Yesterday I was sitting at a stoplight behind a police car. The exhaust system of the car was so new that the metal had not yet been changed by the heat. I don’t disparage the police and their new cars but on the other hand I feel like Phil Mahre when he won the slalom in the 1984 Olympics avoiding potholes on our city streets. I’ve also noticed that I’m not the only one executing these radical maneuvers to avoid Escondido potholes.
I was a good citizen and did not sit on my hands. I went to Escondido’s website to report potholes a week and a half ago, and they are still there. Pothole repair is not rocket science and if our government can’t even keep the potholes filled, what can they do?
Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma: Lean follows a process from citizen contact to solution delivery and improves the process to near perfection. Six Sigma removes variation in a process so you get the same result every time. The pothole repair request starts a process to repair the pothole.
Fort Wayne Indiana implemented Lean Six Sigma and:
• 98% of all potholes are repaired within 24 hours
• the building permit process was automated through a website
• the Fire Departments code reinspection process was changed so they now perform 23% more reinspections each year with the same number of people
• they saved nearly $3 million through not needing to hire people in future budgets
• Fort Wayne focused on projects that supported citizens
Though Escondido is about two thirds the size of Fort Wayne, there is no reason Escondido cannot be a great city. Lean Six Sigma enabled Toyotas excellence, it can also enable excellence in Escondido. Lean Six Sigma for Government focuses on citizens. By increasing the ease with which citizen’s work with the government of Escondido, Escondido will become the model city of Southern California.
JIM FITZGERALD, Escondido
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