Environmental agencies have used Lean to speed process times, eliminate backlogs, improve product quality, provide more value to customers, and free staff time to work on other activities. IT solutions amplify these gains by automating streamlined processes, incorporating automated error checks to improve quality, enhancing the ability to share data across organizations, and providing better information for decision-makers. Lean Startup and Agile methods also allow agencies to design and develop new products and IT solutions to meet customer needs while minimizing the risks and costs of product development. This Lean and IT Toolkit explores how Lean and IT can be used to accomplish the following:
- Efficiently design new products and services to better meet customer needs (Lean Startup)
- Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing processes (Lean Process Improvement)
- Reduce the costs and risks of developing new IT products (Agile Development)
The goal is the development of a basic toolkit that outlines benefits of using Lean with IT and describes Lean Startup, Lean Process Improvement, and Agile Development processes.
E-Enterprise funding was used to support the development of the toolkit.
This Toolkit complements a series of Lean resources available from U.S. EPA and other agencies, including U.S. EPA’s Lean in Government Starter Kit. Taken together, these documents can help environmental agencies in their efforts to operate more efficiently and effectively to protect human health and the environment. The practice of using Lean methods with technology solutions to improve agency programs and processes is relatively new. The developers envision this Toolkit to be a living document that can be updated over time to reflect best practices, resources, and examples that emerge as environmental agencies use these techniques to achieve the next level of improved environmental performance, customer service, and efficiency.