Public sector institutions across the UK, from local councils to government agencies, have sought transformative changes to better their services, streamline operations, and address internal challenges. These case studies offer a glimpse into the journeys of such organisations, spotlighting their challenges, strategies, and the remarkable outcomes achieved. Through partnerships, training, and the implementation of Lean Six Sigma principles, these stories exemplify how adaptive solutions can drive impactful, sustainable results in the public domain.
Lorraine Daly, Continuous Improvement Manager at the Home Office, discusses her introduction to Lean Six Sigma. Despite initial challenges, Lorraine observed transformative changes in team attitudes and work approaches. She highlights the importance of adaptive learning and fostering team buy-in.
The UK’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) launched a Lean Continuous Improvement Programme, resulting in significant efficiency savings, a cultural shift towards regular improvement, and the introduction of a streamlined “Lean Light” approach for rapid enhancements.
Land & Property Services (LPS) under the Department of Finance, with a budget of £60 million and 1100 staff across Northern Ireland, aimed to enhance its customer service while reducing costs through its LPS 2020 strategy. This transformation was backed by Digital Transformation and Service Improvement focuses, relying primarily on Lean Six Sigma Methodology. With guidance from Catalyst, LPS is training change agents and targeting official recognition for competency and best practices, setting a benchmark against other organisations.
A local council’s IT team faced a disconnect with their users, often missing the mark on actual needs. Through Catalyst’s Green Belt training, the team adopted a customer-centric approach, focusing on Voice of the Customer and Critical to Quality principles. The result? Personal growth, improved team dynamics, and a continuous emphasis on refining their processes to better serve the frontline.
North Ayrshire Council tackled delays in their Occupational Therapy Equipment service, transforming a month-long process into a swift operation. Through meticulous workshops and process mapping, they halved the process steps and dramatically slashed the lead time from 34.5 days to just 1.5 days. Their improvements ensured 76% of priority equipment requests were fulfilled within a day, and won them the accolade for the best Lean Six Sigma project at the Scottish Awards for Business Excellence in 2015.
Hull City Council enhanced its Streetscene services, including waste collection and street cleaning, using Lean Six Sigma. They boosted recycling rates from 18% in 2013 to 54% in 2014, improved cross-departmental teamwork, and saved £2.6m in staffing. Their efforts won the ‘Most Improved Team’ award at the Association for Public Service Excellence Awards.
Kent County Council partnered with Catalyst Consulting to train teams focusing on improving organisational processes. Their first project streamlined the Blue Badge application system for disabled parking eligibility, achieving over a 30% reduction in both time and costs required for enquiries.
In partnership with Catalyst since 2015, Essex County Council launched a wide-ranging transformation to enhance services within budget constraints. Spanning areas from Public Health to internal processes, early successes prompted expansion in 2017. Notably, 120 LSS Yellow Belts and 48 LSS Green Belts were trained, reflecting a commitment to continuous improvement.