In 2008, Susan Guthrie was the communications manager of the City of Tyler, Texas, (current interim city manager) and a General Electric-trained Green Belt. She approached the assistant city manager at the time, Mark McDaniel, with the idea of implementing Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in the City. Guthrie recalled, “The City’s culture of continuous improvement was ripe for the implementation of a more structured methodology like Lean Six Sigma.”
One of the first issues that needed to be addressed was if this would be a pilot program or a full deployment. The concern was that if a pilot was implemented, there would not be buy-in at all levels of the organization and LSS would operate in an isolated environment. By conducting a full deployment, however, the City’s management felt that the entire organization would commit to the effort.