Mississauga awarded Continuous Improvement Excellence Award

The City of Mississauga was awarded the 2018 Continuous Improvement Excellence Award, by Leading Edge Group, based on the progress and commitment it has made to sustainable continuous improvement over the past three years.

“Mississauga is a mature, fast-growing city that offers high-quality programs and services to families and businesses that call our city home,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “We are committed to continuous improvement efforts that demonstrate value for tax dollars and ensure that the city is running efficiently and effectively. Despite budget pressures, we continue to find significant savings and efficiencies through our Lean Program that reduce the tax burden on residents and keep our city competitive.”

The award criteria focused on five pillars of overall operational excellence in continuous improvement: strategy, capability, capacity, improvements that have been realized and improvements that have been sustained.

“This award validates and recognizes the hard work and commitment we, as a municipality, have placed on continuous improvement to better develop innovative and cost-effective ways to deliver services to our residents and businesses,” said Janice Baker, city manager and chief administrative officer. “As one of Canada’s largest cities, our continuous improvement efforts represent the most comprehensive investment in Lean thinking in Canadian municipal government. We have a long history of examining our services to ensure they’re being delivered efficiently and effectively.

“Since 2016, we have developed and deployed our Lean Program to improve the speed of our business processes, improve customer experiences and reduce costs. It has also been a key priority for our annual business planning and budget process.”

The city’s Lean Program focuses on creating improvements to business processes, enhancing customer-focused thinking and strengthening the city’s culture of continuous improvement.

“Since its inception, we’ve seen some great strides with our Lean Program,” said Gary Kent, corporate services commissioner and chief financial officer. “Beyond just financial savings, the program has also improved our customer service and experience, provided environmental benefits as well as enhanced the quality and safety for both customers and those performing the work. Staff are diligent in applying Lean concepts to work smarter. Using these tools and establishing it as a way of work, we have improved and eliminated a number of unnecessary tasks and looked at more efficient and effective ways of conducting our day-to-day business. To date, our Lean Program has saved and avoided more than $9.2 million in costs without any impacts to existing service levels.”

The city received the award on Nov. 20.

The city’s Lean Program was established as a permanent resource in 2016, following a small pilot, with the goal of strengthening the culture of continuous improvement across the organization. The program is managed by the city’s corporate performance and innovation section within the corporate services department.

As of November 2018, the city has completed 97 Lean projects, with an additional 42 underway. More than 2,000 “just-do-it “small improvements have been completed and more than 2,500 city staff have received introductory white-belt training on Lean concepts and thinking.

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