Office of The Clerk of the Superior Court First in State to Achieve Lean Six Sigma Certification

7/19/2013

For the first time in the State of Arizona, an entire County Department has achieved Lean Six Sigma Certification. Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a methodology that lasers in on waste, duplication, defect and variation. Chad A. Roche, Clerk of the Superior Court in Pinal County, a long-time supporter of LSS was proud to announce that his entire staff has completed training.

“Staff development is integral to any organization because a committed, capable team is the most valuable asset you can manage,” said Roche, who has earned the designation of Certified Deployment Champion. “To our knowledge, ours is the first governmental department that has implemented 100% LSS immersion in the State,” Roche stated.

While LSS has its roots in manufacturing, the idea that Lean Six Sigma can only be applied in that setting is false. In fact, some of the biggest strides have been made when applying LSS methodology to service-based operations. LSS Certifications are attained by rigorous training and at some levels, intense project management. “The key element here is that the projects must net measurable, valuable results,” said Steve Vilhauer, Chief Deputy. “Now that our team understands the nature of continuous improvement - which is a core tenet of LSS - we have basically created an entire staff on the lookout for process improvement every minute of every work day,” he continued.

“Over 95,000 labor hours have been optimized annually as a direct result of the implementation of LSS,” stated Clerk Roche. “Over $300,000 has been saved and there is no better sound to the taxpayers’ ears than that type of fiscal stewardship,” he continued.

While “graduation day” for the COSC team signaled an endpoint marked by Certification, it is only the beginning of what can only be described as a cultural shift for a government agency. With a deep understanding of LSS comes the perfect amalgam of private sector sensibilities with public sector purpose. To date, the projects completed by the COSC Lean Six Sigma teams have netted savings in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and countless labor hours. As this is just the jumping off point, the improvements that will come from this energetic team will be watched by many in the state who are considering LSS deployment within their own agencies. For the taxpayer, who rightfully demands efficiency in the government they are funding, these improvements mark a true seismic shift in the way the public sector can – and should - operate.

Lean Six Sigma designations follow a system of “belts.” Yellow Belt conferees support Green Belt Project Leaders. Green Belt conferees lean heavily on Black Belt designates for the most rigorous statistical guidance. At the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court (COSC) in Pinal County over 65 Yellow Belts became certified. The remainder of the COSC team, in addition to qualifying for their Yellow Belt have either earned or are in process of earning the extra designations of Green and Black Belts.

It is a nice change to read about frugality and common sense in government. Roche and his management team intend on making that change permanent.

The Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court is committed to providing quality customer service, ensuring the integrity and access to court records by supporting the Judicial process through efficient Records Management, Financial Administration and Jury Service.

The Florence office of the Clerk of the Superior Court is located at 971 N. Jason Lopez Circle in the Pinal County Justice Complex, Building A. It is open to serve the public on weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Satellite offices are located in Apache Junction and Casa Grande. The office of the COSC can be reached at 520-866-5300.

To learn more about the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court in Pinal County, please visit http://pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/JudicialBranch/ClerkoftheSuperiorCourt/Pages/AboutUs.aspx 

Follow Chad Roche on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000208978711 and the Clerk’s page is located at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pinal-County-Clerk-of-the-Superior-Court/126817117383092 as the Pinal County Clerk of the Superior Court. The COSC You Tube Channel is located here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ChadRoche1 You can follow Chad on Twitter at @ChadRoche1

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