For many government agencies, standardizing processes can sound like a daunting task and a big commitment. It requires executives, managers and all other workers to re-evaluate their current processes, document the best methods known up to that time and oftentimes completely change how they work. But standardizing work saves time—and taxpayers' money—in the long-term.
Government agencies like the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency have adopted Lean Six Sigma principles to work more effectively and efficiently. Many city and state governments have also embraced Lean Six Sigma.
Benefits of standardizing processes:
- Employees are more productive because standards are clearly defined and repeatedly followed. Processes are documented from start to finish, so workers know how to perform a task each time it is carried out.
- Project cycle times are reduced because there are fewer variations to account for in the process followed. Multiple individuals perform the same task in the same way.
- Performance is heightened as agencies achieve expected results every time. Work is more consistent in quality and is less likely to have errors and mistakes.
- With documented process flows, training new employees is easier, decreasing the learning curve and placing less strain on trainers. This also decreases dependence on the knowledge of specific individuals who may retire or leave the company.
- Organizations have a baseline to improve their processes. Standardized work defines the most-efficient method of producing a product or providing a service known up to that point, but there will always be opportunities to improve. Defining a standard way of operating allows for continuous improvement as better approaches are developed.
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Lindsey Barrett is Marketing Specialist for geoAMPS, a technology company in the Columbus, OH, area that specializes in software solutions to manage land rights and infrastructure assets. For more information, call 614-389-4871 or visit www.geoamps.com.