Business Center

Transportation Lean Forum (TLF)

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Building Bridges for Process Improvement Globally:
The Transportation Lean Forum

Budget cuts, workforce adjustments. Delayed investments. More reporting.

This is the reality today at many levels of government across the world. Governmental organizations are often criticized for red tape and poor service for citizens. And, within these governmental organizations, overworked, tired and sometimes cynical employees are often just counting the days to retirement.

So, to be effective and relevant in the modern world, governmental public service organizations need to do something different! As Albert Einstein once said:

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results."

However, doing something different and improving this situation does not just happen magically; it requires focusing on key issues and working systematically to resolve those issues. To do that, many governmental organizations apply the principles and practices of "Lean," which was pioneered in the private sector.

Lean is a business management approach that focuses on:

  1. creating better products and services;
  2. improving operations; and
  3. developing people to deliver customer value and create prosperity, while consuming the fewest possible resources.

Lean principles and tools are used to eliminate wasteful activities that do not add value to the customer so that a process does more with less. Lean principles, methods and tools encourage employee creativity, innovation and problem-solving. Benefits from Lean include improvements to productivity, quality, service and value—which in turn reduces the cost of government.

Many governmental organizations which operate highway and transportation systems are utilizing Lean. To help promote Lean and provide support to each other, some of these organizations formed the "Forum for Lean Process Improvement in Governmental Highways/Transportation organizations" in June 2012. This group is also referred to as the Transportation Lean Forum (TLF).

From an initial membership of three state Departments of Transportation in the United States, the Transportation Lean Forum has grown to include state-level government highway/transportation organizations in 29 states in the United States, four Canadian provinces and the Highways Agency in England.

TLF Members

We meet via video teleconference every-other-month to exchange information and ideas about Lean in their organizations. 
Between meetings, members utilize the Lean Interchange—a website to exchange information, ideas, and resources.

  Lean Interchange

For information about becoming a Forum member, please contact:
Gary Vansuch
[email protected]