The City of Tulare embarked on                                        their Lean Journey about four years                                 ago.  City Manager Don Dorman had                         a vision of delivering more value to the citizens of Tulare through an efficient system for his city.  He had great, hard-working people in management and staff positions, but  no one spoke the same Continuous Improvement language that he did. 

He needed to develop his “bench-strength” to create a common approach and common language towards Continuous Improvement.  He enlisted the help of Black Belt Carlos Conejo and embarked on his City’s Lean Journey.  He tasked and supported various city departments with improvement projects.  Collective bargaining also supported the City Manager’s initiatives.

Case Study:  Improving the DUI Process in the Police Department using the Six Sigma DMAIC Process

Lead by Motorcycle Police Corporal, and recent Six Sigma Black Belt, Gian Luca Mettifogo

The Six Sigma DMAIC Process found:


Problem Statement:  The DUI investigation process is cumbersome and labor intensive. The current procedure requires duplicates in data entry and has a negative impact on time required to complete the DUI process

Project Goals and Objectives:

Create and standardize a process for the DUI investigation.  Improve cycle time to complete a DUI investigation in less time than the current average time of about three hours, and as high as 4 hours depending on workload and other factors.


Muda Hunt - In search of "waste"

Waste (MUDA) of the current DUI investigation process:

Cumbersome and labor-intensive.
Not clearly structured and inefficient.
Requires taking notes in the field and re-entering those notes in the Department Record Management System.
The Department Record Management System requires entering the same data twice in different areas (TJ –point-of-entry for booking data and TQ  - point of entry for DUI data).
Report format is lengthy and has redundancies.
Current cycle time for DUI process is longer than other local law enforcement agencies.

 The Approach

A DUI survey was created and distributed to Officers.
The survey was anonymous and confidential without individual identifiers.
Officers were not required to participate in the survey.
Forty-seven surveys were submitted to Officers and Corporals assigned to patrol, traffic, crime specs, crime prevention, and school officers. 
Thirteen surveys (27.66% return rate) were received.
All of the surveyed respondents felt that the current DUI process was time consuming and could be simplified.

Speaking With Data

A Pareto Analysis showed the following


Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement (Part 2)

Leadership Code of Behavior - Take the “E” out of “EGO” to get “GO”

In order to become more effective leaders, try committing to the following codes of behavior.

•       We will show respect for each other by taking personal feedback offline, by allowing all questions to be asked, and by being patient and not by talking over one another

•       We will handle conflict by seeking to understand before trying to be understood

•       We will be SMART in setting our goals (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Timely)

•       We will do what we say we will do, we will proactively inform vested parties when we cannot keep our commitment

•       We will base our decisions on facts, “speaking with data,” and seek consensus – for major decisions we will seek everyone’s input (roundtable, focus groups, surveys)

•       We will use meeting effectiveness tools whenever possible and applicable (goal, agenda, minutes, confirmation of action items.  The best meeting, is “no meeting”)

•       We will provide feedback to the team at the end of every meeting

•       We will check our egos at the door. Meetings will be conducted in open forums.  We agree to challenge each other as appropriate.

•       We will let everyone actively participates in all team sessions

•       We will keep an open mind throughout the project, 2 doesn’t necessarily have to follow 1.

•       We will Have Fun and Celebrate! 

A Fishbone Analysis showed the following:


Findings from the survey:

  • Average time to complete a DUI investigation was 195 minutes.
  • The minimum time reported was 120 minutes.
  • The maximum time reported was 270 minutes.
  • The most time consuming activities are: report format, booking, DMV form, and DUI investigative questions.

Cost to P.D. per single DUI under the current process:

Number of DUI investigations                           176

(from 07-01-2011 to 06-30-2012)
Hourly salary of a Police Officer

(without incentive):                                  $ 31.00
Average cost per single DUI:

$ 31 x 195 minutes :                                $ 100.75
Average yearly cost of DUIs:

176 x $31  x  195 minutes:                  $ 17,732.00


A “Driving under the influence arrest-investigative report” Form was created that consolidated many redundant forms and entries.
The DUI Form is a two-sided page form which will be completed in the field by the Officer and then scanned and attached to the DUI report.
The DUI form is now very user-friendly with majority of the fields made of checkboxes.

Advantages of using the new “Driving under the influence arrest- Investigative Report” in the field:

It will eliminate redundancy in data entry into the Department Record Management System.
Officers complete the form in the field. The implementation of such form will create departmental consistency and standardize the procedure on how the DUI investigation is conducted.
The form will help officers to ask all the pertinent DUI questions.
By using the form, officers will more effectively perform their DUI investigation increasing the conviction rate.
The time saved will allow officers to investigate additional DUI or be available for extra calls for service or be proactive.


Federal Government Contractor

Cost per single DUI under the new process:

Number of DUI investigation 

(from 07-01-2011 to 06-30-2012)                   176
Hourly salary of a Police Officer 

(without incentive):                              $ 31.00
New DUI Processing time:  Less than 120 minutes

NEW Cost per single DUI:   

$ 31 (hourly salary) x 2 hours:              $ 62.00

NEW Yearly cost of DUI’s:
176 (# of DUI arrests) x $31 (hourly salary) x 2 hours:                                                              $ 10,912.00

Total savings with the implementation of the new process:

 Total $ reduction per single DUI:                         $ 38.75
 Total $ reduction per year:                            $ 6,820.00 

 Total time saving per single DUI:                    75 minutes
 Total time savings per year                           220 hours

This translates to in additional Value-Added to the citizens of the City of Tulare creating one  (1) extra police officer available full-time for 5.5 weeks per year.

Click below for 2-minute video of City of Tulare and Ventura County Transformation Process:


Bottom Line:

Value added for the community:    Enhanced Public Safety


Control phase recommendations for continuous improvement:

  • Adopt the new DUI form.
  • Work with TracNet (our software developer) to retrieve DUI statistical data needed by the Department Management Record System.
  •  Train officers in how to proper complete the DUI form.
  •  Refresher training for officers in DUI investigation.
  •  Monitor the usage of the DUI form and keep tracking of time.
  •  Feedback option for officers. 

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Last month we talked about how management’s only job is to manage an effective culture.  In this month’s Part 2, we will show you what it takes to conduct “heavy-lifting” to ensure a solid transformation.

First things First – Check Your Ego in at the Door

Utah State University recently discovered that their definition of who the customer is was creating a HUGE barrier to placing students into great jobs in the business world!  The University approached the long-held tradition of “The Student” as the customer.   The problem with this kind of thinking as it turns out, is that the University failed the grade in placing graduates in meaningful jobs.  Graduating lots of students, but no jobs to go to.

By changing the paradigm…(Oh no, not another “Paradigm Shift” message!)

Yes, by switching the paradigm, or point-of-view to “The Business world” as the customer and the student, as the “by-product, or the Output” of education, the University has been significantly more successful in placing the right type of student in the right type of job, given market demand for the type of student. 

The same Paradigm Shift goes for executives that think their job is to “run the organization,” rather than becoming more strategic and leading the direction of the organization.

Leadership at the Heart of the Matter

Leaders are the heart of a business. The essence of leadership means inspiring people to come together and work toward a common goal. Leaders motivate, coach and work with people to keep them bonded and eager to move forward. That means setting a direction, communicating it to everyone and keeping people motivated, even in tough times.

Leading effectively means turning the traditional top-down pyramid upside down in order to develop other leaders who can help run the organization and give it a meaningful and sustained direction to thrive.   This is called growing your “bench-strength.” 

There’s nothing scarier than having great plans to change the world and looking out over the horizon for help only to realize, there’s no one else on that bench but you!

Leadership along with Human Resources needs to take on a holistic approach and assessing organizational skills and skills deficits and helping and supporting the management team has in creating and implementing a solid Workforce Development Plan for shoring up skills at all levels of the organization: Executive, Senior, and Mid-level, Front-Line supervisors and Leads, and finally the Front-Line Team, those that are closest to the customer. 

This is what the new Pyramid may look like.

In this new world the Executive team becomes mentors, teachers, and coaches that facilitate and support each level up above in order to better satisfy the critical needs of the customer.  Front line workers are fully engaged and empowered to “manage up” to each level below that is supporting their efforts.

Each of these levels then helps to create an effective management system, utilizing a standardized methodology like Lean Six Sigma to establish effective procedures and operating systems, with meaningful metrics and rewards based on positive behaviors that include open and honest communication and Root Cause-based problem identification and elimination of waste.

Leadership skills provide the direction, management skills provide the systems that let a company grow with success.Type your paragraph here.

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