Lean for the Public Sector: The Pursuit of Perfection in Government Services, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Lean for the Public Sector

The Pursuit of Perfection in Government Services, 1st Edition

By Bert Teeuwen

Productivity Press

224 pages | 84 B/W Illus.

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Packed with international case examples and clearly delineating principles as they apply to public sector organizations, Lean for the Public Sector: The Pursuit of Perfection in Government Services demonstrates that Lean in the public sector is neither rocket science nor a typical profit-driven improvement program.

The book begins with coverage of the basic philosophy of Lean before detailing specific methods for improving processes in the public sector. It addresses concerns specific to the public sector environment and considers the role of the citizen, not only as customer, but as a voter, taxpayer, and community participant. The author provides a clear explanation of methods such as 5S, kaizen, standardization techniques, and Value Stream Mapping shaped to Lean Government. His approach provides a reality-based view of value-added services and waste in the public sector.

Written specifically to address the application of Lean practices in government and the public sector, this how-to workbook gives you the wherewithal to combat the 'We don’t make widgets' mentality. Providing the tools to manage the entire Lean transformation process, the book helps you immediately integrate the Lean way of thinking and its tools into your improvement program.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Lean Management

Improvement in the Public Sector

Lean: That’s about Cars, Right?

Five Basic Principles in Lean

Adding Value: Who Is the Customer?

Portrait of a Citizen

Critial Quality Parameters

Determine Value

The Eight Deadly Wastes

Avoidable and Unavoidable Waste

Action Time and Lead Time

Action Time for the Citizen

Creating Value in the Public Sector

Mapping the Value Stream

Mapping the Current State

Mapping the Future State

Flow and the Pull Principle

Strive for Continuous One-Piece Flow

Application for Facilities: Working in Cells

Takt Time

Pull Principle

Sometimes Push Is Better

The Road to Flow and Pull

Mobilize Employees


Should Work Be Fun?

Improvement in Kaizen Teams

Everyday Lean

Continuous Improvement with Kaizen Teams

Step 1: Choose a Subject

Step 2: Set a Goal

Step 3: Analyze the Current State

Step 4: Find Solutions, Draw the Future State

Step 5: Prepare the Action Plan

Step 6: Implement the Action Plan

Step 7: Measure the Effects

Step 8: Accommodate Standardization and Compliance

Standardization and Compliance


Conscious and Subconscious Actions

Why Operating Instructions and Procedures Don’t Always Work

The Compliance Pyramid

The Perfect Public Service Provider

Road to Perfection

Cases of Process Improvement

The Process-Oriented Organization

Reorganization and Lean

Task-Oriented Versus Process-Oriented

Vertical Start-Up

Case of the Social Services Department in the Town of Oldambt


Lean and Cost Savings

Benefit from Time Gained

The Government Unable to Cut Costs

Cost-Saving Strategies

The Turkey

Workplace Organization Based on the 5Ss

Search Time: 30 Seconds Maximum

The Practical Method

First S: Sort

Preparation for 5S

Starting 5S: The Clean-Out

Clean Desk and the Paperless Office

A Practical Restart

Digital 5S

Practical Case: Tax Department of the Municipality of Dordrecht

Appendix A: Process Activity Sheet

Appendix B: Project Letter

Appendix C: 5 × Why Diagram

Appendix D: Proposal for Improvement

Appendix E: Example of a 5S Audit



About the Author

Bert Teeuwen is a senior Lean consultant at Wagenaar Hoes Organization Advice, Netherlands, a firm that specializes in providing training in Lean practices and principles.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration