Tag Archives: six sigma

Six Sigma Documents The Scope Of Erie County FAIL

10 Dec

You’re traveling through another dimension — a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the FAIL Zone!

I know that when I have written about Six Sigma in the past, my posts have been met with offhanded remarks about the futility of such a program and the lameness of the terminology.  However, today might be different.  The image that you see at the top of this post is a process map.  When evaluating the current state of a line of business, service methodology, or product production, one begins with a simple map of the current process.  How does it work?  What are the workflow steps needed by both the consumer and the provider to accomplish the task at hand?

The process map that is illustrated in the image is the 72 STEP process that is undertaken when a person reserves a shelter in an Erie County park.  Yes, you read that right.  72.Fucking.Steps

You want to know why our Erie County taxes are high?  Want to know why people loathe county government?  Want to know why there is such virulent animus towards County employees?  Exhibit A.  43 of the 72 steps are related to “delay” and “waste”.

If the Lean Sigma project implemented by County Executive Chris Collins does nothing else, it will have fully documented all of the inefficiencies that exist in the provisioning of services to Erie County Residents.

Read the full report to observe the complicated morass of kluginess that is the simple process of reserving a park shelter for your family reunion at Chestnut Ridge.

For that matter, start reading through the findings of the other reports to get a full handle on how Sigma is being used to streamline processes and eliminate waste.  I know we’re all wrapped up in the drama of Poloncarz v. Collins v. Legislature and the hemming and hawing over the 10% of discretionary spending that is in the county budget.  However, if we can focus on reducing the cost of service delivery and making government more responsive, that’s progress we can measure and believe in.

One final note of irritation…can someone tell the webmaster for the Eire County website that it is 2008 and it makes sense to have th county website resolve whether or not the user types erie.gov or www.erie.gov Chrissakes…

Erie County

10 Jan

Lynn Marinelli was re-elected Legislature chair yesterday 8-7, garnering support from its three Republicans. While Chris Collins and others lauded the bipartisan nature of the vote, it underscores the fact that there is more to what’s going on in county politics than just Republican and Democrat. The Democrats on the legislature are split rather starkly.

One of the first items on the Legislature’s agenda involved the approval of a new post – Director of Six Sigma. The post and its associated perks and software will cost $200,000, and it is hoped that it will be paid for through a state efficiency grant that the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority controls. Usually, such a proposal would be sent to committee for discussion, debate, and vetting. This wasn’t.

The exercise was repeated when the Legislature created a “space utilization position” at Collins’ request. The official will earn more than $100,000 in determining the best uses of work space in county-owned buildings. Collins expects the control board to underwrite that job as well.

All we need now is a $100,000 Director of Feng Shui, who will help implement the Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of county work space to achieve harmony with the environment.

Although I hope the control board comes through with that efficiency grant money, it’s still our money that’s going to pay for this. I hope Six Sigma starts showing results as soon as possible.

(Photo by Whitneyarlene via Flickr)