Building Lean Culture at DES

We are building the culture

At Enterprise Services, having a Lean Culture means that the norm in our workplace is:

  • Every employee is a scientific problem-solver, applying the improvement routine using Lean thinking and techniques every day.
  • Every leader is actively coaching, mentoring and encouraging employees to problem-solve.

We have set a strong foundation

The agency's strategic clarity document embraced Lean thinking with:

  • values of openness, integrity, collaboration, respect, excellence and innovation.
  • goals oriented toward customer needs, and employee engagement.

We engaged employees in Enterprise Planning through

  • Strategy mapping using a grassroots model: starting at the program level, moving up to the agency level.
  • Development of strategy maps in all 62 programs.
  • A high degree of employee engagement throughout planning.
  • Daily Huddles in 110 workgroups, which use their strategy maps and measures to make data-driven business decisions.

Projects provided an opportunity to use Lean techniques. Enterprise Services is using a full array of Lean methods to gain results: employee Kaizens, value stream mapping, A3 problem solving, root cause analysis and more.

Lean leadership skills are being developed. Leaders are learning what they need to do differently and how they need to be different in a Lean organization. We call it "Being" and "Doing."

Enterprise Services is building support and capacity for Lean, establishing a full-time culture development team of nine, and embedding fourteen additional part-time Lean practitioners in various divisions.

Consultants and practitioners don’t "do" Lean projects for our clients:

  • We teach our clients to apply the tools and thinking themselves.​
  • We foster capability, not dependency.
  • Teams make decisions not recommendations.

Governor's Lean Transformation Conference

We enjoyed our time meeting so many great people at the 2014 Lean Transformation Conference. View the presentations here.​

Statewide Training Resources Coming Soon!

Lean Transformation Services will offer comprehensive training in alignment with Results Washington and the Governor's Lean initiative.

Stay tuned for:

  • Employee traning to build employees problem-solving skills and develop  their mindset to continually improve their work every day.
  • Leadership training to guide leaders to embrace a personal Lean journey and adopt a new leadership mindset and habits.
  • Facilitation training to impart the skills needed to guide improvement teams to results.


For more information on Lean continuous improvement activities and culture change at Enterprise Services, contact Lean Transformation Services​ at (360) 407-7925 or