Detroit Leadership

Leadership & Lean Tools to Transform a City

There are improvement projects and then there are transformational projects.

Detroit is on the speedway to transforming itself in the way its residents live, work, play, and get around the city. For example, one of the most visible metrics of community health is unemployment. In January 2014, Detroit’s jobless rate was 17.6 percent; in September 2019, the rate had dropped to 9.6 percent.

Exactly how does a city rebound from having earned the top spot of the “worst” reputation list and reinvent itself? Well if there was ever a case made for an enterprise process improvement venture, the Motor City made it hundred-fold. After working in the areas of public safety, transportation, and other key city services, the city focused on an additional area with the ability to impact residents every day.

Detroit at Work has the vision: get 40,000 more city residents back to work. To do that, they needed to figure out the barriers to employment and root causes by collecting firsthand data. They sought to understand employment opportunities and the processes in play. Then, pilot some improvements to see if they’ll work.

Join Bethany Melitz for an enlightening discussion about how Lean management principles and tools are being used to effect remarkable change at a community level.

In this session, the following key points will be covered:

  • Customers, constituents, stakeholders
  • Leveraging data for innovation
  • Adopting a "Do It" mentality with PDCA pilots
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Bethany Melitz
Bethany Melitz

Bethany Melitz was appointed Chief Administrative Officer in 2019 after serving as the director for the city’s Lean Process Improvement Team. In her previous role, she has helped to build a culture of continual process improvement that she will now be able to expand throughout other city services. In this new role, she will lead strategic planning for the city, and work on cross-departmental projects like the city’s metrics and demolition. Melitz will also oversee Building Safety, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED). Prior to leading the Lean Team, she worked as Deputy Treasurer of Clinton Township and consulted in automotive, food, manufacturing, and chemical industries.

Continuous ImprovementLeanProcess Improvement

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