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Released: 10/26/2010 

DRPA's Lean Government Initiative

Over the past year, the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) has been implementing a “Lean Government” pilot program.  The focus of this Initiative is to improve operational and organizational processes and decision-making throughout the Authority to improve overall performance as we continue to deliver safe, secure and serviceable transportation facilities for the benefit of the public and all of our stakeholders. 

Lean Government combines proven “Lean” and “Six Sigma” organizational improvement methodologies with team building tools designed to empower employees across all functions and at all levels of the organization to meet strategic objectives.  At its foundation is a renewed focus on strategic planning, process improvement, project management and accountability.  Lean Government emphasizes the use of data and metrics to measure organizational performance.

“The Lean Government Initiative combines the discipline of the strategic planning process with the tools of Lean and Six Sigma in a way that will enable us to make the Authority more efficient and effective,” said CEO John J. Matheussen.

In September 2009, DRPA Chief Financial Officer John T. Hanson began instructing a cross-functional group of staff members on Lean Six Sigma concepts. This group identified five processes that could be improved through this Initiative.  Additional staff members from various departments and levels throughout the DRPA were assigned to research, measure, and make recommendations for how to improve each of these processes.  To date, approximately 100 employees from every Division including our subsidiary PATCO are involved in the DRPA’s process improvement efforts.

“The Lean Government pilot program offers the tools and framework that will allow the staff at all levels to play an important role in decision making and problem solving at DRPA and PATCO,” said John T. Hanson, “Lean Government provides an opportunity for all employees to utilize their talent and creativity to transform the organization.”

Although still in its early stages the DRPA’s Lean Government Initiative continues to gain momentum and has led to increased understanding of organizational processes, further insight into department and employee needs to efficiently complete tasks, clarification of DRPA’s priorities and strategic objectives, and greater communication between departments.  Some of the preliminary findings and recommendations from the five process improvement teams have already been incorporated into the current budget and other organizational processes.

The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency.  DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross bridges, PATCO, the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal and the RiverLink Ferry.

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