Today, members of City Council, senior leaders and staff welcomed Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada H.E., Mr. Jim Kelly and the Minister of State for Office of Public Works, Mr. Seán Canney T.D. as well as their staff to Mississauga to learn about the City’s Lean program.
The City’s program focuses on creating improvements to business processes, enhancing customer first thinking and strengthening the City’s culture of continuous improvement.
“On behalf of the City of Mississauga and Members of Council, we welcome the opportunity to host Ambassador H.E. Jim Kelly and Minister Seán Canney T.D. here to Canada’s sixth-largest city,” Mayor Bonnie Crombie said. “Today’s visit and meetings are an opportunity for our team of professionals to discuss in detail the best practices used by staff, including the Lean Program to demonstrate value for tax dollar, improve our business processes and enhance the quality of our public services that residents rely on daily from the City of Mississauga.”
The City began a Lean program pilot in 2014 and transitioned to a permanent program in 2016.
“As Acting Mayor, I was pleased to welcome Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada H.E. Mr. Kelly; Minister of State for Office of Public Works Mr. Canney T.D. and their teams to the City of Mississauga to learn how we’ve applied the methodology of Lean in our municipality,” said Pat Saito, Acting Mayor and Ward 9 Councillor. “We have four over-arching priorities that guide Council’s decision making: Delivering the Right Services, Maintaining our Infrastructure, Advancing our Strategic Plan and Implementing Cost Containment Strategies. Our Lean program is helping us ensure we demonstrate fiscal prudence and deliver value for money to taxpayers.”
This year, over 45 projects will be completed through the Lean program and 23 employees will be trained and receive their Green Belt certification, bringing the total to 48. In addition, 30 employees will receive their Yellow Belt certification. To date, over 1,800 employees have received introductory While Belt training. Once trained, employees apply Lean skills, knowledge and concepts to their daily work.
“Adopting Lean as a way of work takes a long-term approach and perseverance to challenge traditional thinking on how to deliver value. It is helping us focus on our commitment to continuously examine our processes and improve the way we work across the organization,” said Janice Baker, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “Since 2014, we’ve seen cost savings of $1.6 million. We’ve also seen a cost avoidance of $2.2 million; meaning as a result of the action we’ve taken now we’ve reduced our future costs. Lean is shaping our corporate culture and enables front-line City staff to play a meaningful role in telling us where we can improve, eliminate unnecessary tasks and add value.”
The City’s Lean program is not solely focused on a set of tools or concepts that are applied in the short-term it also focuses on the way the organization operates.
“At the City, we have a constant focus on continuous improvement; part of that is accomplished through our Lean program along with driving a culture of innovation,” said Gary Kent, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer. “Since 2009, the City has saved $49 million by innovating, making adjustments to our processes and programs, eliminating redundancies and in turn, using fewer resources.”
“Lean helps teams solve problems. The benefits allows staff to spend more time on value added activities, simplify their work and improve teamwork and collaboration,” said Wesley Anderson, Manager, Lean Program. “By training our staff, and empowering them to make meaningful change in their work, we are well on our way to strengthening the City’s culture of continuous improvement.”