GREEN BAY - Time is something that most of us want more of and a new management style in our area is finding it.
"First we map everything out, using these symbols with participants describing what is happening," said Lynn Vanden Langenberg, Brown County LEAN Management.
What looks like a mess of papers is really the result of a lot of work. It's a method of improving the speed and efficiency in any process, by eliminating time wasting steps, marked in this exercise by red dots.
This is what LEAN Management is all about. Leaders say it's been very successful in Brown County for getting rid of backlogs and finding better ways to get a job done.
"What's exciting is that we were the first county in Wisconsin to embark on the journey, and as of late we're being asked by numerous other counties and even state agencies to provide guidance to them to start up their program," said Cathy Williquette Lindsay, Brown County LEAN Management.
Community leaders are seeing the benefits, first hand, after being part of a LEAN project. This one looked at how the county deals with a person who is a danger to themselves, and in the end, cut about two and a half hours off the process.
"When you start adding up all of the time involved and it's all the same questions. If we just had one person ask and share that information, how much easier would that be?" said Bill Galvin, Green Bay Police Department.
"It shows that we can come together, facilitate change, and make it a lot easier for our community," said Mark Johnson, Brown County Community Treatment Center.
"It is a very efficient and effective way of identifying first, what needs to be changed, and laying out the roadwork for how to get it changed," said Randy Schultz, Brown County Sheriff's Department.
Some participants, like Schultz admit, they were skeptical at first. But he now calls himself a cheerleader for the process.
"My hopes of drastically making a difference, have dramatically improved," said Schultz.
A typical LEAN project takes two work days.
Organizers say the time commitment can be a tough sell, but it's time well spent.
And the people who actually do the work are the ones who set the course for change.
"Now they're empowered to be in the event. To question the procedure. To give suggestions. And, they're listened to. And they feel very happy about that," said Williquette Lindsay.
"If we can even get half of what we're looking at, you're going to see a much better process, a much more satisfied client, and we can actually provide more services with the saved time," said Galvin.
The county started using LEAN Management in 2009. Supervisor Tom Hinz brought it in.
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