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State of Missouri hosts first-ever Continuous Improvement Summit

October 21, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY – Today, the State of Missouri hosted its first-ever Continuous Improvement Summit. The summit helped build State of Missouri team members’ skills to improve state government efficiency and effectiveness.

The summit brought together more than 300 team members. Team members came from all 16 executive departments and from all levels, from frontline staff to department leadership. Leading practitioners from the private sector — including Boeing and Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute from St. Louis, the Great Game of Business from Springfield, and MidwayUSA from Columbia — and the governments of Iowa, Nebraska, and Greene County shared their experiences and led workshops.

The Continuous Improvement Summit was a milestone in the state’s efforts to build new skills to improve state government for the citizens of Missouri. In the past year, the State of Missouri has worked across all 16 executive departments to establish common approaches to improve efficiency and effectiveness at the grassroots level.

“Our Cabinet team is committed to making real change in how we serve our citizens,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Change happens at the front lines. We are investing in our people so that they have the skills needed to make the changes and better serve our citizens.”

“Today’s summit was unprecedented for the State of Missouri government,” said State of Missouri Chief Operating Officer Drew Erdmann. “Hundreds of team members from all our departments came together with leaders from business and other governments to learn and build their skills for change. You can’t make change stick without investing in and supporting the people at the front lines. This is common sense, back-to-basics management.”

At the summit, team members participated in workshops to build their capabilities to make change happen, including:

  • Leading a great team huddle;
  • Creating and maintaining a high-performing workplace;
  • Improving interactions between state government and citizens to better meet their needs;
  • Improving workflow among teams;
  • Making continuous improvement efforts a success;
  • Gaining support from colleagues to create change in an organization; and
  • How the State of Iowa developed a successful continuous improvement program. 

The summit also showcased recent project success stories. The projects ranged from improving customer service at a Department of Health and Senior Services call center to finding ways for the Department of Natural Resources to offer better and faster service to well system owners, drillers, and engineers.

Dan Ciez, Boeing 777X Industrial and Production Lead, helped kick off the summit as a keynote speaker. He shared Boeing’s experience in using continuous improvement techniques to improve how the Boeing 777X was built.

In a statement, Boeing said: “With more than 15,000 employees, Boeing is a major employer and the largest manufacturer in Missouri. Boeing also maintains strong relationships with its supplier base and in 2018 worked with nearly 500 businesses in Missouri supporting an estimated 25,000 direct and indirect jobs. This event provided a great opportunity to share experiences as we continue to grow and make investments in the state.”

Matthew Singh, Nebraska Director of Operational Excellence, and Doug Carlson, Nebraska Deputy Director of the Department of Administrative Services, delivered the state government keynote address. They shared highlights of a Harvard University case study about the State of Nebraska’s continuous improvement program and the lessons for the State of Missouri.

“We were honored to be invited to share Nebraska’s story of using continuous improvement methods to create more effective, more efficient state government," said Doug Carlson. "We are impressed by how far and how fast the State of Missouri has progressed in its own journey to make an impact for its citizens.”


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