When will the City of Calgary adopt Continuous Improvement?

Several city of Calgary employees have completed the Mount Royal Lean Course and are looking for opportunities to apply it.  A colleague is meeting with another city official this month to suggest the cities adoption of continuous improvement to improve operations.

Here are some examples of current governance practices have been applied in other cities & states:


Jacksonville Police Force
– cut over $30 million from budget without costing a single job – see below
Erie Country Police, NY
Whatcom Country Sheriff

Grand Rapids Fire dept. and Parking Services – see below

Healthcare (countless examples in both Canada & US)
– Seattle Children’s Hospital, Univ Texas Cancer Center, ThedaCare, Virginia Mason
– UHN – Toronto General Hospital, North York General Hospital, Five Hills Health Region,
– Sask., St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital


Melbourne, Australia
Cape Coral, Florida
South Lake, Texas
Cincinnati, Ohio
Grand Rapids, Michigan – see below


Minnesota – see below


Saskatchewan – All services
B.C. – Provincial healthcare

Jacksonville Sheriff Office

– Cut over $30 million from budget without costing a single job

– The Sheriff’s Office Continuous Improvement Unit supports internal training and development of the department’s employees and officers, all of whom are primarily responsible for finding and implementing improvement opportunities every day, and has trained more than 1,500 officers and civilian staff in lean concepts and tools.

– Lean gets better results than the conventional approaches used in other government offices. Ideas are more innovative, employees are more engaged, and the department gets faster and more substantial performance results.

– Reduced hiring school crossing guards from 90 days to 7

– Addressed unaffordable detention facility overcrowding problem panel recommendation to build new wing of 684 new beds at a cost of $32 million, by applying lean and create 894 beds for $84 thousand; created new capacity that saved taxpayers millions.

– Employee suggestions went from about 3 per year to more than 100;  All are responded to within 35 days, and about ½ are implemented.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

– Applied to Public Library, purchasing process, engineering design process
– Engaging employees and providing the best possible service to city residents

Fire department
– Increased the percentage of first time compliant businesses, dramatically reducing the need for re-inspections
– Processing inspection violation letters has been decreased over 50%, from 10.3 hours to 4.5 hours on average, doubling the number of inspections they can complete a year

Parking Services
– Reduced customer wait time from 20 days to 12 minutes, and processing time from 32 to 14 minutes

Community Development Dept., Housing Rehabilitation & Accounting Dept
– Home rehabilitation loan processing wait time of 20 weeks and internal processing time of 28 hours
– The initial improvement reduced homeowner wait time to 12.5 weeks and internal processing to 21 hours.



Water Permits
– Reduced work time by up to 40% and waiting time by up to 60%
– Permits issued a month faster
– Estimated annual savings from the improvement: $255,000 and 5,000 staff hours

Construction Trades Licensing
– Administers over 120,000 licenses for individuals and contractors performing construction services
– Estimated time savings from the improvement: 65% for new licenses (29 days to 10 days), 62% for renewals (10 days to 4 days)

Dept. of Human Services
– Appeal time reduced from 87 days on average to less than 1 month
– Estimated annual savings from the improvement:$ 960,000