Evans Incorporated

Federal Passbacks Require Lean Thinking

Author: Jack Moore | Director

This budgeting and pass-back season for the Federal government was more tumultuous than most. With both sides of aisle agreeing that the Federal budget needs to be cut dramatically without offsetting tax increases, Federal workers and their budgets are taking the brunt of this version of “the perfect storm.”

Over the last months, every Federal agency received their pass-back and went through their program budgets line by line, doing their best to determine which programs should be left alone, which should be “moved to the right” and which should be cut altogether. For the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), these cuts are more impactful than most, as the cuts will significantly impact their ability to deliver against the NextGen air traffic modernization program. The ripple effect will affect the Feds that drive the programs and the contractors that support them, leaving the Feds to be transitioned to value-added work and many contractors looking for new work.

It is this version of “the perfect storm” that I believe suggests the Federal civilian agencies should increase use of Lean Six Sigma (LSS). LSS, or Lean, is the relentless pursuit of value-added activities and the eradication of waste. Waste is defined as any activity that does not directly tie to a customer need. The Obama administration itself has indirectly suggested the use of Lean, as they acknowledge that the Government is over-regulated (one of the eight forms of waste), resulting in an abundance of bureaucracy. At the FAA, we are educating our customers on Lean and how to use it, as we work with them to transition to more value-added activities.

In subsequent posts, I will discuss the remaining seven forms of waste and how Feds and their support contractors can work together to eradicate waste.

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