By Jon Miller | Post Date: July 19, 2005 6:43 AM | Comments: 3
In a July 16, 2005 article in the Los Angeles Daily News I spotted an amazing article on how the Los Angeles Police Department is adopting Toyota Production System principles to kaizen the process of booking people they put into jail. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Lean government!
The LAPD received training from Toyota University; a group within Toyota set up to educate their dealer network on how to be Lean. Toyota is aware that although their cars have a great reputation, the process of being sold one is not always defect-free or waste-free. University of Toyota has been established to fix this weak link in Toyota's extended Lean enterprise.
The 100,000 people the LAPD arrests per year and the processing that this requires is a perfect case for a Lean transaction. For interest, if we assume a 365 day, 24 hour operation, the takt time for processing arrestees at the LAPD is one person every 5.2 minutes. This means every 5 minutes of paperwork is the equivalent of one police offer full-time doing nothing but paperwork. Although the article doesn't get into what is the cycle time (processing time) this number provides perspective on the potential savings through kaizen at the LAPD.
The article emphasized that one of the lessons learned by the good folks at the LAPD was root cause analysis. This has helped them to continue making improvements in their processes. One hopes this Lean thinking spreads to all parts of law enforcement (what is the root cause of crime, anyway?)
As the largest employer in the United States, and arguably one of the largest visible sources of waste, it would be great if the U.S. government invested in teaching civil servants Lean thinking.
But for now, I'll happily take TPS at the Los Angeles Police Department. Kudos to you, LAPD! Keep up the good work! Are listening, Governor Schwarzenegger?Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.