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Lean Six Sigma

We are proud to announce that Cowlitz County has developed a Lean Six Sigma program in which County employees will work towards making business processes more efficient by eliminating process waste while also improving the quality of each process. Cowlitz County began its LEAN journey when County leadership observed that resources were decreasing while service demands were increasing. After reviewing continuous improvement tools, LEAN stood out as the most viable option. 
The program is backed by a Lean committee which consists of individuals from a number of County entities in different areas of County government.

Mission Statement Lean Cowlitz County

What is LEAN

LEAN is defined as a collection of principles, methods and tools that can be applied to improve the speed and efficiency of business processes while eliminating waste. Customers drive this growth strategy and it focuses on team-based problem solving. It is implemented by the workers involved in the particular process, not management. It is about top-down goals from management and bottom-up problem solving.


  • Is about focusing on the customer’s perspective – i.e. adding value to services, products and processes.
  • Identifying and eliminating waste using a systematic approach.
  • Focuses on continuous improvement.
  • Is not a project, it is an ongoing journey.
  • Is about going slow to go fast – learning how to work smarter to increase efficiency and capacity with the existing workforce.

By focusing on defining clear value for a service or product from the customer’s perspective, a team can focus on activities and waste that is not value-added. Decreasing and/or eliminating waste is the best possible source of increasing process performance and customer service.

Cowlitz County is committed to LEAN. Please take a look at our successful LEAN events / process improvements involving multiple county departments by clicking on the Lean Projects link in the navigation list on the left.


Savannah Clement – Lean Team Chairwoman
Phone: 360-577-3121



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