OLYMPIA – Feb. 6, 2014 –The Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) deepened its commitment to continuous improvement by graduating its first class of Lean Six Sigma “Green Belt” practitioners.
Fourteen Revenue employees were trained in Lean principles and tools through an in-house certification effort designed by and for state employees. Lean is a proven, systematic approach to identifying and eliminating wasteful practices through continuous improvement.
“I’m thrilled with the enthusiasm and effort of our new Green Belts,” Revenue Director Carol K. Nelson said. “Their training and newly-gained expertise will continue to foster a Lean culture throughout the agency and improve outcomes for our customers.”
Revenue is the first agency in the state to use in-house training to certify practitioners, which allowed Revenue to tailor its curriculum and keep training costs to a minimum. Having a team of Green Belts builds internal capacity for facilitating Lean process improvement projects and promoting daily use of Lean principles and tools.
To earn their certification, Revenue’s new Green Belt practitioners spent 40 class hours learning about the various Lean tools and the important characteristics of a Lean organization and its management culture. They also received important hands-on training with Lean tools by facilitating projects and Lean events aimed at improving processes within the agency.
Altogether, the Green Belts completed nine projects during the training.
Lean is a large part of the Governor’s initiative to improve government efficiency and provide customers with quality service.
Revenue’s Lean Transformation Office partnered with Lean experts from the departments of Enterprise Services, Licensing and Social and Health Services to create the curriculum that can also be used by other state agencies.
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The Department of Revenue is Washington state’s primary tax administration agency and has been nationally recognized for innovation and service quality. Many of Washington’s programs and essential services are supported by Revenue’s tax collection efforts. In fiscal year 2013, Revenue collected more than $18 billion from nearly 60 different tax sources. These dollars support public schools, social services, health care, corrections, public safety and natural resources conservation.