The trumpet has sounded.
Wisconsin state government is like a Fortune 200 company using management practices from 30 years ago, according to a Wisconsin Policy Research Institute study urging the use of modern management strategies that include goal-setting and performance measurement as well as successful private-sector methods that identify and nurture management talent.
“‘Crisis’ is not too strong a word to describe what many government agencies face,” said Robin Gates, who served as a division administrator in several state agencies and as a vice president at Alliant Energy. “We Wisconsinites need fundamental change from the top to the bottom of these agencies and across the breadth of state and local governments if we are to succeed the way this country’s more innovative corporations have – with top-notch management.”By and large, WPRI's paper focuses on finding and training managers, but it has overall objectives which are in line with 'lean' theory:
Gates suggests fundamental changes in the structure of state government including alteration of the civil service system to allow both more accountability and the use of multi-year, performance-based employment contracts. Managers need to be more accountable for achieving objective results. Positive and negative consequences need to be tied to performance. He recommends creation of chief operating officer positions in various agencies and changing the retirement system to make it more portable. Expectations for managers to improve efficiency should also be built into results-oriented budgets, the study concludes.
Making the assumption that Governor Walker goes forward with these suggestions, it could well be an 8-10 year project; fortunately, in most organizations which have gone "lean," the early-on savings are very significant.
Go for it!!