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UB Center Issues White Paper on Erie County's Lean Six Sigma Program

Release Date: December 15, 2009

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), which is partnering with Erie County to boost efficiencies in government, is making available to the public its comprehensive white paper detailing the county's Lean Six Sigma initiative.

"Efficient Government Through Lean Six Sigma" is published by TCIE, the primary agent in making Erie County the nation's first large, metropolitan county to implement the quality-improvement program. A pdf file of the paper may be obtained by sending an e-mail to tracyrze@buffalo.edu or visiting http://www.tcie.buffalo.edu.

The white paper provides an in-depth summary of how Erie County is embracing a continuous improvement methodology; it is based on more than 20 interviews with county leaders and employees, professional trainers and mentors, and stakeholders.

The 30-page document covers the vision behind Lean Six Sigma in government, basics of the methodology, the deployment model, culture change support, employee involvement, challenges, results and improvement projects that have been undertaken.

"This white paper shows how TCIE's Lean Six Sigma training has already added value to taxpayer dollars," said Tim Leyh, the center's executive director. "We wanted to make the paper available so that other organizations -- whether they are private or public, whether they're in the manufacturing or service sectors -- can see how they, too, might benefit from this proven, problem-solving approach."

Leyh referred to county employees such as Mindy Shaw, an Erie County personnel specialist, who was impressed by Six Sigma's versatility when she underwent training and completed an improvement project.

"It opened my eyes. Sometimes people have the perception that there's one particular way to use Lean Six Sigma," Shaw said. "There are very different ways you can apply it and it doesn't have to be what the typical manufacturing center does."

The data-driven, problem-solving methodology debuted in county government in spring 2008 and continues until 2011 with the goal of making the governing body operate more like a business. TCIE is training a cross-section of county employees who complete improvement projects aimed at increasing efficiency, decreasing costs and improving customer service.

TCIE was recently honored for its work with Erie County with the 2009 "Award of Excellence in Workforce Development" by the University Economic Development Association -- a national organization of higher education and business professionals collaborating to enhance economic development.

TCIE provides a dynamic link between UB's technical resources and the business community. A program of the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, TCIE fosters partnerships and manages projects as diverse as the region's businesses. TCIE also is a premier provider of Lean Six Sigma training and mentoring. For more information on how TCIE can assist Western New York businesses, go to http://www.tcie.buffalo.edu.

Media Contact Information

Ellen Goldbaum
News Content Manager
Medicine
Tel: 716-645-4605
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
Twitter: @UBmednews