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Contact Information:

Address:
1526 K Street
Suite 250
Lincoln, NE 68508

Phone:
402-805-7993

Email

Matthew Singh, M. Sci., CLSSMBB, PMP

DIRECTOR,
CENTER OF OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE

Center of Operational Excellence:

The COE serves as the training center for continuous process improvement across all state agencies. It currently certifies White, Yellow, and Green Belts in Lean Six Sigma to those looking to engage in process improvement. Its goal is to help agencies simplify processes, resulting in a more effective, efficient, and customer-focused government. The COE has recently created and opened its Kaizen room, located in the State Capitol. It is used for training events and process improvement meetings.

Staff:

Don Arp, Jr., MA, CLSSEGB, CLSSGB

Deputy Director - Change Management
402.429.0123
donald.arp@nebraska.gov

State of Nebraska Belt Certification Numbers

COE Prepares to Launch NEW Certified Lean Leader Training - 8/29/18

In late August, the COE will be beta testing the first class of Certified Lean Leader (CLL). This course will be a two-day, in-class training conducted by the COE. It will focus on the Toyota Production System’s use of Lean tools to remove wastes and improve processes. The CLL course will teach different Lean Tools, including a Lean Check List, Leadership Models and Change Management. These tools will lead the CLL through Lean Projects to work towards removing waste and improving daily management practices. The candidates will participate in practice exercises and group simulations. A CLL will gain a functional understanding of the State of Nebraska’s Lean Culture and how to be an active participant in their agencies Process Improvement Program.

NASCA

 

COE Presents at NASCA Symposium - 6/6/18

The Center of Operational Excellence recently had the opportunity to present at the National Associations of State Administration Officer (NASCA) Symposium in Minnesota. Deputy Director, Don Arp, is seen in this photo leading a discussion on fact-based organization. NASCA helps States from across the U.S. determine best practices in innovative surrounding topics such as process improvement, business analytics, and fact based decision making.

NASCA

 

GPS Summit Hosts Singh and Bridgmon - 6/6/18

Master Black Belt Matthew Singh and Black Candidate Andi Bridgmon were invited to speak at the Government Performance Summit hosted by the Performance Institute in Washington, D.C. in April 2018. This is part of a government focused initiative to discuss best practices, organized systems, and techniques used in government process improvement and organizational analytics. The Nebraska COE is helping as thought leaders on these topics at the highest level.

Government Performance Summit

 

COE Invited to Speak at Iowa Lean Consortium - 9/29/17

The Center of Operational Excellence team was invited to speak at the Iowa Lean Consortium on process improvement sponsored by Claas, Inc. The Consortium also included a tour of Claas, Inc. where participants viewed how Claas has implemented process improvement into their facility including utilizing 5S Carts. Pictured is Claas’ strategic alignment messaging board, examples of their 5S Carts, and Matt Singh, COE Director, and Heather Behl, Process Improvement Coordinator - Department of Correctional Services.

Iowa Lean Consortium

 

Cohort 3 Enters Week Two of Intense Classroom Training - 7/21/17

Cohort 3 of Nebraska Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Candidates finished up their first week of class room training by exercising the basics of process mapping. This week they spent their time engaging in leadership skills, SIPOC development, Gantt charts, charter creation, process mapping, and several other exciting Lean Six Sigma tools.

 

Class of Green Belt and Executive Green Belts Graduates - 6/27/17

On June 27, 2017, the Center of Operational Excellence graduated a new group of nine Green Belts and three Executive Green Belts. Click here to view our ceremony photo gallery.

 

Wahoo Maintenance Team Organizes Work Area Using 5S Approach - 5/23/17

By utilizing the 5-S tools, a group of Department of Transportation workers in Wahoo improved their work area and implemented a visual work area where there is "a place for everything and everything in its place." They began by discussing the opportunities to improve the work space by eliminating material and movement waste from the mechanic's environment. They developed a map to reorganize and color code the work area, labeled over 300 items to enhance efficiency, and utilized the 5S approach of "Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain" for an organized work space. "Afterwards, it has really opened my eyes to all the wasted space and excess junk that we no longer used. After cleaning and organizing our work areas it has made our shop cleaner and more user friendly," said Allan Jansa, Highway Maintenance Crew Chief, Wahoo Yard.

 

Nebraska State Patrol IT Removes Duplicated Wifi Service - 5/23/17

In order to utilize wifi while working in the field, Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) troopers were using a HotSpot app on their phones to provide internet access to their laptops. As new technology became available, NSP IT started issuing laptops with the same wifi hotspot technology built in. Realizing troopers did not need this hotspot capability on both their cell phone and laptop, NSP IT began deactivating the HotSpot application. They were able to save $10 per unit per month, resulting in an annual savings of $7,920.

 

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State of Nebraska Training

Certified Lean Six Sigma White Belt (C.L.S.S.W.B)

White Belt training is a one-hour session that introduces State of Nebraska team member to basic Lean Six Sigma concepts. The goal is to begin to help the recipient see waste in the process around them and have a basic level of understanding of how to combat that waste.

Intended for: All State team members
Length: 1 Hour
Prerequisites: None
Availability: Online & In person

 

Certified Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt (C.L.S.S.Y.B)

Yellow Belt training is the next level for learning about process improvement for the State of Nebraska. It reviews how to make daily improvements in the workplace. The training will focus on establishing QDIP boards, KPI’s, and use of problem solving tools like: The Pareto Principle, 5 Why’s, Fishbone Diagrams and Control charts.

Intended for: All State Administrators, managers, and supervisors
Length: 4 Hours
Prerequisites: Certified Lean Six Sigma White Belt
Availability: In person- classroom

 

Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (C.L.S.S.G.B)

Green Belt training is the foundation for professional process improvement in the State of Nebraska. It covers an in-depth understanding of; Leadership, team dynamics, motivational theories, and an intimate description of all DMAIC tools used in the State of Nebraska. Participants are required to apply the knowledge and skills back in their agencies for process improvement projects, and to collaborate and mentor with others in the COE network.

Intended for: Process Improvement Coordinators
Length: 2 weeks + 2 Project
Prerequisites:
   • Completion of Lean Six Sigma White Belt
   • Completion of Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt
Availability: In person- classroom

 

Certified Lean Six Sigma Executive Green Belt (C.L.S.S.E.G.B)

Executive Green Belt training serve as the foundation for how to manage and mentor an entire process improvement program within an agency. It covers a high level overview of all the same information in the normal Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training, but also goes into depth describing the decision sciences and how to use lean techniques to make the “Executive Decision” focused on finding large scale improvements in their agencies. Participants are required to apply the knowledge and skills back in their agencies for process improvement projects, and to collaborate and mentor with others in the COE network.

Intended for: Executive level directors and officers at both the enterprise and agency level.
Length: 4 weeks + 4 Assignments
Prerequisites:
   • Completion of Lean Six Sigma White Belt
   • Completion of Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt
Availability: Online + Oral Exam

 

Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (C.L.S.S.B.B)

Black Belt training is an intense 5 week classroom based training that reviews all aspects of project management, DMAIC method, Leadership, Team Development, Strategy, Crucial Conversations, among other important Lean Six Sigma tools. This training is focused on producing deliverable bottom line results resulting from data driven management techniques. It includes outside reading material and a proven track record of success within the State’s Lean Six Sigma program. The Black Belt program will be launched in late 2017.

Intended for: High functioning Process Improvement Coordinators 
Length: 5 weeks of training + 8 Projects
Prerequisites:
   • Completion of Lean Six Sigma White Belt
   • Completion of Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt
   • Completion of Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (including 8 highly successful projects)
Availability: In person- classroom & extensive mentorship.

 

Public & Non-Profit Sector Training

White & Yellow Belt Training

Lincoln | $225 per person, plus own parking & lunch

White Belt training is a one-hour session that introduces team members to Lean Six Sigma. The goal is to provide team members with a shared vocabulary and the basic concepts needed to help identify waste in the processes around them and how to eliminate it.


Yellow Belt training is the next level of process improvement training. This course reviews how to make daily improvements in the workplace. The training will focus on establishing visual management, setting KPIs, and the use of problem solving tools like the Pareto Principle, 5 Whys, Fishbone Diagram, and Control chart.

 

Green Belt Training

Lincoln | Certification - $2,000, plus own lodging & meal | Mentorship - $62/hr (6-8 hrs recommended)

Green Belt training is the foundation for professional process improvement. It covers an in-depth understanding of: leadership; team dynamics; motivational theories; and all of the DMAIC tools and methods used. Before receiving certification, participants are required to execute two projects while being mentored by others in the COE network.

On-site training is available. Download the brochure (PDF). For more information, contact Matthew Singh at 402.805.7993 or email matthew.singh@nebraska.gov.


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Nebraska Department of Transportation

Environmental Categorical Exclusions (CE-1) Contracts

NDOT’s Environmental Section of the Project Development Division oversees the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental analyses required of all federal-aid construction projects. NEPA documentation falls into several categories of analysis based on the respective complexity and environmental impact of a project. Categorical Exclusion Level 1 (CE-1) is one such category undertaken by the section. It is the most basic category of analysis because CE-1 projects have the least potential for environmental impact. In 2015, an agreement between NDOT and the Federal Highway Administration allowed the Department to process certain Categorical Exclusion analyses. At the same time, the Environmental Section was encouraged to utilize consultant labor for NEPA analyses. The practice became commonplace. Despite efficiencies built into the system by standardized scope and cost estimating, NDOT staff involvement was high. Staff spent significant time in back-and-forth communication with consultants, sharing information, reviewing work and ensuring quality for official documentation. The back-and-forth communication prompted the withholding of some projects for in-house analysis in 2017. Subsequent results proved in-house work more efficient than outsourced work.

 

The better efficiency of in-house analyses drove a decision to avoid consultant services altogether in 2018. During 2016 and 2017, the Environmental Section averaged 37 CE-1 documents per year, and the average cost per consultant-prepared analysis document was $11,575. Moving toward staff assumption of CE-1 document preparation in 2018 allowed the Department to avoid these expenditures. Utilization of section staff for CE-1 projects saved $428,275 for NDOT’s primary customer, the Nebraska taxpayer, through June 2018. The savings resulted from avoidance of consultant services on 35 CE-1 projects. By yearend, the Department’s new policy will save another $208,350, bringing the total projected savings in taxpayer money to $636,625 on 55 CE-1 projects.

 

Nebraska State Crime Commission

Law Enforcement Training Center Database Process

The Grand Island (GI) Law Enforcement Training Center (LETC) Database Process handles the responsibility of creating and storing the training records. The process accepts the application of the students, registers the and the process is involved with a 15-week basic course that takes place three times a year. There are 50 student slots in each course. The LETC trains other specialized courses such as self-defense and fire arms qualification. There are seven staff at the LETC that handle the process duties. These teammates handle a great deal of documentation, including test scores, certificates, training records, applications, termination letters, training curriculums, invoices and receipts, rosters and letters. Many documents are kept as hard copies in filing cabinets and electronically. The process is also an operational pain point where every staff member is a subject expert matter on only their part of the process. If any of the staff are out of the office, the process stops until they return back to the office. There is a plan to implement crosstraining so teammates’ duties will be complete even if they are out of the office.

 

The main focus of the project team was to simplify the LETC Database Process by identifying and removing waste, handoffs, reworks, and errors. The project team also discovered an opportunity to eliminate hard copy filings and rely on electronic filing of training records. The process was shortened from 136 steps to 57 steps. The process is simplified so the Law Enforcement Training Center staff can serve the Law Enforcement Training Center Students, other law enforcement agencies, and streamline their own duties to accomplish the Bottom Line. The Bottom Line is to certify students into Police Officers, train specialized courses, and maintain the records for all training activities.

 

Department of Administrative Services

Federal Grant Process Condensed

Daily draw of Federal Grant funds available to the State of Nebraska state agencies through awards and or requests. One State accounting teammate receives a printed copy of the Delays of Draw (DOD) report each morning. This report lists the requested federal grant amount from state agencies.Previous, the teammate would complete 22 tasks in 6 hours to complete the process. The process was improved by automation, and by removing non-value-added steps. Fifteen steps were cut, and the time was reduced to two hours for this process. In addition, 11 quality checks were removed as well. This improved process will save approximately 1000 hours, or $33,000 per year. External customers will experience faster processing of Federal grants. Pictured are teammates from DAS (L to R): Shannon Muffly, Lily Kathee and Doris Gunn, mapping the current state process. Teammate Kelly Porath is facilitating.

 

Nebraska Department of Correctional Services

Accident Vehicle Report

It is the process by which team members involved in a crash submit accident reports, estimates and photographs to the vehicle coordinator at their facility. Those are then forwarded to the materiel control manager and then to the Nebraska Risk Management Association for approval and repairs. When state vehicles incurred damage, reports were not submitted in a timely manner, which delayed repairs. The facilities were responsible for submitting a vehicle accident report, DMV report, photos of damages and estimates from two auto body shops. Reports were not always completed accurately, and duplicate estimates often delayed the approval of repairs and thereby, the repairs themselves. The process took 72 days to be completed and included 17 hand-offs or delays.

 

To better facilitate the process, each facility will have a simple list of instructions, a timeline for completing the report and instructions on who should receive the report once completed. Hand offs/delays have been reduced from 17 to 12. The time the process takes, from start to finish, has been reduced from 72.5 days to 38.9 days. The amount of required paperwork has also been reduced – now, only one DMV report and one damage estimate is required. This has significantly reduced the delays resulting from taking vehicles to two different auto body shops and waiting on estimates and repairs to be completed. This is especially helpful for facilities in rural areas. Staff will become more and more familiar with completing the report in an accurate and timely manner. The materiel control manager will submit an electronic file of the packet completed by the facility to the Nebraska Risk Management Association, which will expedite the approval response. Increased communication between facilities, the Materiel Control manager and Nebraska Risk Management Association. Involvement and support of the executive leadership for sustained change. Pictured: Staff Assistant Annette Powers inspects a vehicle before it goes out on a business trip.

 

Department of Health and Human Services

Hastings Regional Center Medication Ordering Process

The Hastings Regional Center streamlined its Medication Ordering to ensure consistency and reduce costs. The previous process had many delays due to nurses ordering medications multiple times a day, driving to a pharmacy to pick up medications and ordering from a fax machine in another office.

 

The Hastings Regional Center reduced medication ordering steps by 70%. In the updated process, orders are processed consistently several times a week and the pharmacy delivers the medication in a timely, efficient manner. This allows nurses to spend more time caring for youth and providing critical health services.

 

Nebraska State Patrol

Sworn Hiring Process

The State Patrol typically hires 25-50 sworn officers per year. The hiring process is a thorough review of an applicant’s background and readiness. The team had been using an 8-week hiring period to post openings and conduct physical/educational testing through CALEA. It took 6 months to screen applicants and only 8% of candidates made it through. Year after year, total application numbers, including those by female and minority candidates, had been declining.

 

The application process was updated to a year-round, ongoing period, and now includes a supplemental questionnaire to increase the quanitity and quality of candidates. Processing time has been reduced by 59%, giving the Patrol an additional 3,200 hours of investigation time, and reducing overall agency costs.

 

Nebraska Department of Labor

Bill Pay DEAs and FAVs

DOL Bill PayThe Bill Pay DEAs and FAVs process allows the Nebraska Department of Labor’s Employment and Training program to obtain approvals for program expenditures, while remaining in compliance with State regulations. The current process delayed participants/vendors from receiving reimbursements for approved expenses, taking an average of 66 days for reimbursement.

 

The Department of Labor improved the process by reducing process steps by 64%, allowing participants/vendors to provide copies of receipts, and standardizing the documentation and approval process. Participants and vendors are now reimbursed an average of 41 days earlier.

Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Employee Reimbursement Form

Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs (NDVA) was able to reduce process time and eliminate 26 steps after reviewing the procedures for teammates to submit employment reimbursement documents. NDVA provided written instructions to teammates on how to complete the form and routed the form electronically for approval to eliminate paper waste.

 

(Pictured) During the process walk, members of the NDVA team demonstrated the process of submitting a reimbursement form. (From left to right) Dawn Longwell is submitting her reimbursement form for approval with Dan Albrecht’s assistance while Kylie Hatten observes and takes notes.

 

Department of Health and Human Services

Social Services and Aged and Disabled Coordination

Social Services Aged and Disabled (SSAD) is a state-funded program that provides in-home services and is very similar to the Personal Assistance Services (PAS) program. Eligibility for these two programs is handled by separate agencies and clients do not always know if they should apply for SSAD or PAS (they cannot be enrolled in both simultaneously).

 

Through client interviews, it was revealed that applicants were often transferred between multiple DHHS teammates in different divisions and found it difficult to determine which program they should apply for. Interviews were conducted with social services workers, a majority of whom expressed issues with being assigned the more complex and specialized SSAD cases that they were often unsure how to handle.

 

The number of teammates who handle SSAD cases was reduced from 105 to 20. The teammates working on these cases are the ones who had the highest accuracy and proficiency dealing with these cases. This reduced the process time for each case, resulting in a savings of over 1,350 hours annually. In addition, it allowed the remaining 85 teammates to focus on their program cases, application processing, and other work tasks.

 

Department of Correctional Services

Nebraska Correctional Center for Women - Medication Cards

The Department of Correctional Services looked to see if there was a better way of packaging and distributing medicine for the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women. The old process was time consuming because it required the preparation of single-use blister packs. Working with the DMAIC method, the team developed a way to transition to 30-day supplies of medication cards. This cut 21 steps from the process, resulted in an 87% reduction in lead time, and 45% reduction in process time.

 

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Sigma Six Certified Green Belts

Center of Operational Excellence

 

Department of Administrative Services

 

Department of Agriculture

 

Department of Correctional Services

 

Department of Economic Development | Department of Banking & Finance

 

Fire Marshal | Crime Commission | Board of Parole

 

Department of Environmental Quality

 

Department of Health and Human Services

 

Department of Labor

 

Department of Natural Resources

 

Department of Revenue

 

Department of Transportation

 

State Patrol

 

Download the list of Executive Green Belts (.xls) | Updated 6/8/2018

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Administrative Services | 1526 K Street, Lincoln, NE 68508

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