Thirteen Gahanna senior staff members are going to "boot camp" next month in an effort to provide exceptional value to residents through the Lean Gahanna program.

Thirteen Gahanna senior staff members are going to "boot camp" next month in an effort to provide exceptional value to residents through the Lean Gahanna program.

Assistant city administrator and finance director Jennifer Teal said the weeklong boot camp Sept. 21-25 would be held in Gahanna, utilizing the LeanOhio Boot Camp training.

Lean Gahanna is modeled after LeanOhio with the mission to make government services simpler, faster, better and less costly.

"We have created the Lean Gahanna program in order to provide exceptional value to our citizens and customers," Teal said. "We want to develop and maintain a culture where employees are empowered to remove inefficiencies, improve customer service and achieve meaningful and measurable results."

Teal is the project leader of the Lean Gahanna program, with assistance from Brent Householder, coordinator of budget and performance.

She said Gahanna has received a $24,000 grant from the state's Local Government Efficiency Program to participate in the training, and the city has committed $2,000 to the program.

Employees scheduled to participate in the training are Kim Banning, council clerk; Michael Blackford, deputy director of planning and development; Joann Bury, deputy finance director; Abby Cochran, human-resources coordinator; Dottie Franey, service director; Rory Gaydos, information-technology director; Matthew Holdren, deputy service director; Anthony Jones, director of planning and development; Niel Jurist, public-information manager; Amanda Parker, clerk of courts; Robert Priestas, city engineer; Jeff Spence, police lieutenant; and Sue Wadley, human-resources director.

The training is meant to equip staff members to:

* Scope an improvement project.

* Make invisible processes visible so they can be dramatically simplified.

* Be an effective improvement team member.

* Identify the leading causes of waste.

* Eliminate batching and other "enemies of" speed.

* Decrease the complexity of processes and eliminate unneeded steps.

* Develop requirements for an efficient process before implementing IT solutions.

* Create a dashboard of visual data to easily measure progress.

The program is linked to other strategic initiatives currently underway in Gahanna, including a citywide strategic plan and performance measurement.

Teal said the participants in the first boot camp would become the core of the city's Lean Gahanna team.

Once in-house capabilities exist, she said, it's anticipated that boot-camp sessions would be facilitated by city staff members rather than outside trainers.

"We can keep taking it down through the ranks," Teal said. "I'm excited. Brent has been helping me get it off the ground. Our reporting about Lean Gahanna will continue to improve.

"It's a good story when we have folks working to be more efficient. It's awesome and neat for us to be doing this as a community."

Teal said Lakewood has been implementing a citywide Lean program for a while, and the city and schools in Upper Arlington are in the process of starting a training program.

"Marysville hosted a boot-camp training back in February, and I believe Dublin did as well last fall," she said.

Teal and former Gahanna parks director Tony Collins participated in the LeanOhio program last year, and the Lean Gahanna program is an extension of that effort, Teal said.

Gahanna council member Karen Angelou said she's pleased to be serving on the council that has helped bring the program closer to fruition.