If there’s one thing that people and politicians alike can agree on it’s that tax dollars are constantly being wasted. Not only that but even when investigations are performed there’s hardly ever any means to hold one agency accountable. So much for Weber’s ideal bureaucratic model, how effective has that been? It’s time to try implementing something new, something fresh. Like lean six sigma! What is Six sigma you ask? Why it’s all the rage! I’m surprised you haven’t heard of it by now. Its helped businesses like GE and motorola save billions of dollars in the last few decades but the federal government has yet to give it a try.
Six sigma is a systematic approach to improve the process. It starts by observation finding what it is that the system is trying to accomplish as well as how it is received by consumers. The consumers in this case would be the citizens. Then it assesses the objective alongside the consumers feedback in order to determine the quality. Putting this to use in government for example might allow us to tackle the problem of over regulation. This occurs when many different agencies are given jurisdiction over the same areas, items or events. Like toilet seats. Thanks to Senator Ted Cruz’s speaking out against the government’s violation of the 10th amendment we now know just how invasive Uncle Sam can be when it comes to our most private habits. When it comes to toilet seats at least three different agencies have authority to tell anyone who owns a building what constitutes proper facilities.
This over regulation mandates that the building owners must be in compliance with not just OSHA standards but be in accordance with the Americans with disabilities act, the International association of plumbing and mechanical officials and the Mine Safety and Health administration for some reason just to name a few. Yet there’s another problem in complying with all of their standards, not only does this prove troublesome for some building owners but these regulations make the experience uncomfortable for many public restroom users. While it may not sound like a big deal the thought of paying several different agencies millions of dollars a year to inspect and enforce these regulations only to wind up with something that you are discouraged from using gets many people a little triggered.
If that doesn’t make for a convincing argument there’s also the matter of school lunches where the FDA and the USDA fight over defining what constitutes a vegetable. Meanwhile most school lunch programs are contracted out to private companies and then a change takes place that costs the company, it winds up costing the taxpayers instead.
Embracing lean six sigma would help us understand what it is that people want and give us the most cost effective way to give it to them. Seeing how feedback lies at the core of the concept it can only grow to strengthen our democracy.