state’s distressed communities.  Select projects there are being reviewed and associated employees are receiving Lean Six Sigma training to help them address problems and improve current processes.  Assuming the pilot is a success, city officials hope to expand Lean Six Sigma training throughout the city government.

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