APD "Lean Management"
Credit: Rebecca Gustaf

University of New Mexico Health System quality improvement experts will provide hands-on training in “lean management” principles to Albuquerque Police Department employees in a day-long workshop Tuesday.

Lean management is a systematic method for improving efficiency and reliability originally developed in the automotive industry, said Yvette Sena, UNM Health System’s strategic project director, who will lead the training. It has been widely adopted by the health care industry in recent years to improve patient care, diagnostics and other processes.

“We’re very honored to be providing the department with some very high-level lean tools,” said Sena. “We’ll be teaching them the ‘plan-do-study-act’ cycle.”

The training will take place at the Albuquerque Convention Center 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. It is part of the City of Albuquerque’s Core 6 program.

“The program is a partnership between the Albuquerque Police Department, our economic development department and the city’s Public Service University,” added Jason Romney, a trainer for the city. “The purpose is to empower APD employees to address opportunities and improve interactions with the community.”

APD employees will include both sworn officers and civilians in identifying and addressing opportunities within the department through a combination of lean, Six-Sigma, a set of techniques and tools for process improvement, and entrepreneurial approaches, according to Romney.

"This enhanced leadership training, in collaboration with our community partners, will take the valuable lessons and strategies utilized in the private sector and help us implement them at the Albuquerque Police Department," Chief of Police Gorden E. Eden Jr. explained. "This is another opportunity created by the city to partner with our business and academic communities, which helps us draw from their expertise and perspective and furthers our community policing efforts, data collection processes and any inefficiencies within our current procedures, which will ultimately improve our service to the citizens of Albuquerque."

A key part of the training will have participants setting up a production line to “manufacture” parts while attempting to replicate a model tower built of popsicle sticks. “They’ll be working as a team to try to replicate a complex figure,” explained David Pitcher, MD, executive physician for the UNM Health System. “They’ll be applying lean principles to replicate it accurately and quickly.”

The training represents an ongoing strategy of engagement to help address pressing community needs, said Richard S. Larson, MD, PhD, executive vice chancellor at the UNM Health Sciences Center.