Tag Archives: inefficiency

Byzantine Work Rules & the BMHA

18 Dec

Last week, I linked to a post that Buffalo Geek did about the 72-step process to rent a shelter at a county park and how the parks department is using Six Sigma to streamline that and make it cheaper, more efficient, and customer-friendly. When you see 72 post-it notes representing a step in the process, you realize that it is graphical evidence of the heart and soul of governmental waste and failure.

Buffalo Ideas’ Paul Wolf is a lawyer for the BMHA, and he has a similar post up today:

Everyday I try to make a difference at BMHA, but years of political influence and bureaucracy have made it truly a tough place to work. One time I wrote a memo directing the Finance Department to pay an outstanding bill that was brought to my attention. I was told the memo needed to be on green paper in order for the department to act. What? After asking why and being told that’s how we do things around here, I went to the copy machine and copied the memo onto green paper. The flow chart of how payroll is done is an amazing sight, the steps involved for a contractor to get paid is unbelieveable. I and several other employees with the support of Executive Director Dawn Sanders, are working on obtaining our Yellow Belts in Six Sigma as a tool for addressing bureaucracy issues.

Not for nothing, I’m all for Six Sigma and whatever it takes to make government run more efficiently, but isn’t that something that could have been done just by the use of common sense any time in the last 20 years? Just sayin’.

In any event, the BMHA has two vacancies on its board of directors, and Wolf is openly soliciting applicants with some specific experience and a desire to make positive change to apply via Mayor Brown’s office. The best way to implement change in stubborn, inefficient quasi-governmental entities is to join them and lurch them into the 21st Century.