Like most employees at the City and County of Denver, Liz loves to come up with great ideas. (From left to right: Liz Lorang, Deann Romero, Rachael Bronson and Justin Schmitz with their future state process map;  Liz leading a brainstorming session.)

Liz Lorang works for Right of Way Services and directly supports the City and County of Denver’s Public Works Transportation & Mobility Division. Liz loves to come up with great ideas and wonderful solutions for customers, co-workers, friends, and loved ones using the simplest methods possible.

For example, Liz and her co-worker, Deann Romero, used the Peak Academy’s A3 tool to identify that the process in which vacant positions are requested to be filled within Public Works Engineering (Transportation & Mobility, Right of Way Services, Enforcement, Capital Project Management, and Policy Planning & Sustainability) had a few defects worth improving. These defects meant that their customers, potential city employees, were losing the opportunity to apply and interview due to an inefficient vacancy process.

Within Public Works Engineering there are approximately 250 vacancy requests per year. Three major areas of waste were identified while looking into this process: sixty percent of vacancy requests required re-work costing approximately $1,700 per year in employee time, the average time taken to process and submit vacancy paperwork was three days resulting in lost opportunities for applicants, and the initial paperwork for the process took an average of one hour for the hiring manager or support staff person to complete.

Before Liz and her team improved the Vacancy Process, 60 percent of the processes’ Vacancy Requests required re-work, which equaled a soft dollar cost of $1,728 per year. Above (From left to right) are the tools Liz and her team used to identify and eliminate the waste of the vacancy process; the current state of the vacancy process identifying its multiple defect, a communication circle depicting the processes’ communication waste, and standard work highlighting how to properly fill out the City And County of Denver Position Request Form.
Above are the tools Liz and Deann used to identify an eliminate waste. From left to right: The current state of the vacancy process, a communication circle, and standard work.

The current state metrics confirmed that the vacancy process was not efficient. After gaining executive support to improve upon this process, they decided to create metric based goals around what a better vacancy process would look like, for example: cutting the time to complete the initial paperwork in half. 

Using the ‘Lean A3’, standard of work, and cross-training tools, Liz and Deann created print-outs and trainings for employees showing what a completed and accurate City And County of Denver Position Request Form looks like.  This simple approach was effective in identifying and eliminating moderate amounts of waste.

Liz says, “streamlining the vacancy process has decreased the time I touch the process and it has made the hiring managers’ lives much easier. Now, they’re using the process and understand it.” So much so that Public Works Engineering is saving an estimated $1,400 in soft dollars per year.

These innovations decreased the stress of the vacancy process inside and outWhen asked about using Peak’s tools, Liz said: “using the Lean/Peak process can be arduous, but also fun. It gives you a lot of ways to approach a problem, it lends itself to change, modifications and evolution. It can be as complicated, or simple as you want it to be, but the simplest fix makes the most sense.”

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