With a little coaching, Printing and Imaging employees are defining clear goals

Department of Enterprise Services Business Process and Design Manager Keith Kawamura is on loan from the Contracts and Legal Services Division to the Printing and Imaging Program to coach employees on using their daily ’huddles’ to improve their business.

The staff at Printing and Imaging has been charged with creating a new business plan that will enhance and improve the services they provide.

Kawamura has more than twenty years experience working on Lean and quality improvement projects in the public and private sectors. When DES Director Chris Liu asked him to take on this temporary role, he felt he should be at the Tumwater plant full time.

'To make this work I needed to be onsite with the employees. People are proud of what they do. It’s an interesting dynamic,' he said. 'The huddles are maturing and idea boards are being used so people are in the know.'

After losing 25 percent of its staff, the program is on a fast-track to establish clear goals and adapt to change. In their huddles, employees in each area of business discuss goals that are achievable, have value, and meet customers’ needs.

'Printing is very detailed work,' said Plant Manager Tony Hall. 'The number one thing for the line staff is to get the job done right.'

Employee groups are tracking their goals and putting them together in a business model to create one overarching goal for the program. The work is fast-paced, but Kawamura said employees are engaged and receptive to his coaching.

Printing and Imaging employees hang idea boards and other displays of their ongoing work in common areas to keep all staff informed of their goals and measures.

'The huddles today are not what they were two weeks ago,' he said. 'Employees are taking information and applying it to the plan.'

'There are a lot of things moving and a lot of things moving very, very quickly,' he said. 'These employees are rising to the occasion. They’re doing a great job.'