Lean in Government

Morning Plenaries and Keynote

8:30-8:45 | Welcome | Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
8:45-9:15 | Opening Remarks | Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
9:15-10:00 | Keynote Presentation

Karen Martin,  President, TKMG Inc. 

Biography: Karen Martin is a dynamic keynoter who’s a recognized thought leader in Lean management and business performance improvement. She and her team specialize in applying Lean management in non-manufacturing environments, including work with federal, state, local, and foreign government entities. 

A native of Pennsylvania, she’s the author of five books, two of them Shingo Award winners (The Outstanding Organization and Value Stream Mapping), and her latest book, Clarity First, was a finalist for 800-CEO-READ’s 2018 Business Book of the Year. 

Presentation Abstract: Coming Soon 

Track One: Leading Lean Transformation & Improving Lean Thinking

10:25-11:25 | Learning to Hold & Grow Performance Gains

Dolly Bellhouse, MBA, Manager of the Innovation Team, City of Pittsburgh 

Biography: Dolly Bellhouse is the manager of the Innovation Team in the Department of Innovation and Performance at the City of Pittsburgh.  She is an experienced, innovative, results-oriented leader in city government and hospitals and health care systems with particular emphasis on transformational change management, strategy development and execution, and aligning organizational incentives. Strengths include developing peoples’ capability to adapt and improve, teamwork, servant leadership and achieving results.  

Positions held include:  

  • Strategy, business development and lean start-up management as Advisor to Qualaris Healthcare Solutions. 2016-present  
  • Special Projects Consultant, Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania   
  • Vice President, Integrated Delivery System Planning & Development, Jefferson Hospital – Allegheny Health Network (PA)   
  • Director/Owner of Rule 4 Consulting (her direct clients included: Mayo Clinic Health System, MN; UnityPoint Health, IA; Centura Health, CO; Allina Health, MN; St. Vincent Health, IN)  
  • Senior Vice President, Bridgeport Hospital – Yale New Haven Health (CT)  _ Strategic planning; business development; performance improvement and service line management. 
  • Vice President Corporate Strategy with Heritage Valley Health System (PA) Her experience includes direct operational line management as well as strategic planning, business development, marketing, government relations, quality/performance improvement, physician relations and managed care contracting.   

Prior to her health care management career, she worked for the W.K.Kellogg Foundation and taught in the School of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Vermont. She has published articles in Trustee, The Journal of Cost Management, The Journal of Business & Economics, Strategic Finance and Nursing Economic$. Her columns have been featured regularly in the e-newsletter For Your Advantage. Dolly holds an MBA in Health Administration and Finance from the University of Chicago. 


Presentation Abstract: This presentation is designed to help leaders assess the need and readiness for embarking on a journey to achieve sustainable results and continuous improvement.  It will help participants improve the adoption and sustained use of best practices in their organizations. And it will detail how problem-solving in the course of work close to the front line improves results for citizens and reduces cost. This presentation is based on experience in a hospital. However, healthcare examples will be related to government experiences and scenarios. 

12:25- 1:25 | Surprise! You're Thinking Too Big. Agency-wide Transformation Starts Small

Dave Witkin, Managing Principal, Packaged Agile 

Biography: For over 25 years, Mr. David Witkin has consulted to and provided training for large commercial and U.S. Government clients on large-scale Agile and traditional (i.e., waterfall) programs. Mr. Witkin has consulted at over 10 agencies and is passionate about bringing the benefits of Agile to large, high-risk Federal Government programs. Mr. Witkin was certified personally by Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, as one of only 100 Scrum@Scale trainers worldwide.  He is currently the managing principal for Packaged Agile, a firm focused on effective Agile transformations for the U.S. Government. A recovering PMI Project Management Professional (PMP), he holds certifications including Certified Scrum@Scale Trainer, SAFe Program Consultant (SPC), SAFe for Government Practitioner (SGP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO).  His favorite quote, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” is attributed to the underappreciated scholar, Mike Tyson.

Presentation Abstract: The US government thinks big. We spend trillions each year and love long-term plans. We don’t “do” small. But to become more ‘agile’, we need to. Why? Because a key part of agility and the related transformation is admitting that we’re human and we don’t know all the answers. We make mistakes, and people don’t want to sign up for another transformation ride to nowhere. We’ll discuss how we’re using a principle-based approach to address these issues while helping build agility across a large government agency.

1:50-2:50 | You Can't Delegate Leadership; Unfreezing the Frozen Middle Through Active Sponsorship

Scott Harra EVP of Marketing & Government Relations Mass Ingenuity 

Biography: Scott is an Executive Vice President with Mass Ingenuity. He is an economist with 30 years of management experience in state government. His career in state government started in Oregon’s Budget and Management Division, the Governor’s budget building office. He also has served with the state’s Legislative Fiscal Office. The bulk of Scott’s career has been with the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, the state’s largest regulatory agency with oversight of the insurance, banking, credit union, workers’ compensation, and building codes arenas. In his nearly 20 years at the agency, he has served as the budget director, chief financial officer, deputy director, and director. 

He was appointed to head the Oregon Department of Administrative Services by then-Governor Kulongoski, a role he served in during the final three years of that administration. Later in his career, Scott was appointed by State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and Deputy Treasurer Darren Bond to serve as Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Advisor where he played a key role in developing Oregon State Treasury’s shared services functions and modernizing the investment operations of the state

Presentation Abstract: The role of a leader is critical in any kind of organizational and cultural transformation.  How leaders choose to engage or not engage in the role of transformation sponsor greatly impacts the likelihood of success. This shares the stories of successful transformations and the role leaders played in that journey. 

3:15- 4:15 | Executive Leadership Panel Discussion


  • Adjutant General Tony Carrelli, Department of Military and Veteran Affairs 
  • Secretary Kathy Boockvar, Department of State 
  • Secretary Dan Hassell, Department of Revenue
  • Secretary Curt Topper, Department of General Services 
  • Executive Deputy Secretary Clarke Madden, Department of Human Services 


  • Colby Clabaugh, Executive Director, Office of Performance through Excellence

Track Two: Applying Lean Methodologies, Tools & Skills 

10:25-11:25 | Nudging Taxpayers into Compliance

Radee Skipworth MPA Deputy Secretary Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,  Department of Revenue 

Biography: Coming Soon

Chris Pressley, MBA, Fiscal Analyst, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Revenue

Biography: Coming Soon

Presentation Abstract: “Nudging” is one way to influence human behavior. A nudge can make it more likely that an individual will make a particular choice, or behave in a particular way. We can alter the environment so that cognitive processes are triggered and make it more likely that a person reacts in the desired manner.   

Nudges help people make better decisions by changing how choices are presented. Specifically, nudges can be viewed as small, incremental prompts and choice framing strategies that encourage desired actions.  At the Department of Revenue, we used “Nudge” to prompt compliance behavior from taxpayers. Our test measured the effectiveness of “nudges” on tax-delinquent business account responsiveness.  This initiative will gage if taxpayer behavior can be modified by revising the framework and content on our notices.( Graphics, proper formatting and plain language) 

12:25- 1:25 | The Power of Pictures – Using Visual Management to Understand a Situation

 Jennifer Oswald CBAP, CMP, CSM, ITILv3, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt,  Executive Director, Momentum, Inc. 

Speaker Biography: Jennifer Oswald currently serves as Executive Director for Momentum, Inc., a small, women-owned IT and Management Consulting firm based in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.  As a Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®), she leads the Momentum Team in providing services in Management Consulting, Process Improvement, Project Management, and Implementation Support. 


Dan Andrews CSM, SA, LBBP, Senior Advisor, Momentum, Inc. 

Speaker Biography:  Mr. Andrews has an impressive skillset that includes business analysis, process improvement, training, sales, management, marketing, audiovisual technology, customer service, and event planning. He is a motivated professional with documented success in marketing and management in the event technology industry. Mr. Andrews is a respected, creative thinker and communicator able to understand problems and find effective solutions through the utilization of troubleshooting skills, critical thinking, teamwork and communication. He is a leader who easily builds consensus and can work within multiple teams or individually to provide solutions and offer the highest degree of customer service

Presentation Abstract: Graphics are a powerful tool and can convey information so quickly and concisely that visual management is an obvious partner with Lean processes. We’ll look at the basics of visual management, talk about why visual management boards are so powerful, and look at ways to incorporate visual management in the government sector. 


1:50-2:50 | Dramatic Performance Improvement in a City Government Operation using Traditional Lean Process Improvement Tools

Kevin Boyd BS-US Naval Academy; MS-Naval Postgraduate School; Certified Project Management Professional,  Corporate Support Manager,  Operational Performance Solutions 

Biography: Kevin Boyd, PMP, is the Corporate Support Manager for Operational Performance Solutions, Inc. He is also the founder and President of Angelus Learning, LLC, an Executive Coach, and a facilitator for Academy Leadership. Kevin brings over 35 years of experience as a leader, manager, and advisor to senior management.   After retiring from the Navy, Kevin joined a consulting company offering human performance improvement and training solutions to Fortune 100 corporations. He led several small business units, as well as taught the corporate leadership and project management courses. Kevin served as a Federal employee, leading a team providing training materials and training program support for the Navy’s implementation of SAP.  For the past several years, Kevin has provided project management and executive management support to Federal and local agencies in Washington, DC, and Maryland, as well as facilitating leadership development and executive coaching through Academy Leadership. Kevin implemented Lean concepts and tools to the company’s project management and project invoicing processes. The invoicing project resulted in a 3-fold increase in productive capacity, a 79% reduction in data input errors, and a 19% decrease in invoice creation cycle time.  The project management process was redesigned, new tools were developed to increase productivity and collaboration between Project Managers. The project management project was selected by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) for presentation at its May 2010 conference, as well as winning a 2010 Excellence in Practice Award from the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD). 

Presentation Abstract: Standard Lean Process Improvement Tools were utilized on a city government Retail Business District License (RBDL) process, and dramatic improvements in performance were achieved.  As with many Lean projects, participants were initially skeptical and were not accustomed to working closely with other organizations that were involved in the process.  By bringing all involved teams together in a Value Stream Analysis Process (VSAP), these disparate teams worked together to map the current state, identify waste, plan a future state, and develop a robust Implementation Plan. 

The video of the project report-out demonstrates clearly shows how well the process got the team working together to achieve and sustain improved performance. 


Project Scope: The Retail Business District License (RBDL) program requires business owners to pay fees to Baltimore City, which are intended to be used for projects benefitting the business district of the merchant, such as beautification. Business owners expressed a great deal of frustration with the program, including problems with the accuracy of inventory and timeliness of billing. The VSAP looked at the whole process starting with the inventory through the billing process and ending at the mailing of the final bill and legal notices to delinquent businesses. As a result of the VSAP and subsequent coaching and support, this process has made remarkable improvements in a short time. 


Project Outcomes: 

  • Inventory accuracy went from 89% to 95%
  • Reduced the number of abatements by over 54% 
  • Reduced the process wait time from 11 months to 6 months 
  • Reduced the number of process steps by over 64% 
  • Increased collections by 56% 


3:15- 4:15 | Engaging Corrections Practitioners in Research Through Innovation and Experimentation

Bret Bucklen, Director of Planning, Research, and Statistics, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,  Department of Corrections

Biography:  Kristofer “Bret” Bucklen is the Director of Planning, Research, and Statistics for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Prior to his current position, he was employed in the Pennsylvania Management Associate (PMA) program under the Governor’s Office of Administration, where he worked for the PA Board of Probation and Parole, the PA Department of Corrections, the PA State Police, the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the Justice Network (JNET) Project. Dr. Bucklen received his M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy, and his Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland.

Nikki Bell, Director of Administration,  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Corrections and Board of Probation and Parole

Biography:  Nicolette Bell is the Director of Administration for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) and Board of Probation and Parole.  Prior to her current position, she was the Chief of Research at the DOC, a Statistical Analyst for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the Pennsylvania Insurance Department and a Labor Analyst in the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.  Dr. Bell received her M.S. in Information Systems for Management from Pennsylvania State University and her Ph.D. in Administration and Leadership Studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. 

Presentation Abstract:  This session explores how the Department of Corrections has created an innovative working environment by encouraging employees to propose ideas for cost savings, BetaGov trial runs and the Lean initiative through an established IDEA process. The overarching theme is, the DOC will try anything as long as it is legal, ethical and cost-effective. This session will also explore DOC’s podcast, Pracademically Speaking and its recognition awards program for employees who demonstrated innovation, initiative, and creativity, and whose contributions have had a positive impact on furthering the mission of the agency and the Commonwealth.


Track Three: Empowering & Engaging Employees Using Lean Thinking 

10:25-11:25 | Operational Approach to Lean in the PA Dept of Health

Emily Gibeau MPH,  Director of QI/PM, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,  Dept of Health 

Biography: Emily Gibeau, MPH, has a background in public health in behavioral and community settings and implements Lean methods in the PADOH. 

Presentation Abstract: In this hour-long presentation, the Pennsylvanian Department of Health (PADOH) will describe the implementation and operational approach to Lean. Topics will include:  

  • Departmental structure for Lean implementation and guidance (Quality Improvement and Accreditation Steering Committee, Quality Improvement and Performance Management Council, Unit-based Accountable Quality Teams)  
  • Key principles such as empowerment of frontline staff to understand value from customers, identifying waste, recognizing customer demand, recommending and implementing solutions that produce sustainable improvements was noted as essential cornerstones of Lean/QI in public health.  
  • Guiding principles for Lean application, which included public health accreditation (proven standards, evidence-based, continuous quality improvement driven); a department quality improvement plan; a department performance management plan; and a performance management system.   

This presentation focuses on structural items that enable Lean to be implemented for QI activities so leadership and staff have a recognized approach; they outline an approach to measure department performance and Lean process improvement activities; and there is accountability built into the structure that tracks progress and assists with achieving department goals with the use of the performance management system.   Project examples that utilized Lean methods will be presented and provided in hand-out materials to participants. Examples of applied Lean methods will be discussed. 

12:25- 1:25 | Lean in Law Enforcement and State Government

Thomas Lencki Jr. Lean Black Belt,  Sergeant & Lean CoordinatorNew Hampshire State Police 

Biography: Thomas Lencki, Jr. has been employed with the NH State Police for over 20 years. Thomas has been working on creating a positive Lean culture in the State Police and has developed a staff engagement plan for all State Police employees with the Lean White Belt Course. 

Thomas is passionate about Lean and what it brings to the workplace. He believes building teams are critical for a successful project outcome. He believes Lean is a way of life and it is not something you do once and forget about it. Thomas enjoys the facilitation of Lean events, team building activities, thinking outside the box and learning new things as he meets and works with people throughout the state. Thomas’s common sense approach and Lean methodology application are used out on the NH roadways to help keep citizens and visitors in NH safe.  Thomas received his Lean Black Belt, Green Belt, and Yellow Belt through the NH Bureau of Education and Training. Thomas has also completed advanced training as both a Certified Public Manager and Certified Public Supervisor. Prior to the State Police, Thomas was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. 

Presentation Abstract: Lean innovations in Law Enforcement and the State Government. This presentation will include what has worked in NH, with ideas on how to engage with all employees (5S, Gemba walks, on-line White Belt class, thinking outside of the box.) 

Lean all day, every day! 

1:50-2:50 | Trust Leads to Lean Teaming

Thomas Wise, Assistant Professor of Project Management, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology 

Biography: Dr. Thomas Wise is an Assistant Professor of Project Management and speaker on virtual working and problem-solving concepts, and published several articles and books on agile, project management, and virtual concepts. Dr. Wise is certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional, by the American Society for Quality as a Manager of Quality and Operational Excellence, and has certification in Lean Six Sigma, and change, with expertise in problem-solving, continuous process improvement, agile and lean methodologies. Dr. Wise’s experience includes leadership and consulting across industries, including nuclear power, financial, entertainment, and pharmaceuticals.

Presentation Abstract: If no one is following you, are you really in the lead? People respond and follow the leader with whom they have a strong and trusted relationship. Understand and command the requirements of trust to gain participation in your Lean initiatives.

3:15- 4:15 | Gamification

Josh Easton, Director of Transformation, Office of Performance Through Excellence, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Biography: Joshua Easton works in the Governor’s Office of Performance Through Excellence (OPE) as a Director of Transformation, where he guides the learning and development needs of the Lean initiative for PA. He is passionate about making state employment more fulfilling through employee engagement and ensuring state employees have a platform and voice to make their processes easier, better, and faster. He has facilitated training for over 6,000 commonwealth employees, voiced multiple wbts, and established an online catalog of learning to engage the statewide workforce. In addition, Josh directly partners with Lean leads to support the cultural adoption and Lean activities of the Dept of Education, Transportation (PennDOT), Community and Economic Development (DCED), and Labor and Industry (L&I).

Prior to joining OPE, Josh started in the Human Resources Service Center (HRSC) serving the HR and payroll needs of the enterprise. He later moved to Talent Development where he was able to leverage his passion for training, development, and workplace psychology in his role as the Assistant Leader Development Institute (LDI) Director in the Office of Administration (OA) .

He earned his Bachelor’s degree at Penn State University in Psychology with an Industrial Occupational Focus. When he’s not eating, breathing, and dreaming about Lean and data governance, he is spending time with friends and family, spoiling his niece and nephew, and enjoying all things nature and geek.

Presentation Abstract: This session explores the benefits of gamification as an engagement and motivational tool while seeking to dispel common misunderstandings about what makes gamification successful. We will also review the difference between internal and external motivation through the lens of famed psychologist Frederick Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory, and relate those concepts to how gamification can motivate others to increase productivity and engagement.

Track Four: Improving Customer Service Using Lean Thinking 

10:25-11:25 | Getting Started With Lean Portfolio Management

Marcus Brakewood SPC, LPM,  Director,  KPMG 

Biography: Marcus is a Senior IT Architect with KPMG with a focus on evolving IT finance to support Digital and Agile transformations. He has experience in building teams, activity-based costing, scaled agile, vendor relationships, infrastructure, consumerization of IT, BYOD, cloud, virtualization, migrations, IT policy, and security. 

Presentation Abstract: The world around us is rapidly changing and organizations are starting to realize that they need to fundamentally change to keep pace with their customer needs or risk being irrelevant.  For most organizations, that means there’s an opportunity for IT to step in to create a frictionless, customer-centric, connected enterprise. The front, middle, and back-office must all work together, in a seamless operating model, laser-focused on the customer outcome.  Lean Portfolio Management takes traditional lean thinking and lessons learned from decades of lean success and extends the practices of an enterprise IT portfolio to meet the needs of the future.  We will discuss how to update the traditional funding model and processes to align with desired organizational outcomes. 

12:25- 1:25 | The Transparency of Value-Added Customer Service
1:50-2:50 | Coming Soon
3:15- 4:15 | Coming Soon

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Track Five: Using Data and Metrics to Drive Continuous Improvement 

10:25-11:25 | Using Data to Improve Performance in Human Services Programs

Speaker One –Charles Tyrrell MS, Director, PeopleStat, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,  Department of Human Services 

Speaker One – Biography: Mr. Charles Tyrrell serves as the Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS) PeopleStat/Performance Management Office.  In this position, he leads the Department’s efforts to improve program performance, project management and data analysis. He oversees staff that are responsible for both the compilation and analysis of Department data and the tracking of major Department project initiatives.   He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Economics and Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton and received his Master of Science in Public Management and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Management 

Speaker Two-Kristen Aherns, Deputy Secretary, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Programs 

Speaker Two – Biography: Kristin Ahrens currently serves as the Deputy Secretary for Pennsylvania’s Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) within the Department of Human Services. Prior to her appointment as Deputy Secretary, Ms. Ahrens served as the Director of the Bureau of Policy and Quality Management at ODP.  

Presentation Abstract:The Department of Human Services (DHS) and its seven program offices, are responsible for providing critical supports for 3.1 million Pennsylvanians, including children, persons with disabilities, older Pennsylvanians and working adults.    These services range from physical and behavioral health services funded through Medicaid and other sources, community and works supports, food and energy assistance and licensing human services agencies.   Because of the importance of these services, it is imperative that the department track its operations and measure how services are improving health and wellbeing of its consumers.   As such, DHS implemented a data driven performance process called PeopleStat. This process involves the review of operational and outcome data with DHS executives and includes the use of data dashboards and visualizations.    In this session, representatives from DHS will describe how PeopleStat is used to track the performance of DHS programs.  It will focus on lessons learned engaging staff in using data to assist with program management and performance.  The session will also provide three examples of how individual program areas use data to track program performance and outcomes.  This includes: 

  • How data is used to improve competitive, integrated employment for persons with an intellectual disability or autism
  • How data is used to track the timeliness and accuracy of eligibility determinations made for DHS benefit programs
  • How data dashboards are used to monitor key performance indicators, improve the quality of services,  and drive decision making  of residential treatment facilities for children with behavioral health needs.
12:25- 1:25 | Fear No Data

Melanie Kesler, Economic Development Analyst II , Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development 

Biography: Melanie Kesler has worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the Department of Community and Economic Development as an Economic Development Analyst working with a variety of grant programs for nearly six years.  Prior to working for the Commonwealth, Melanie was a high school social studies teacher for twelve years in North Carolina.  Her desire to continually improve both her workplace and herself lead her to the Governor’s Lean Initiative.  As a front-line staffer, Melanie provides a unique perspective of Lean from the original intended flow of change – from the bottom up.  She has successfully lead multiple projects, has earned her Lean Green Belt, and completed the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Academic Course.  Outside of work, you can find her singing in multiple area choirs, volunteering, or playing with her rescue dog, Mae Belle. 

Presentation Abstract:Data can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.  Former teacher turned economic development analyst, Melanie Kesler, will serve as a guide to identifying the most useful data to drive continuous improvement.  This front-line staffer will take you through some real-world examples of data usage to drive improvement, share a continuous improvement project she designed based on data used in her office, and provide guidance for audience members in selecting the proper data for their own projects. 

1:50-2:50 | Using Data and Metrics to Drive Continuous Improvement

 Amir Bahmanyari, Data Analytics Architect,  Dell Technologies 

Biography: Amir Bahmanyari has more than 30 years of diversified experience in the IT industry.  Over the last several years his passion and focus have been on Big Data Analytics, HPC, AI, BI, IoT, Cloud and related emerging technologies.  During the last five years he has served as a Sr. Solutions Architect delivering Retailer IT solutions involving cloud based Data Analytics and Platform Architect, as well as evangelizing the Business Process Management methodology.  Amir’s prior experience was as a contributing developer/architect for DARPA, several startups, in the financial and automotive industries.  He greatly enjoys hands-on work, sharing his findings, and helping his customers leverage leading edge technologies to their competitive advantage.  Amir lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and two children. 

Presentation Abstract: Advances in Data Analytics, combined with Machine Intelligence capabilities, have taken the process of business decision making to the next level. Maintaining continuous improvements in these processes is challenging. It mandates the implementation of scientific based methods to intelligently analyze the business data. This presentation proposes one possible approach to enable organizations to intelligently gain insight into their available data and leverage the outcome for making better business decisions.  The proposed sequence of steps taken in this approach are: understanding the business objectives and context, evaluating the quality of the available data, scientifically justifying the relevancies in the data population, and leveraging the results for building predictive analytics models that function as intelligent rules engines to continuously enable better business decisions. 

3:15- 4:15 | An Enterprise Approach - Tracking Government Performance in a Lean System

Josh Wagner, Statewide Performance Manager,  State of Arizona 

Biography: Joshua Wagner serves as the Statewide Performance Manager for the Arizona Government Transformation Office (GTO) and is currently responsible for managing Arizona’s statewide performance reporting and analytics programs.  

These programs track numerous aspects of government operations and strategy, drive and sustain our improvements achieved through implementation of the Arizona Management System, and provide State and Agency leadership actionable insight pulled from across the government enterprise.  With over 19 years dedicated to operational excellence serving Arizona, Josh has led numerous transformational, executive-level projects and teams across multiple facets of Governmental IT and Business Development.

Presentation Abstract: Arizona has developed an innovative and lean-driven approach to tracking strategy and performance across our 35 State cabinet agencies. Standardized tools and processes, including the implementation of a web-based Scorecard application, has allowed Arizona alignment and visibility into the performance of 700+ metrics tracking various aspects of strategic and  continuous improvement priorities across our state government agencies. This collective performance data-set populates analytics and operational dashboards for numerous executive stakeholders throughout government including Governor’s Office, Budget, and Agency Leadership teams. 

This session will provide an overview of the tools, dashboards and data visuals used to align our strategies statewide and accelerate agency performance within Arizona’s lean-based management system. 

Track Six: Benefit of Applying Lean to IT Projects 

10:25-11:25 | Effect of Technology on Lean

Yolanda Graddy MSEE, LSS MBB, Specialist Leader,  Deloitte Consulting LLP 

Presenter Biography: Ms. Yolanda Graddy is an Operations Transformation Leader with nearly 20 years of experience in both the commercial and public sectors. She has extensive experience leading complex and transformative improvement initiatives in Human Resources, IT, Finance, Research and Development, Logistics and Test and Evaluation. Yolanda leads teams to develop reengineered and streamlined processes, incorporating automation to include enterprise-wide applications, workflows, process robotics and leverage data analytics to drive strategic decisions for C-Suite clients. She has her MS and BS in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and is also a certified Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Master Black Belt (MBB) and Black Belt (BB). 


Keihan Sedghi MBA, LSS MBB, Specialist Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP 

Presenter Biography:  Mr. Sedghi is Senior Subject Matter Expert in strategic planning, business model design, process improvement, organizational development, and operational mobility to defense, homeland security, and civilian agencies. He is an advisor Deloitte’s GPS Process Intelligence (PI) Community of Practice and has over 20 years of management consulting experience in both the public sector and commercial organizations in the defense, health care, finance, energy, and manufacturing sector in the US and globally.  Mr. Sedghi has extensive experience in designing and implementing technology-based enterprise-wide operating models and organizational change involving multiple business units and supporting functions for various commercial, not for profit and Government agency and organizations such as MetLife, KeyCorp, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Merrill Lynch, AARP, Department of State, NOAA, US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), USDA, and all US Armed services. 

Presentation Abstract: The rapid pace of technology has had a profound effect on the way we do business. The use of operational data has always been an integral part of Lean operations and optimization. With such a significant increase in Artificial Intelligence (AI) suite of technologies, an increase in computational power and access to operational business and customer data, we can effectively automate traditional manual and routine processes to reduce inherent bottlenecks and error-prone processes.  It is imperative to embrace technology in order to adapt to continuous disruptors around us. Deloitte Consulting has enabled clients to enhance their operations with lean methodology and leveraged AI automation techniques such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML) and Robotics Process Automation (RPA) to increase the impact of efficiency gain. We will discuss how Deloitte approaches analyzing an operation through Lean and identifying opportunities to enhance productivity through automation.

12:25- 1:25 | We Count Things: Radically Simple Federal Automated Governance

Nate Conroy KMP, CSM, SAFe SA, ICP-TST, Public Sector Agile/DevOps Practice Lead, NTT DATA Services 

Biography:  Mr. Conroy is a lean-agile practitioner, coach, and instructor, with a focus on building and working with teams to continuously learn, adapt, and deliver valuable software to customers.  He brings a mature perspective on system development life cycles, informed by a computer science education and over 20 years in Information Technology, including developer, technical lead, technical project manager, and agile coach. 

As a technical generalist and leader, Mr. Conroy bridges gaps between business customers, managers, and development teams.  He is now focused on harnessing lean-agile principles from Scrum and Kanban, in addition to DevOps and systems thinking to maximize adaptability for customers, and deliver better ROI to executive sponsors.  He accomplishes this by providing transparency and time/cost control for managers, enable satisfying and productive work for developers, and expediently get the most useful software possible in front of users. 

Melinda Solomon AKT, CSM, PMP,  Agile Training Director, NTT DATA Services / Middlegrass Consulting 

Biography: Melinda is the president and co-founder of Middlegrass Consulting.  She is a training professional who has created educational programs catering to diverse international audiences in a variety of industries including pharmaceuticals, biotech, and government.  Melinda has led a premier federal Agile Training Program for 7 years and has taught Agile classes to over 4000 students.  She specializes in communicating about responsible Agile transformation.  She holds a Master’s Degree in International Education from University of Massachusetts, and is a CSM, PMP, Accredited Kanban Trainer, and was a Fulbright Fellow for the US State Department. 

Presentation Abstract: Policies intended to yield audit readiness can end up being exhaustive and complex. These policies create obstacles to authentic lean-agility and can add waste to IT processes. One federal agency took the radical approach of counting and reporting seemingly simple, readily available data points and ended up building an automated, high transparency system for tracking the health of systems across the enterprise. Data now cover over 100 information technology systems that collectively execute a major government mission. As teams develop, deliver, and operate software, these measurements turns the track record of programs into an audit-ready story that’s visual, evidence-based, and compelling. Even as the system expands, simply counting things remains the core practice. 

Attendees will learn about emergent results from three years of implementing this approach at a federal agency, in context of eight years of an enterprise-wide lean-agile transformation. We now have the ability to use data signals that direct resources to improve the most challenged projects, further accelerate high performers, and transfer the best process improvements across projects. High risk systems now get appropriate attention from leaders who can help. Ubiquitous situational awareness among stakeholders enables decentralized day-to-day adjustments throughout the organization. And we now see open and fair performance feedback flowing between government staff and contractors. The presentation will include proven data visualizations that moved the organization toward a culture of data-driven decision-making and continuous learning. 

1:50-2:50 | Agile Governance at Scale

Craeg Strong, AKT, CTO, Ariel Partners

Speaker Biography: Craeg Strong is the CTO of Ariel Partners, a small IT consulting company based in Times Square.  He is currently teaching public Kanban classes and coaching teams to adopt and mature Agile/Kanban practices in the NYC area. He has 25 years of experience in information technology, starting at Project Athena during his undergraduate studies at MIT. Mr. Strong has successfully instituted Agile and DevOps practices on large and complex commercial and government software projects, helping them to obtain new capabilities and realize significant cost efficiencies. 

Mr. Strong leverages his experience as a hands-on software architect, trainer and agile coach to help remove the barriers that prevent organizations from adopting new technologies– such as cloud. Mr. Strong led a successful transformation of a major FBI Criminal justice program from a traditional waterfall lifecycle and manual intensive processes to lighter weight agile processes and full DevOps automation. 

Presentation Abstract: Context.  Traditional duties of IT governance and oversight include auditing timely completion of milestones and phase gates and tracking progress versus spend.  They place heavy emphasis on correctness and completeness of documentation, managing risks and tracking metrics such as earned value and escaped defect counts.  With the adoption of agile methods comes the need to adjust governance and oversight accordingly.  But what does agile governance look like?  How does it differ from traditional governance?   Given the lack of detailed plans up-front, the reduced emphasis on documentation, and the eschewing of traditional metrics such as earned value, one might assume that governance and oversight is more challenging in the agile space.  Looking at governance and oversight through a traditional lens reveals relatively few effective tools and the necessity of relying upon vaguely defined metrics such as “story points.”   However, we will show that, in fact, agile methods offer governance and oversight a wealth of new tools and capabilities, enabling a more proactive and collaborative approach—which could ultimately lead to improved outcomes. 


Why.  According to the Agile Manifesto, agile development places relatively more emphasis on working software than documentation—so an agile oversight model should be more focused on software.  Agile methods are empirical, enabling teams to adjust frequently based on new information and improved understanding—so we should expect agile governance to include more proactive measures and a continuous monitoring approach .  Similarly, agile oversight should ensure projects leverage statistically valid methods of tracking progress that identify potential problems early, avoiding last-minute surprises.  An agile oversight model should be lean and sparse, incorporating more sophisticated and complex practices only when needed, rather than starting with a comprehensive template that requires extensive customization for real-world use.  Agile methods leverage DevOps approaches, so agile governance and oversight should prefer automation and generated reports

3:15- 4:15 |Rethinking IT: Solving IT Challenges without IT Solutions

Bill Bott, Director of Performance Improvement, Change and Innovation Agency

Speaker Biography: Bill Bott started his career in public service volunteering at an Air Force Youth Center, but quickly found himself submersed in the world of government improvement initiatives. A survivor of TQM, Zero Defects, and Six Sigma, Bill has dedicated his professional life to helping make elements of these square pegs fit into the round holes that make up the work we do. 

In 1999, he left the federal government and went to work for the State of Missouri, and in his time there worked with some amazing people who saved the state more than half a billion dollars in real costs in less than 10 years. Best known for his work consolidating the IT functions and staff in the state, he was recognized as a GOVERNING Public Official of the Year in 2007, and one of Government Technology’s 2008 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers. He also received accolades from the American Business Awards for his innovative approach to IT management, and was chosen to represent the United States as a young leader by the American Council on Germany. 

Bill joined the Change & Innovation Agency in 2009 and now works with public servants across the country. A regular speaker on IT consolidation and project management, his message of true process improvement before automation is a frequent theme in his writings and in his workshops. 

Presentation Abstract: As the deputy CIO for the state of Missouri, Bill Bott was nationally recognized for his efforts to maximize the state’s investment in technology.   Faced with the trifecta of rising costs of new technology, several legacy systems at the end of their life cycle, and a national trend of failed IT projects, the challenge to move a state into the future was daunting.  While most would turn to a technology solution to tackle these formidable challenges, Bill took a very different approach that wasn’t very techie at all.  He decided the solution was to fix processes before automating them.    


During this engaging session, attendees will learn how Lean and process improvement methodologies can change the course of your IT projects from driving solutions, setting requirements, eliminating massive change orders and scope creep, and even control costs.  Bill will discuss when best to apply Lean concepts, and make an argument for why some IT shops should invest in Lean as much – or even more – than they are in project management. 


A highly acclaimed and sought-after writer and speaker, Bill Bott has been leading improvement and technology projects his entire career.  Today, working as the Director of Performance Improvement for the Change & Innovation Agency (C!A), he works with states to fix their processes before investing tens of millions in automation, and will share insights from his years of hands-on improvement experience and numerous articles on process improvement before technology.

Track Seven: Lean Methods and Lessons Learned from Health Care, Academia, and Non-Profit Sector 

10:25-11:25 | Using Kanban and the Theory of Change to Transform a NYC Government Agency

Craeg Strong AKT,  CTO,  Ariel Partners 

Biography: Craeg Strong is the CTO of Ariel Partners, a small IT consulting company based in Times Square.  He is currently teaching public Kanban classes and coaching teams to adopt and mature Agile/Kanban practices in the NYC area. He has 25 years of experience in information technology, starting at Project Athena during his undergraduate studies at MIT. Mr. Strong has successfully instituted Agile and DevOps practices on large and complex commercial and government software projects, helping them to obtain new capabilities and realize significant cost efficiencies. 

Mr. Strong leverages his experience as a hands-on software architect, trainer and agile coach to help remove the barriers that prevent organizations from adopting new technologies– such as cloud. Mr. Strong led a successful transformation of a major FBI Criminal justice program from a traditional waterfall lifecycle and manual intensive processes to lighter weight agile processes and full DevOps automation. 

Presentation Abstract: This report describes how we used Kanban plus the Theory of Change to begin a transformation of a NYC social services agency away from traditional ways of doing business and towards a more adaptable, responsive, and outcomes-driven approach and ultimately a better steward of taxpayer monies 


12:25- 1:25 | Learning to Improve: Creating a Multi-tiered Performance Improvement Education and Support Structure at UPMC and the City of Pittsburgh

Katherine Brownlee MPM, Performance Improvement Coach,  City of Pittsburgh 

Biography: Kate Brownlee is a Performance Improvement Coach at the City of Pittsburgh in the Department of Innovation and Performance, where she works with employees throughout the City to help them learn and apply the principles of performance improvement to improve City services. Prior to joining the City in 2019, Kate spent 11 years at the Wolff Center of UPMC,  UPMC’s corporate quality department, where she developed a multi-tiered quality education program and taught over 8,000 UPMC staff the principles and tools of quality improvement.  Kate started her professional career as a high school English and history teacher in Philadelphia. She received her BA in history and teaching certification from Yale University and graduated with highest honors with an MPM from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Presentation Abstract:How do you build improvement capacity in the largest employer in the state?  What can governments learn about how to create improvement capacity for City employees ranging from front-line staff to directors?  This workshop will discuss how, over the course of 8 years, UPMC built a multi-tiered education, coaching and resource infrastructure to help front-line staff and leaders tackle quality improvement and how that work can be applied to improve City government.  By combining live classes, project-based learning, virtual learning communities, and online resources, staff at the Wolff Center at UPMC developed local improvement capacity across the system. This talk will highlight the process of building this infrastructure and key content and logistical lessons learned along the way. It will also discuss how the City of Pittsburgh is developing its own performance improvement educational infrastructure to meet the diverse needs of City workers and how the formation of a multi-disciplinary Innovation Team is helping to support staff in their improvement efforts. Attendees will leave with real-world tools that they can apply to their own improvement efforts and examples of the kinds of projects that City of Pittsburgh employees have tackled. 


1:50-2:50 | LEAN Forensics - Lab Lessons Learned

Deborah Calhoun M.S.Director, Scientific Services Division,  Pennsylvania State Police 

Biography: Ms. Deborah Calhoun is the Scientific Services Division Director for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Forensic Services.  Ms. Calhoun has spent over 30 years working in various capacities throughout the State Police Crime Laboratories and has offered expert testimony in serology, bloodstain pattern analysis, hair and fiber analysis and drug identification.  She is a past member of the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is currently a member of and the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.  Ms. Calhoun completed her training as an ASCLD/LAB-International Assessor.  She has participated on several committees including those involving the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the Department of Health.  Ms. Calhoun earned a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Criminal Justice from the University of Scranton and later earned a Master’s degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.  She is a graduate of the West Virginia University Forensic Management Academy and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Leadership Development Institute. Ms. Calhoun earned her LEAN Six Sigma Greenbelt certification in 2018. 

Presentation Abstract: The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Forensic Services obtained its first Lean Six Sigma Green Belt in 2017 and has since expanded to 16 Green Belts, 8 Yellow Belts and 100% staff participation in LEAN Awareness training.  That training has led to numerous improvements and pilots throughout the Commonwealth’s crime lab system.  Some improvements and pilots have been more successful than others. The less successful endeavors have proven beneficial by becoming learning opportunities.  The Green Belts who led the effort are now wiser to potential pitfalls.   Staff are getting more accustom to the continual improvement mindset.  Management is becoming more strategic in the way pilots are rolled out.  Overall expectations are now more realistic. Specific lessons learned revolve around six key factors: 1) communication, 2) change management, 3) buy-in, 4) pilot structure, 5) defining uniformity, and 6) personnel placement.  Though some of the challenges encountered were to be expected; others were ah-ha moments.   Staff feedback proved as valuable as measuring metrics to discover the root cause of problems. The successful endeavors have proven beneficial from a morale and momentum perspective.  These successes have helped grow the culture from within and given management positive achievements to share with stakeholders.   Stakeholders, including law enforcement, the criminal justice community and the citizens of the Commonwealth, all benefit from LEAN in government. 

3:15- 4:15 | IT is Not An Island

Kathleen Fabrizi MSLBE & CLSSMBB, Director, CPIIL, PA National Guard

Biography: Major Kathleen Fabrizi is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and serves as the Director of the Office of Continuous Process Improvement, Innovation and Leadership for the Pennsylvania National Guard. She specializes in teaching in the government, non-profit and education sectors.  She also serves as an adjunct Instructor of Business for Penn State Schuylkill University where she teaches courses in Lean Six Sigma, Supply Chain Management, Business Ethics, Strategic Planning and more. 

Presentation Abstract: Discussion on building a supporting relationship between IT and everyone else, with both sides using a LSS approach to finding the best solutions to complex issues. Reduce the back and forth, enable automation, integrate technology into processes, and improve customer service. 

Track Eight: Lean Management Systems 

10:25-11:25 | Leading Lean Transformation & Improving Lean Thinking

Sarah Pirzada MPA, Deputy Chief of Operations, State of Arizona, Governor’s Office 

Biography: Sarah currently serves as the deputy Chief Operating Officer in the Governor’s Office. In this role, she coordinates statewide goal councils, breakthrough projects, and statewide strategic planning. She works closely with the Government Transformation Office to support the successful deployment and sustainment of continuous improvement throughout the State.  Prior to this role, Sarah worked in the Governor’s budget office. Sarah earned her master’s in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.  

She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Southern Utah University. Sarah previously worked at a rural shelter for domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Southern Utah.  Sarah has a great love for the Arizona desert, and enjoys hiking, running, triathlon, yoga, and all activities outdoors. 

Presentation Abstract: We’ve all heard it before: Government should run like a business. We’ve all read the books and heard the lectures, but the question remains: how do you actually implement a business enterprise strategy in government? Answer: The Arizona Way. The Arizona Management System is a proven method of taking strategy and turning it into results. Through the consistent deployment of Lean management principles, practices, and cultural artifacts, AMS ensures that the important work Arizona citizens and customers depend on is carried out at the speed of business. This session will report out on the history of AMS, how it evolved into an enterprise system, and how it is used today. Attendants will understand the system from end-to-end: beginning with annual strategic planning, continuing into operational execution, and coming back to performance tracking that ensures critical targets are met. Most importantly, you will understand how to take all of these elements and turn them into an enterprise culture. If you have wondered how to build a culture of excellence, this session is for you. 

12:25- 1:25 | </p> <p>Deploying a Lean Management System

Stefan Martiyan BS, Finance,  Director, EPA Office of Continuous Improvement , U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

Biography: Stefan Martiyan is EPA’s Performance Improvement Officer (PIO) and the Director of the EPA’s Office of Continuous Improvement (OCI).  OCI is located within the Office of the Administrator and is tasked to coordinate the agency-wide implementation of the EPA Lean Management System (ELMS).  ELMS is a system designed to use Lean process improvement principles and tools to help ensure that all parts of EPA set ambitious and achievable targets for their work, measure their results, and improve their processes to bridge gaps between targets and results.  ELMS uses visual management with regularly updated performance and workflow data to monitor progress toward achieving EPA’s Strategic Plan targets. Prior to joining OCI, Stefan worked in the EPA’s Office of Acquisition Solutions (OAS) for nearly 10 years and most recently as a branch chief in the Headquarters Acquisition Division.  With the support of his former staff, Stefan led a successful ELMS project that quickly eliminated a behind-schedule work backlog and significantly increased compliance numbers with regard to processing time.  During his time spent in OAS, Stefan provided substantial contributions to improving EPA’s operational contract and procurement processes as well as helping to formulate stronger acquisition policy.


Stefan joined the EPA in 2008 as part of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Government-wide Acquisition Management Intern Program, which also availed him the opportunity to work for the U.S. Department of Defense in support of the Pentagon on research and development projects, enterprise-wide IT-related acquisitions and facilities management.  Prior to working for the federal government, he managed a private English language school in The People’s Republic of China. Stefan graduated from the University of Maryland of College Park with a bachelor’s degree in Business Finance and received a Master’s Certificate in Government Contracting from George Washington University.  He is the son of a retired Army officer and he now lives with his wife and two children in the Annapolis area. 

Presentation Abstract: Learn about EPA’s transformation and the deployment of its Lean management system from the Director of EPA’s Office of Continuous Improvement (OCI). In less two years since the inception of OCI, EPA has shifted its Lean perspective from projects and kaizen to focus on continuous improvement and to systematically achieving measurable results. EPA completed initial deployment of its LMS to the entire agency, including all 10 Regions, at the end of FY2019 and has since deployed to nearly 6000 employees and improved about 200 processes.

EPA is close to completing deployment and is now entering into phase two of its Lean transformation, which includes piloting a problem response system, leveraging senior leadership buy-in, empowering front-line managers and staff and thawing the frozen middle. This presentation will share strategies used, best practices realized and challenges encountered from every step of the process including how to help organizations prepare, how to lead deployment and how to provide effective post-deployment support. Also, learn about the strategies OCI is currently using to thaw the frozen middle and more effectively engage mid-level management. 

1:50-2:50 | Department of General Services Leadership Panel


  • Deputy Secretary Julien Gaudion
  • Deputy Secretary Ken Hess
  • Deputy Secretary Bev Hudson
  • Deputy Secretary Kerry Kirkland
  • Deputy Secretary Liz O’Reilly
  • Chief Counsel Chuck Anderson
  • Communications Director Troy Thompson
  • Director of Business Transformation Rob Carr

Moderator: Dorty Theis, Agency Director of Transformation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 

3:15- 4:15 | Results PA Panel; Effective Performance Management Through Employee Engagement

Abstract: Join us as we leverage the collective experience of Commonwealth change leaders as they share best practices, challenges, and lessons learned from implementing the Results PA framework in their agencies. Results PA is a powerful performance management tool, designed to support the Lean plan-do-check-act cycle while laser focusing process improvement efforts.

During this panel, we will explore how Results PA connects the daily work of front line employees with the greater mission of their organization, helps them identify and see the value in developing metrics, and empowers them to use data to inform business decisions.