Your Iowa Lean News - June
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Turning the Corner Through Leadership
By Jeff Terrell, Bureau Chief of Continuous Improvement at Iowa Department of Human Services, and ILC Board Vice President
Initially, the use of Lean tools in state government started like most other places -- addressing the biggest problems at the moment and working to
alleviate pain. As time went on, one thing we learned at DHS through those initial efforts was, in general we were lacking standard work processes. We hadn't realized before how much this resulted in inconsistencies and how it inhibited our ability to effectively manage both the quantity and quality of work, due to the variation in our work processes across the state. 
Recently, several years after first using lean, the impact of Lean on the agency has resulted in the leadership decision and on-going efforts to create and support development of standard work across all business areas.  Frontline staff, supervisors and policy consultants are all involved to ensure all mandates are met, and that the standard processes created really work where the rubber hits the road for all core areas.  Along the way waste is removed, and those practices become a baseline for future improvement.
Although still early in our journey, these activities have already begun to have an agency-wide impact, improving both practice and positively impacting the culture of the agency through the engagement of all staff.  This way of doing our work is new for the Department and, as such, there have been challenges. For example, traditionally, management and centralized leadership staff guided practice from a top-down perspective. Frontline staff waited to follow the direction of management and did not necessarily feel empowered to create improvement through their daily work.
Generally, frontline staff adjusted easily to the “new way”, once they saw the improvements they helped design were really implemented.  Management struggled more with understanding their new role and how to lead without being directive. Management must now think differently about the meaning of leadership, essentially “letting go” of telling staff how they must do their work. Management is becoming more and more proficient at describing the goals to achieve, and at empowering frontline staff and supervisors to design and implement strategies, improving how they do their own work in the process. 
Regardless, change is here, and to the credit of agency management, support is broad and growing  for the choice to move in this new direction.  Now, like the rest of our Lean work, it’s about experience, as we approach this with PDCA principles in mind.  Through the buy in of the leaders one by one at the Department of Human Services, we're turning the corner and lean is becoming the way we do the work.

Do You Love to Lean?

In keeping with its core value of providing collaborative learning opportunities, the ILC wants  to connect individuals who are passionate about Lean and are willing to be an "extra set of eyes" for ILC organizations that are running an in-house Lean event. If you are interested in helping an ILC organization by providing an outside perspective during their Lean event, please complete THIS FORM to be added to our database.

ILC member organizations looking for volunteers to provide feedback during their events should contact the ILC Coordinator at to obtain a list volunteers.

Lean Champion Award
Now Accepting Nominations
The ILC created the Lean Champion Award in 2012 to honor a leader who has made significant contributions to Lean practices and / or lead a Lean journey for 10 years or more.  We are currently accepting applications for the 2014 ILC Lean Champion Award which will be presented at the Fall Conference on Oct. 2

To nominate someone for the Iowa Lean Champion Award, email Tracy at providing the nominee's name, place of work, current title and a few paragraphs explaining why you want to nominate them.  Nominations will be accepted until September 5, 2014.
Gemba Walks
A Process for Leading the Organization

Register today for the 1-Day Workshop 
(the 2-Day Workshop is full)

The ILC is partnering with CIRAS to bring Tracey and Ernie Richardson back to Iowa!  The Richardsons, who both have extensive experience working within Toyota, will present a workshop designed to help you learn how to implement successful Gemba walks in your organization.  You will learn:  The purpose of a Gemba walk, the Gemba walk process, basic leadership behavior and principles, lean leadership methods and tools/methods to accomplish the value added work of management.  The information will be presented in a format that benefits both manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations.

Day 1 Workshop August 12
Day 2 Workshop August 13 (FULL)

Nationwide Insurance, Des Moines

1-Day Workshop Only Member  $50
1-Day Workshop Only Non-member  $250

Seating is limited for this event and it is filling quickly  Register today to reserve your spot or learn more now.

Upcoming Events

Basic Lean Flow Simulation
Rockwell Collins
Waiting List
(Cedar Rapids)
June 24, 2014

Improvement Kata Event
Kinze Mfg. 
Waiting List
July 16, 2014

Gemba Event
Nationwide Insurance
(Des Moines)
With Ernie and Tracey Richardson
August 12-13

If Not You, Then Who? 
Leadership & Personal Engagement
w/Dan Sullivan, TBM Consulting Group

John Deere
August 26
Registration opening soon!

ILC Fall Conference
Keynote: David Mann
(Cedar Rapids)
October 2

Registration opening soon!

Plant Tour
Hagie Manufacturing
November 3

Registration opening soon!

There are new Lean job opportunities posted in the Member's Only Area of the ILC website.  Have a job to post?  Contact the ILC Coordinator.
Upcoming Events on the Calendar of Shared Events
ILC members, don't forget to check the Calendar of Shared Events for great training opportunities offered by other ILC members.   Our member community colleges have also added many paid training opportunities to the calendar.  Don't miss out on this great member benefit!

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 15
Continuous Improvement 101
Pella Corporation

Wednesday, July 16
Team Leader Orientation
Pella Corporation

Wednesday, August 6
Sponsor Fundamentals
Pella Corporation

Is your organization willing to open in-house trainings to ILC members?  Please contact Tracy at with the details.

Welcome New Members!

Organizational Member:

DuPont Pioneer - Hedrick Location (Fremont)

 ILC membership offers a tremendous value by connecting you to companies, organizations and individuals using Lean to improve performance.  Membership provides free access to ILC events and more.  Whether you are just starting your Lean journey or have considerable Lean experience, you will find valuable learning opportunities that help you move forward in your journey.  Learn more now .
Call for Presenters for the Fall Conference

Are you interested in providing a 60-75 minute breakout session on one of the following topics:

Leader Standard Work, Visual Management, Tiered Meetings/Gemba Walks, Managing for Daily Improvement, Problem Solving,  Lean Management vs. Traditional Management, Team Member Suggestion Processes etc? 
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