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Initiatives Management a powerful new tool for Kawartha Lakes

In the Spring of 2013, the Kawartha Lakes Council supported a plan to move towards an Initiatives Management approach to assess how the City conducts its business and whether the needs of residents were being met in the most efficient and effective way.

“Looking at how we do business isn’t something that is new,” explained Kawartha Lakes Mayor Ric McGee. “I think smart businesses and organizations are constantly looking at what work they do, how they perform that work and how the outcomes benefit their customers.”

For McGee however, moving towards an Initiatives Management approach, and in particular undertaking the training of Black Belts and Green Belts in Lean Six Sigma methodologies, is more than just looking at better ways of doing business; it is also about providing the best possible representation and service to residents.

“If we, as a Council, are going to say to our residents we have their best interests in mind and we are providing services in the most efficient and effective manner, we need to not only mean it, but we need to be able to prove it,” McGee said.

While new to the City of Kawartha Lakes, Lean Six Sigma isn’t new. In the early and mid-1980s Motorola Chairman Bob Galvin spearheaded the new standard and created the methodology as well as the cultural change that came along with it. The result for Motorola was more than $16 billion in documented savings.

Since then companies and organizations around the world have adopted Lean Six Sigma as a way of doing business, including Allied Signal (now Honeywell), and General Electric Company.

Lean Six Sigma is not just about manufacturing though; it is about changing the way organizations think about their business.
“Organizations have for too long said I think this would be a good idea, or I think that would work,” explained McGee. “Lean Six Sigma takes the guess work and opinion out of the equation and shifts decision making toward evidence based determination.”

McGee noted that with the emphasis on data collection and applying Lean Six Sigma methodologies, Council, as well as any department within the City of Kawartha Lakes can now answer questions with confidence about how they do business, why they do it a certain way, whether there is a better way, and ultimately is the taxpayer getting the best value for their money.

“Never before have we had such a powerful tool to answer sometimes very complex questions to ensure that the direction we choose is based on factual data, and not driven by emotion or opinion,” he said.

“While the Initiatives Management program is in its' infancy in Kawartha Lakes, we are already seeing outstanding results and benefits from this type of forward thinking,” he added. “I’m excited for the future of Kawartha Lakes and for all of its residents who will benefit greatly from this program.”

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