Six Sigma Training – Spokane, WA City Council Trains 16 City Workers in Six Sigma

Six Sigma Training is critical to many different industries. Such is true in Spokane, WA, where a position has actually been created and approved by the city council. At about $120,000 a year in pay and benefits, the position is one that will be filled by an individual who can promote the efficiency of the city based on their understanding and training in Lean Six Sigma. Since Lean Six Sigma is designed to reduce and eliminate waste, making any business or organization more effective in what they do, it seems like they have chosen a great way to handle the situation.

As if that’s not enough, they also placed a vote earlier this year to train 16 city employees in Six Sigma Process, done through a $90,000 no-bid contract offered to Lasater Institute, which is based in Indiana. The purpose of this training and the job role that has been added is, of course, to reduce costs and provide a more factual method of problem solving for the city at an affordable cost. Spokane officials spent $260,000 to complete an efficiency report through a consulting group from California prior to all this, which has created controversy within the local government. Instead of relying on someone else for ineffective solutions, they have decided to give the city employees something that will empower them to change their own processes and make improvements where they see fit.

They’re basing their own use of Lean Six Sigma on the principle that every single successful Six Sigma Process had a centralized place where administration occurs, which is why they are also creating this and not just hiring an outside source to complete the process improvements. They feel that by empowering the city workers to make changes to their own processes, they will have better results than if someone with an outside perspective comes in and tries to change things.

According to the Spokane Spokesman on May 27, 2009, there is one former city council candidate that doubts the success of the program. She comments on the outsourcing of training to the center in Indiana and the potential for disaster that can come with ineffective Six Sigma Projects, telling city officials that if they aren’t prepared for that, their intentions could easily lead to worse economic conditions than those that are already being experienced. All in all, though, it seems that the city of Spokane has a great plan to utilize Six Sigma to keep their town efficient in even the toughest economic times.