Our Lean Story

What is Lean?

Lean involves a set of principles, practices and methods for designing, improving and managing processes. It is aimed to improve efficiency by eliminating particular kinds of waste which absorb time and resources but do not add value. A lean process reflects the goal of continually reducing waste and improving work flow to efficiently produce a product or service that is perceived to be of high value to those who use it.

Lean focuses on the elimination of the eight kinds of waste:

*Non-utilized talent

What Lean Is Not

Lean is not a tactic or a cost reduction program, but a way of thinking and acting for the entire organization. The organization will not use this process to eliminate staff but rather reduce waste and extra steps in significant processes.

A Lean organization utilities the knowledge of all employees to create a high performance organization; it searches for root causes, eliminates waste and reduces costs and resources required to do essential non-value-added activities; and is committed to continuous improvement.

What’s going on with Lean at the Village of Little Chute?


In 2016 4 staff member attended the first Lean Enterprise for Government training session offered through Fox Valley Technical College. Since then 6 staff members also graduated from the six week program making the total lean graduates to be 10. The graduates are from a variety of different Village departments: Public Works, Park/Recreation/Forestry, Library, Fox Valley Metro Police Department, and Administration.

Lean Team

Mission of the Lean Team: The Mission of the Lean Team is to act as an advisory group to determine lean projects, pace and system for executing rapid improvement evolutions and future value stream mapping. Advises the administrator on areas of the Village’s lean effort, including but not limited to other strategic planning efforts.

The lean team is comprised of employees who are graduates of the Lean Enterprise for Government training, those who were part of the strategic planning working group, and other interested employees. All are welcome. The team meets once per quarter.

Past Projects – Our Lean Story to Date

Leaf Collection
Online Recreation Program Registration
In Person Recreation Program Sign Ups
Brush Pickup
Forestry Check
Move 2nd Floor Printer
Mowing Operations
Process of an Invoice
Purchasing Library Materials
Open Holds Shelf Project
Creation, Duplication and Distribution of Meeting Agendas

Future Projects - Continually Reducing Waste and Improving Work Flow

Coming soon!

Different Types of Projects:

*Just Do It! – East to fix/solution is known
*Less Complex Problem - Individual or small-group problem solving
*More Complex Program – Lean Event

Suggestions and ideas for future projects are submitted to the Lean Team. Any employee can submit an idea to their supervisor on a comment card. The Lean Team will then evaluate the suggestions and recommend which projects to focus on for the upcoming year. Lean Events are schedule bi-annually. All staff affected by the process are invited to attend. At the meeting(s) staff will:

*Compete a problem solving statement
*Complete a Flow Chart of the existing process
*Measurement plan and collect data
*Brainstorm using other tools when needed – Value Stream Map, Waste Walk, Spaghetti Diagram, etc.
*Complete a Flow Chart of improved process
*Share with other Village employees/residents
*Implement the process

Continuous Improvement Pays!