Wisconsin Lean Government Initiative


Governor Scott Walker established the Wisconsin Lean Government Initiative in 2012 when he signed Executive Order #66. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection utilizes lean to increase process quality, efficiency and effectiveness, lower operating costs, and improve customer and employee satisfaction.  Lean government initiatives and other continuous improvement tools provide the framework for making fact-based decisions, enable process improvement, and drive continuous improvement using a structured approach. 

Guiding Principles

  • Build an agency culture where lean is recognized by all employees as a tool for continuous improvement.

  • Create a network of experts and continuous improvement champions to improve processes, products, and services.

  • Establish a forum for cooperation and implementation so managers and project leaders can maximize tools and methodologies.

  • Identify areas for improvement that suffer from chronic complaints from customers or have the potential for dramatic improvement.

  • Bring experience and resources from outside of the agency in to allow growth and positive results.

Project and Activity Examples (Fiscal Year 2017)

  • After staff discussions and legal review in the Division of Food & Recreational Safety, a requirement for a redundant Certified Food Manager certificate was removed, allowing 1,975 staff hours annually to be repurposed.

  • Through a Division of Animal Health project, 478 staff hours will be repurposed annually by using technology to automate letter creation and check compliance across programs.

  • By creating a new fillable form and an associated database to sort supply orders for the Division of Food & Recreational Safety field staff, four steps were eliminated in the process. 

  • During a 5S organization project in the Division of Agricultural Development, $3,331 in cost avoidance was calculated by collecting office furniture and supplies that could be used by other divisions or given to SWAP.

  • Utilizing technology will allow the Division of Agricultural Resource Management to repurpose 133 staff hours and eliminate four process steps in the seed sampling program.