Doing More Without More Resources

Utah’s Concealed Firearm permitting process is incredibly popular—both within the state as well as with the 35 other states that recognize Utah’s concealed firearm permits. In 2013, the state received over 135,000 applications.

The Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) team is responsible for issuing the concealed firearm permits and has found it extremely difficult to stay on top of the workload given the immense popularity of Utah’s permitting process. While BCI has been able to continue issuing over 99 percent of the concealed firearm permits within a 60-day timeframe, processing the fingerprint cards associated with the permits has been more of a challenge. When the team first met to discuss the SUCCESS Framework approach, there were over 80,000 fingerprint cards in a backlog status—a backlog that has continued to grow over time.

In December 2013, the BCI team began implementing SUCCESS strategies that resulted in some very impressive results. The following illustrates how the team has been able to reverse the trend of adding to the backlog while absorbing new work—all without adding new resources.

  • Of the ten-work weeks now on the books since December, only two had work going into the backlog queue
  • Over the same time period, the team received 17,323 fingerprint cards for processing and processed a total of 21,072 cards–reducing backlog by 5,457

In addition, there’s a background story not captured by the measures or numbers associated with the initiative. The BCI team also ran a productivity analysis on their process to determine how much work could actually be completed if the main system or process constraint was removed. Once the constraint was accurately identified and removed, the team successfully uploaded more and more fingerprint scans into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) than was previously imagined possible. In fact, the BCI team uploaded so many scans in such a short period of time that the AFIS system crashed—prompting a call from the California company responsible for maintaining the fingerprint database.

Congratulations to Alice Moffat and her team for such a strong and solid start in applying the SUCCESS Framework tools and processes. BCI’s willingness to engage in thoughtful and tough conversations and their willingness to explore new ways to meet increasing workload demands have proved crucial in achieving the positive outcomes they are experiencing.