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Case Study: Process Improvement in the Criminal Court

Summary: This article presents the findings of two quality management experts who were contracted to work with the Hennepin County criminal court system in Minnesota to study the application of contemporary Lean Six Sigma tools to improve court operations. The overall focus of the effort was to improve the flow of cases in the court system and to reduce stress of individuals in the court system related to time pressures. The article focuses on the effort to achieve the three goals of customer focus, value creation, and data-driven decisions for the Hennepin County Court system. In addition, some lessons learned for integrating continuous improvement in complex service systems are presented. The biggest challenge was placing defendants into buckets for scheduling. The use of SAS decision trees allowed the stakeholders in the system to provide feedback and come to agreement quickly. An online-only article.

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  • Topics: Continuous Improvement
  • Keywords: Case study, Law enforcement, Six Sigma, Customer focus, Data driven decision making, Continuous improvement (CI), Workflow
  • Author: Olson, John R.; McLaughlin, Daniel B.;
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation