Gov. Dannel Malloy visited the Elm City Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the success of LeanCT — a government-efficiency program — two months shy of its second birthday.
Speaking in Stamford and at the Yale School of Management on Tuesday, Malloy said over 40 state agencies became more cost-effective and efficient in 2015 after using Lean, a program Malloy launched in March 2013. Lean, a process that prioritizes customers while minimizing resource consumption, has helped save taxpayer money and has improved the delivery of agency services, the governor’s office reports. Lean has also facilitated collaborations between state agencies, making governmental systems more customer-focused and data-driven.
“It’s a tough economy out there,” Malloy said. “Government has to reform itself. We’ve been about that work for a long time here in Connecticut.”
LeanCT, run by the Office of Policy and Management and the Office of Finance, employs organizational, process and programmatic improvement techniques such as Lean to optimize state agencies and make them more sustainable, OPM’s website reports. So far, agencies that have grown in efficiency as a result of Lean include the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, which cut the average time taken to complete wastewater discharge inspection reports from 60 days to 10 days, according to the governor’s press release. Additionally, the Department of Labor and the Department of Social Services have provided veterans with community re-entry services 74 percent faster since 2013.
The governor’s announcement follows the release of a report from Alison Fisher, Program Director of LeanCT, to Ben Barnes, Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. In the report, Fisher detailed ways in which individual agencies and collaborations between agencies have improved their performance.
During his visit, Malloy cited examples of Lean collaborations that have also improved performance in state agencies, such as the significant improvement in response time for those applying for disability support services from the Eligibility Unit of the Department of Developmental Services.
Bob Emiliani, professor of Lean management at Central Connecticut State University, said the results the 40 state agencies have experienced are in line with what would be expected from such an approach.
LeanCT’s launch required state agencies to conduct in-depth evaluations of their activities to identify extraneous steps, excess processing of information and tasks that they are slow in completing, Malloy said.
“What we needed to do was to do what the private sector had done,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons it’s interesting to be here at the Yale School of Management.”
Addressing concerns regarding the efficiency of the Department of Motor Vehicles — which has encountered a slew of problems over the past year involving overly long wait times and computer program issues — Malloy referenced the difficulties inherent in implementing new software in an agency that has been reliant on an old system for the past 40 years. The governor temporarily assigned Deputy Commissioner of Labor Dennis Murphy to the DMV on Monday, after former DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr. resigned last week.
Malloy also stated Tuesday that he has no intention to raise taxes in his annual budget speech to the General Assembly next week.
The term “Lean” was originally coined in the late 1980s to describe the manufacturing process of Toyota automobiles.
Correction, Jan. 27: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Ben Barnes, Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, released a report about state agencies. In fact, Alison Fisher, Program Director of LeanCT, released the report.