Avoiding Rework

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by Chad Whitlock, Operational Excellence Consultant Remember the Bridgestone/Firestone recalls from the turn of the century? How about the Sony batteries that were overheating and causing Dell and Apple laptops to become high-tech campfires? Then there are the Braun coffee/espresso machines that caused glass carafes to break (a problem that persisted for two years spanning multiple products). And speaking of …

Nothing Hokey About Poka Yoke

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by Scott Baird, Operational Excellence Consultant I had just finished my delicious burger and fries and was heading out the door to my next appointment. Being the ever-gracious patron that I am, I picked up my tray, wrappers, cup, and used ketchup packages and headed out. Without thinking, I dropped everything—including my TRAY—into the garbage can. About two steps out …

Budgeting 101

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by Juliette Tennert, Budget Director and Chief Economist Utah’s budgeting process provides the framework and funding for public services and programs. Dollars provided through the budgeting process can help policy ideas move from concept to reality. However, the state budget reflects more than just dollars and cents. At a fundamental level, the budget expresses Utah values and priorities. State budget …

Chasing Choopchicks

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by Kristen Cox, GOMB Executive Director In his book, The Haystack Syndrome, Dr. Eli Goldratt wrote: “Identifying a constraint means that we already have some appreciation of the magnitude of its impact on the overall performance. Otherwise we might also have some trivialities in the list of constraints, or as I call them, some choopchicks.” The term “choopchick” has become …

Principles of SUCCESS

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by Steve Cuthbert, Director, Operational Excellence A quick search on Amazon.com reveals literally thousands of books and publications on management—many advocating certain approaches or concepts. How is it possible for a manager to follow all the current models? We can’t! However, we can maintain a principle-based approach to management by focusing on what truly works. A principle is defined as …

Extreme Government Makeover

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By Greg Gardner, GOMB Director of Operational Excellence Ken Miller, author of the book “Extreme Government Makeover,” recently trained the GOMB staff on a few simple yet profound techniques for developing faster and simpler processes. The training supports GOMB’s theory and proven practice that significant opportunities always exist to reduce processing time. Elapsed time is referred to as the time …

Revenue Forecasting 101

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by Peter Donner, Lead Budget and Policy Economist Revenue forecasts are needed to determine the amount of money available to fund state government programs. The State of Utah uses a consensus process, which includes forecasts from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, the Legislative Fiscal Analyst, and the Tax Commission. Each of these agencies uses a common set of …

Local Optimization

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By Steve Cuthbert, Director of Operational Excellence We have all been part of improvement projects or initiatives that fail to deliver real and lasting improvement. In fact, many studies show upwards of 70 percent of improvement initiatives ultimately fail to deliver intended results. This creates an inherent conflict for organizations as they feel the pressure to continuously improve—yet they receive …

Measuring State Government

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By Rick Little, Director of Management Information Can diverse government agencies use a common measure to evaluate overall system performance? Is there an indicator that can be used as well in state departments that render social services as by public-sector organizations that provide economic development? The answer to these questions is yes. The measure is based on the principle that …

The Truth About Bad Multitasking

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By Kristen Cox, GOMB Executive Director The GOMB operational excellence team talks a great deal about the problems associated with bad multitasking. We claim that simply minimizing interruptions and creating environments where people don’t have to constantly switch from one task to another can significantly improve both individual and system performance—regardless of the system or work environment. Can it really …