Making the plan amendment process more efficient

December 2017 – The Planning Commission recently conducted an outside evaluation of the efficiency of our plan amendment review process. As part of a class applying the lean Six Sigma techniques, this methodology is a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste and reducing variation. This is the first time in many years that an outside review of how staff processes amendments to the Comprehensive Plan has occurred.

Two students seeking a professional development accreditation in Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Tenezee Gehndyu and Chris Scott, generously offered to apply their training and skills in the assessment of the Plan Amendment review process. Starting in late May, Planning Commission staff representing each jurisdiction participated in various exercises to identify the areas of potential improvement in the Plan Amendment review process.

Phases to define, measure, analyze, improve, and control processes related to the administrative tasks, procedural activities, and staff report production that lead up to a Planning Commission Plan Amendment Public Hearing were examined. A number of recommendations have been developed, such as streamlining the map series production process, eliminating data redundancy in staff reports, and consolidating the presentation format used to brief the Planning Commission on Plan Amendments. The Planning Commission is already benefitting from these insights that can be further applied in the future.

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