Rumors about iPhones and iPads are exciting because Apple routinely surprises us with better and cooler ways of doing things that exceed our expectations. Techies know that one key to Apple’s success is that they often adopt someone else’s good idea and surpass it.

With Gov. Malloy pushing state agencies to embrace and implement lean practices to streamline their operations, might it be good to see what other states are doing—and use our Yankee ingenuity to … improve on them?

The recent report on the streamlining of state government in Connecticut   (Continuous Improvement in Connecticut State Government) shows we have a toe in the leaning water. 

Now we should dive in—like some other states have.

We should go all-out to lean every aspect of state government to make it as effective and affordable as possible for taxpayers. Lean is a proven way to transform and reinvigorate all kinds of organizations—including businesses and even state governments.

With our chronic state budget shortfalls, we can’t afford not to leverage lean and make state government as efficient as possible.

Several states have embraced the lean culture and made sure it permeates every aspect of state government. They’ve got the results to show for it and some pretty sophisticated ways of showing the public what they’re up to.


Take Minnesota, for example. The Gopher State’s “Enterprise Lean” is not only a government-wide way of life, but also robust web site and reporting mechanism.

Here’s Enterprise Lean’s latest full report on Minnesota’s lean activities and results from 2010 to 2013.

You can see how seriously Minnesota is taking the lean process and how they’ve been able to affect some impressive results.


Then there’s “Lean Ohio”--and another user-friendly website detailing how they are “making state government … simpler, faster, better, and less costly.”

Look at this page to see how deep the lean mindset is throughout Ohio’s state government.

Washington State

As can be seen on this “Results Washington” website, the state recently held its second annual Washington State Government Lean Transformation Conference.  More than 2,000 people, mostly state workers, attended the two-day event.


Another impressive idea is in Virginia, where the “Virginia Performs” program is constantly measuring state government--or, “Measuring what matters to Virginians,” as its slogan says.

Virginia Performs is not just reflective of lean practices, but a dynamic catalog of every part of state government—including action plans and actual performance. See this page on the state’s business climate.

What all of these states have in common is that change, often through Lean, is part of their culture. And it’s practiced constantly and reflected in very organized, systematic public reporting mechanisms.

That’s what Connecticut should be looking to adopt, embrace and improve upon.