County OKs ‘Lean Six Sigma’ training


Delaware County commissioners have accepted a state grant and approved moving ahead with launching a “Lean Six Sigma” training program.

This efficiency program aims to reduce costs and improve services to county residents, according to county officials. The county has received a grant of $17,000 from the Ohio Development Services Agency and will match that amount through an in-kind contribution of employees’ hours spent training in the program.

Delaware County’s director of economic development, Bob Lamb, who has completed the state’s training, told commissioners Monday that the program’s goal is to “gain a better understanding of the processes you have in place and find the efficiencies.”

“Lean” and “Six Sigma” programs are two different efficiency programs with their roots in the 1980s and 1990s manufacturing sectors, officials said. Six Sigma came first in 1986 when a Motorola engineer developed it as a way to reduce defects in the manufacturing process: The term refers to the statistical expectation that a manufacturing process would be 99.99966 percent — or “six sigma” — free of defects.

The “Lean” methodology, developed at Toyota Motor Corp., emphasizes continuous improvement of workflow. In recent years, these methodologies have been combined to create a more stream-lined training program adaptable to a wide variety of industries and business goals.

Lamb and Commissioner Barb Lewis, who has been part of the initiative to launch the program, said they expect to use it first in the county’s environmental services department under the guidance of Michael Frommer, the county’s new director of sanitary engineering and development.

The program would then be rolled out to other departments over the next several years. Training is expected to begin this spring. Lamb said he also will continue to seek state grants to fund additional training in the county.

Staff Report

Information for this story was provided by Delaware County commissioners.

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