Developing and Sustaining a Lean Culture

We are building the culture

At Enterprise Services, having a Lean Culture means that the norm in our workplace is:

  • Every employee is a scientific problem-solver, applying the improvement routine using Lean thinking and techniques every day.
  • Every leader is actively coaching, mentoring and encouraging employees to problem-solve.

We have set a strong foundation

The agency's strategic clarity document embraced Lean thinking with:

  • values of openness, integrity, collaboration, respect, excellence and innovation.
  • goals oriented toward customer needs, and employee engagement.

We engaged employees in Enterprise Planning through:

  • Strategy mapping using a grassroots model: starting at the program level, moving up to the agency level.
  • Development of strategy maps in all 62 programs.
  • A high degree of employee engagement throughout planning.
  • Daily huddles in 110 workgroups, which use their strategy maps and measures to make data-driven business decisions.

Projects provided an opportunity to use Lean techniques. Enterprise Services is using a full array of Lean methods to gain results: employee Kaizens, value stream mapping, A3 problem solving, root cause analysis and more.

Lean leadership skills are being developed. Leaders are learning what they need to do differently and how they need to be different in a Lean organization. We call it "Being" and "Doing."

Enterprise Services is building support and capacity for Lean, establishing a full-time Process Improvement team of six, and embedding seven additional part-time Lean practitioners in various divisions.

Consultants and practitioners don’t "do" Lean projects for our clients:

  • We teach our clients to apply the tools and thinking themselves.
  • We foster capability, not dependency.
  • Teams make decisions not recommendations.

2013 Lean Transformation Conference presentation

The agency was honored to be able to present information about the Lean Culture Transformation at Enterprise Services during the 2013 Lean Transformation conference.

Next Steps

Enterprise Services will offer small agency consulting services in 2014. We are working with Results Washington to provide affordable Lean training for all state agencies in the near future. Trainings will be specific for leaders, employees and Lean facilitators.

For more information on Lean continuous improvement activities and culture change at Enterprise Services, contact Lean Program Manager Renee Smith Nyberg at (360) 407-9452 or