Lean Leader Associates

If the definition of "Lean Leader" describes you, please contact us about being a contributer to our blog and being added to our website...not only does it help others learn from your example, there is also no fee.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office On the Cutting Edge

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office On the Cutting Edge

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

LeanBlog Podcast #60 – Lt. Randy Russell, Lean in Law Enforcement, Part 2

LeanBlog Podcast #60 – Lt. Randy Russell, Lean in Law Enforcement, Part 2

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What's in your leadership toolbox? Is it enough?

Supervisors never "earn" the privilege to be disrespectful to subordinates simply because they have achieved a higher rank. This can be an indication that they have been promoted beyond their ability to lead and digress to using intimidation as a resource to get things done. If you find yourself using positional authority to get things done, it might be time to re-evaluate the tools that are in your leadership toolbox.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

We Need Leaders Like This to Succeed

Lean Six Sigma for Law Enforcement takes more than just a group of people that can interpret data or write up a good business case case. It takes great leaders who are willing to create and champion a climate for change. Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Sheriff John Rutherford, is such a leader. Sheriff Rutherford understands the difficult challenges that a culture shift brings with it, and discusses some of those challenges during his speech at the 2007 Shingo Awards.

Click the hyperlink below to watch Sheriff Rutherford's speech:

Sheriff John Rutherford's speech at the 2007 Shingo Awards

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Thanks all...Billy

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Are you thinking "BIG" picture when looking at your processes?

Do you work for a police department, or a law enforcement agency? Yes, they are essentially the same, but the title can portray significant differences. A police department is just that...Police. A law enforcement agency, on the other hand, can be described as full service, having police, corrections, court security and several other agency operated support services. Why is this important to Lean Six Sigma you ask? Here is why.

When looking at changes throughout a department, one needs to be able to understand the "BIG" picture. When a process is developed, or redesigned with a new future state, be sure that all departments within the agency were thought of before putting the new process in play. This will help ensure the best possible outcome for the agency overall. Time and time again it seems to happen. Someone spends a lot of valuable time and effort on a project, only to realize that they scoped it to include only their department. All the while, another part of the agency could have used a similar solution. If not caught early on, this can lead to several types of waste, to include competing solutions or duplication of efforts, or worse yet, never even realizing that there was a need somewhere else. Don't worry, you are not alone. My agency, your agency, and every other agency out there does it, or probably has in the past...it's the nature of the beast.

About 13 years ago our agency developed a report writing application that made it possible for Police Officers to send General Offense Reports and Arrest and Booking Reports wirelessly, to a supervisor for approval, where it was then saved on a server. This was a huge milestone for us, and today, some agencies are still not to this point yet. But, we totally forgot about our Corrections Department. While the Police Officers were enjoying the paperless system of sending electronic reports from laptop computers in their vehicles, our 800 plus Corrections Officers were still writing reports on a piece of paper. How did they get left out? Why did no one notice, or correct the error, after all these years? Well, there are probably several different answers. The fact of the matter is that when the original system was built, the scope of the project was not broad enough to include the Corrections Department.

Finally, after 13 years, our Corrections Officers are transitioning to our paperless reporting system. Many of these Corrections Officers will become Police Officers in the future. Now, they will bring with them the same report writing skill set that Police Officers learn when they get hired. They will start their new positions ahead of the learning curve. This will allow them to concentrate more closely on other issues during Police Recruit training.

This lack of "BIG" picture thinking is what we call a missed opportunity, or the cost of poor quality. How far did 13 years of missed training and lack of data analysis for an entire department set our agency back on it's journey to be premiere? No one really knows, because you never miss what you never had, right? But, I think everyone agrees that electronic reports should have come to our Corrections Department long ago.

Here is the lesson...think "BIG" picture, then scope down as needed. It is better to include too many people when discussing a new project, than to wish you had included them several years later. Transparency can be your allie.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Difference of making decisions versus coming to conclusions

Difference of making decisions versus coming to conclusions – real leaders have to make decisions, not just conclusions. Decisions involve a higher degree of calculated risk…anyone can wait long enough and gather enough details to come to a reasonable conclusion. Leaders blend limited subject data, agency core values, voice of internal and external customers, and an overall sense of doing the right thing to form their decisions…even then, they are flexible enough to reshape their decisions when new information comes in…Remember, LEAN has a bias for action. People need to know you are decisive. Make your decision, give purpose and meaning to the troops for how you made the decision, and move on. If they give you additional input...listen to them, and be willing to change the decision...this is the essence of continuous improvement...quick, decisive, incremental improvements.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Being a leader takes courage

Leadership is not always easy...It means taking calculated risks and showing trust in those who do the job to help come up with better solutions and ways to do business. Some debate that push back from leadership isn't so much a lack of trust in subordinates to come up with good answers, but more of having to face the reality that the best solutions were not theirs.