It’s always encouraging when lean principles are applied to the public sector to make government work more efficiently. In a small community, every aspect of government could be affected.
Jayanth Murthy of the Kaizen Institute has been working to achieve exactly that kind of implementation. At the recent AME conference, he spoke about his group’s efforts to banish muda (waste) from the entire country of
The Institute didn’t start out in
The government efforts, which began five years ago with full support from the president, have focused on throughput time – reducing how long it takes for a government department to provide service to citizens. Targeted areas have included at least 10 ministries, from the police department to the tax office to the prime minister’s office.
There have been real gains, such as reducing the submission time for a passport application from 45 minutes to seven minutes. And word of the
However, what I find most interesting about what is happening in
The improvement efforts were accompanied by an advertising campaign for “Muda-Free Mauritius,” and schoolchildren were encouraged to become “Muda Busters.” (The children were asked to explain the concepts to others, and collect signatures, which they could redeem for prizes.) The campaign is ongoing.
Think of it as making your customers aware of your improvement efforts, and encouraging them to support those efforts. If successful, this kind of PR campaign could condition people to expect and demand efficient service, which can help sustain the drive for continuous improvement. Now there’s a way to achieve culture change.
Nonetheless, I hope the efforts to apply lean to the public sector in this country continue. And with any luck, the successes achieved may build some public support.
By the way, the