Lean focus provides continuous improvements
Lean is the practice of maximizing customer value while minimizing waste. Elections continues to put a focus on optimizing work processes. Some changes are small while others significantly transform election processes. They all add up to saving time, money and resources.
Some examples of 2015 improvements include:
- Safe and secure ballot drop-off sites are always a priority for King County Elections. This year, a new process was developed to quickly and easily determine if a mobile van site was correctly deployed and ready for business. Mobile van staff began taking photos of each site upon completion of the set-up. The photos were immediately sent to the lead office in Renton for confirmation by the elections staff that the site was properly set-up and open for voter use.
- Lean principles were also utilized to make changes to the hiring process. Election supervisors were involved in creating an assessment process that has been helpful in more accurately matching skills with qualified traits of specific employees. A better fit creates higher efficiency and more engaged employees. These efforts, coupled with a focus on cross training, are helping to create more agile work teams and longer shifts that employees prefer. In the past, seasonal staff were often sent home after only a few hours of work per day, but these changes are helping to retain employees who might otherwise leave for full-time work. This ensures a consistency of work throughout the election process.