September 10, 2013
Inslee admin takes extra time on Lean effort, and it doesn't show

Gov. Jay Inslee launched his Results Washington website today, an effort to track the performance of state agencies, display and use data in decision making, and implement Lean Management across state government.

The effort is already long-delayed. In a write-up in The Olympian on July 16, Inslee Chief of Staff Mary Alice Heuschel explained to Brad Shannon why the administration was behind schedule:

Heuschel said they had hoped to get the Results Washington program out rolling in three months, but it has taken six months. The delays were due in part to the extra-long legislative session and threats of a government shutdown that forced her and other Cabinet leaders to plan for the remote possibility no budget would be in place by the start of the new biennium on July 1.

We'll round up a few days and call it an eight-month process. Some might think taking eight months to do what you hoped to accomplish in three is the opposite of Lean. For all the fevered shutdown talk in June, hyped by the Inslee administration itself, the whole affair ended up being a minor one. With the program already off-track prior to June, obviously shutdown preparations did not play a large role in the project's late fruition.

Better late than never, though. And with all that extra time, one would expect to see a quality site that is ready to go.

That's not what you'll see. Take a look at Results Washington's pages on Lean management, for instance, and you can find helpful things like a definition of Results Washington (shouldn't that have a definition of Lean Management? It is on the Apply Lean page, but you'd think About Lean would be the place for that), the agenda for last year's Lean conference, and the Governor's executive order on Lean (no, not that Governor, the last one). There's even video of a speech by the Governor on Lean (no, still Gregoire).

Which all seems a little underwhelming for eight months of work. Hopefully state employees don't think assigning them "Lean for Dummies" goes against Inslee's goal of creating a "culture that encourages respect."

Results Washington also includes draft goals in five subject areas: education, economy, environment, communities, and government. For the most part, these goals are pretty filled out already (e.g. "Decrease the rate of return to institutions for offenders from 27.8% to 25.0% by 2020").

But on reforming education and state government, the Inslee administration is a lot less sure of itself. Many of the goals are yet to be filled in. The top goal under education, for instance, says "Increase the percentage of schools rated exemplary or very good on the Washington School Achievement Index from X to X by 20XX (TBD)." For increasing the number of state employees trained in Lean, they write, "Increase the percentage of employees eliminating wastes in job tasks by X% over baseline by 20XX (TBD)."

If you have any ideas of what those standards should be, you'll have 140 characters to get your views across. From the Governor (the current one):

Inslee invites the public to participate in a one-hour Twitter town hall Thursday, Sept. 12 from 10-11 a.m. to ask questions and share ideas about the proposed goals and performance measures detailed at People can follow the town hall at @GovInslee and use #ResultsWA to ask questions.

Posted by Adam Faber at September 10, 2013 05:39 PM | Email This
1. Just have Jay spread a little more "Special Sauce" on that 75 point plan and the State will get Lean...from starvation.

Posted by: Smokie on September 11, 2013 04:40 AM
2. With hack pieces like this, I can predict the next couple of posts that Adam here is going to write:

Inslee's Gubernatorial Washrooms: Can We Trust Someone that Only Refills the Soap Once a Week?

I Didn't Get a "No Cavities" Sticker at the Dentist: Obamacare is an Utter Failure

Gross Government Incompetence: The New WT-111 Form for the Department of Ecology has a Spelling Mistake on Page 3

@1: Oh, and consider get rid of Pudge and Miller. Sadly, they're pounding nails into the coffin of this blog faster and more effectively than progressives could ever have dreamed of doing themselves.

I'm still sentimental for a good post by pudge. However, since Jim turned off comments for his posts, he's not even trying to make sense. He's not afraid that people will call him on his baseless lines of "reasoning".

Posted by: demo kid on September 11, 2013 04:45 AM
3. Results Washington is lean indeed. For the goals they have posted, they have not even given a hint about how they will achieve those goals nor at what cost to the taxpayers. It will probably be the standard liberal process of the end justifies the means.

Squirrel Steve and Squirrel Kid, if this site pains you so much - leave. Get out of the basement and get a life. There is a whole world outside of the blog, discover it.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on September 11, 2013 05:14 AM
4. Maybe the State can start demonstrating their Lean abilities with the Ferry System.

Posted by: Smokie on September 11, 2013 05:47 AM
5. "With the program already off-track prior to June, obviously shutdown preparations did not play a large role in the project's late fruition."

Don't know much about how large organizations work, do we?

Look, quit whining about how the fake Republican majority in our Senate took two special sessions to produce a rump version of the budget Democrats passed out of our House in April; you're just continuing to make the case for having the chambers in the configuration voters wanted, not the one your sleazy back room politics produced.

Posted by: tensor on September 11, 2013 06:28 AM
6. Tensor, I do know how large organizations work in the private sector and the new website would get you fired. In government, you don't have any accountability. What a waste of time by Gov Inslee. As his family has stated and we've seen by his work in government....he doesn't have the mental capacity to lead or run anything.

Posted by: Dengle on September 11, 2013 10:09 AM
7. @7: 7. Tensor, I do know how large organizations work in the private sector and the new website would get you fired. In government, you don't have any accountability.

No accountability? Unless you're working for some podunk little village off in the middle of nowhere, the documentation and rigor required for governments has always exceeded comparably-sized private sector clients, in my experience. In fact, there are times when working for the private sector is preferable because you don't need to deal with such a lengthy procurement process.

As far as your critique about the website, what precisely would get you fired? The color? The use of margins?

Posted by: demo kid on September 11, 2013 11:31 AM
8. @5: Maybe the State can start demonstrating their Lean abilities with the Ferry System.

If it would highlight the folly of many state budget cuts, I'd be in favor of that:

Around 2008, the state stopped subsidizing tuition and wages for the training that deckhands need to rise in rank, said Conklin.

Moseley said tight budgets, along with Coast Guard requirements last year for increased crew, made scheduling tighter.

Posted by: demo kid on September 11, 2013 11:38 AM
9. Adam,
As one who worked with the Navy TQL program and am familiar with Lean (current employer is a leader in implementation), this isn't a quick fix implementation. If Inslee sold it as such, then he doesn't know what he is talking about. The Navy started making inroads after the old-guard retired and the new leaders who had been trained in the methodology and used it took over. Any quality improvement implementation takes top down leadership (one of Deming's points). To think it can be implemented in three months, six months, or even one or two terms as governor is sadly mistaken. It takes a good six to ten years for an organization to adopt, but is worth it. Let's hope whoever follows Inslee will keep up the effort. Inslee can only start the process in his first term.

Posted by: tc on September 11, 2013 11:47 AM
10. Dengle@7 claims "I do know how large organizations work in the private sector and the new website would get you fired".

So Dengle, in your extensive experience with large organizations in the private sector, have all their v1 (or v2, or v3...) websites been magnificent? If not, how many website designers do you know they fired?

Posted by: Bruce on September 11, 2013 11:49 AM
11. Perhaps the whining, sniveling little leftists here can set themselves all on fire in protest?

And as far as "consider get rid" of people is concerned, if you find their words so intolerable, Stevie, then perhaps you might exercise your right to go somewhere and spew?

Posted by: K.J. Hinton on September 12, 2013 01:04 AM
12. Anything to hide the costs of Inslee's ordered daily "group huddles" in the State agencies.

"Lean" is anything but. It's a new layer of bureaucracy in every agency.

This is all just an ad campaign.

Posted by: Independent Voter on September 13, 2013 12:06 PM
13. So what value does the Union actually provide? If they are blaming the state's curtailment of paying for deckhand training? Doesn't the UNION have any responsibility for providing training to it's membership to ensure their membership have the skill to perform the duties required? Why shouldn't the State require any applicants already have the deckhand certifications? The State can require other certifications and education in hiring other positions, why not here?

Posted by: Smokie on September 14, 2013 06:02 AM