In 2009, the City of Irving, Texas published a video on how they used Six Sigma principles to make their water utility department more efficient.

While this video was made years ago, it is worth watching because you hear from the actual workers and their thoughts about Six Sigma and its benefits for their work.

Team members who comment include:

  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Utility Maintenance Planner
  • Programs Manager
  • Maintenance Worker
  • Water Utilities Director
  • Utility Maintenance Supervisor

During the implementation, the team conducted a three-day Kaizen. In these sessions, they were asked to

  • Sketch out their trucks and the components.
  • List materials, parts, and equipment needed daily in the field
  • Take pictures of all the trucks used to identify disorganization

Through their collaborative efforts after the training, they developed and installed innovative solutions to enhance the effectiveness of their work.

Beneficial changes to the crew truck and trailer, as an example, are highlighted in the video at the end of this article. The finished product was then used as a template for other crews to improve their vehicles and work.

Today, the City of Irving has an Innovation and Performance Office tasked with driving continuous improvement including the training and application of Lean Six Sigma. Learn more about it here.

You can view the original Irving Water Utility Six Sigma video here!