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In the 2011 the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 11-1212, which set out to incorporate LEAN principles to state government programs more efficient. LEAN is a methodology used to by organizations to deconstruct, review, and analyze existing procedures in an effort to continuously eliminate waste and make improvements; ultimately providing better service without requiring additional resources. In 2012 the Governor’s office began implementing LEAN projects throughout the state and the staff at DORA was eager to incorporate LEAN ideas and concepts to improve our service to Colorado consumers and regulated professionals. Here are a few DORA projects that highlight our efforts to improve government processes by implementing LEAN projects.
Executive Director’s Office, Division of Professions and Occupations and the Office of Consumer Counsel
DORA set a goal to provide a “gold standard” of service when it comes to consumers calling the Department for help. The Call Center serves more than 10,000 customers monthly; and as a result of implementing the LEAN initiative, those customers now have a system that better recognizes the value of their time. We reduced the amount of transfers and utilized technology to optimize customer experiences. On August 8, 2012 the Division of Professions and Occupations went live with a fully re-configured auto-attendant system. The new system reduced the number of prompts, shaved one minute off the customer’s time in the queue, and allows the caller to access accurate information faster.
Division of Real Estate
DORA investigates a number of complaints from the public regarding licensed professionals. For both the consumer and the licensee the investigative process can be a very stressful and time consuming experience. Using LEAN, the Division of Real Estate examined ways to reduce the average time to complete an investigation by 33%; essentially dropping the time down from 6 to 4 months. This was achieved by establishing efficient procedures at the beginning of the investigation to determine outcomes of complaints faster. In addition, the Division has implemented a “fast track” program to deal with licensees that may be out of compliance for the first time in their career. Our regulated professionals make mistakes and this expedited process allows for us to quickly indentify and address those mistakes.
Division of Real Estate
This program allows the Division of Real Estate to resolve disciplinary cases without referral to the Office of the Attorney General for litigation. Currently, the Division resolves approximately 95% of its cases through an Expedited Settlement Program (“ESP”). With LEAN principles, the Division will set out to resolve 75% disciplinary cases within 60 days and implement an in-house mediation program to reduce the referral of cases to the Attorney General. As a result, the Division will candidly address license law violations faster and reduce legal expenditures. Once completed in the Division of Real Estate, other Divisions in DORA will set out to follow this LEAN process to further reduce the resources we use to protect Colorado consumers.