Posted by: Knightbird | May 9, 2012

Streamlining the BIA

Chugachmiut manages a Compact from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This means we administer programs formerly provided by BIA.
With the federal fiscal issues, the BIA has to plan for extensive budget cuts and streamlining operations. We had a brief explanation of this issue, and I also reviewed a PowerPoint and discussion paper outlining their plans. Their goal is to keep service levels intact while consolidating offices and reducing their full time FTE count by 30%. Regular readers of this blog will know that I believe they could achieve their goal through lean management. But, they will not heed the recommendation I sent them as a comment to examine lean management for adoption at the BIA. We work with the BIA frequently and know they are incredibly inefficient.
The experience I have read about and had at Chugachmiut is that we can achieve at least a 30% improvement in throughput using lean principles.
I will predict today that my suggestion will not be adopted within the next 5 years, if ever. And I will probably be the only tribal executive or leader making this recommendation.


  1. Dear Patrick, I have been following your blog for some time now and realize that you have come to a point of frustration in spite of your good intentions in literally “pushing” lean and letting everyone know its advantages and long term results. We have a similar task before us but it looks like your 5 year target is way too long for me. How do you keep yourself pounding on “closed doors” when you know that people tend to oppose an innovative approach?Short term solutions seem to be the ready answer to everything and so is command and control. I am not sure if this is any consolation…we are many who are still trying and may, at some point in time, have also arrived at the same level of frustration. Keep strong, we hope you get past these obstacles you are experiencing right now and wish that you realize your goals at the earliest…

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