Achieving Operational Excellence in Government Executive Summary

The Operational Excellence in Government Project identifies and celebrates operational efficiency successes across state and local government, and aims to foster a community of practice around operational excellence. The project’s goal is to reduce the cost of identifying opportunities for efficiency and cost savings across all layers of government, and to accelerate the transfer and deployment of these successful cases. This executive summary accompanies a more in-depth narrative framework paper, several case studies of success, and three comprehensive implementation success cases.

Employee-Driven Process Improvements

Cities, counties, and states are increasingly giving employees the tools they need to tap into their ideas and innovate the processes and policies that govern their work. Frontline employees are the ones who often best know how to solve a problem because they live and breathe it in their daily work — theirs is a unique perspective on the process. This case study illustrates successful employee process improvement programs in Philadelphia, San Diego, and Denver.

Bergen County, New Jersey Law Enforcement Consolidation

Consolidating agencies or functions within an agency can be challenging because human nature resists change, especially when a new approach is yet untested. And, yet, consolidation can be achieved with sufficient leadership and vision. This case study highlights county executive James Tedesco's efforts to consolidate Bergen County, New Jersey's law enforcement operations.

Accelerating Success for Operational Excellence in Government Project: Narrative Framework

In 2016, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School received funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to launch the Operational Excellence in Government Project. The purpose of the project is to identify and celebrate operational efficiency successes across state and local government, and to foster a community of practice around operational excellence. This narrative framework reflects the main findings and areas of project focus. We hope that the highlighted insights and recommendations, gleaned from existing reports and compiled across topics, empower governments to build capacity, improve operations, and carry out successful efficiency initiatives.

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