Several areas of Nebraska state government are becoming more efficient thanks to process improvement training.
Byron Diamond, Dept. of Administrative Services director, says the goal is to change the workplace culture to be more effective.
“This allows the team members to take ownership of their day to day work,” Diamond tells reporters at a Capitol news conference. “It allows them to be more collaborative between, no only, their own team members, but with other teams in the building.”
“What this has done for us, for the teams that have already stood up and are doing this,” he says, “it allows them to communicate back and forth, and share lessons learned.”
Diamond says training through the state’s Center for Operational Excellence ultimately provides better customer service.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is using the training to improve processing times for professional licenses.
Kris Chiles, licensure program manager, says her team reviews an application in five days now, when it used to take a month.
“Staff really, really embraced the process,” she says. “It may have been a little bit tough in the beginning, but today you can walk through the halls and can see the excitement on the faces of our staff. We have made a big difference in our processing.”
Chiles says her staff has a short morning meeting to discuss daily goals, challenges from the day before, and solutions.
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) also is seeing faster permitting times.
Jim Macy, dept. director, says a team of eight has worked since September to speed up air construction permits.
“We’ve taken it from 190 days to 183 days. We have a goal of 150 days,” Macy says. “Now, that’s just hitting a single and maybe a double. The homerun will be when we take that for our future valued state of 65 days to issue a permit.”
Macy says they will bring the efficiency training to other areas of the department next year.
In addition to DHHS and NDEQ, the departments of Roads and Correctional Services also have staff undergoing the training.