Initiative aims to enhance service efficiency, optimize operations, and lead to cost savings for taxpayers

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — The County of San Luis Obispo has introduced a new continuous improvement program called “Lean Forward,” based on the principles of Lean Six Sigma. The initiative aims to enhance service efficiency, optimize operations, and ultimately lead to cost savings for taxpayers.

Supervisors Dawn Ortiz-Legg and Jimmy Paulding, alongside County Administrative Officer John Nilon, unveiled the county’s commitment to implementing the Lean Six Sigma Program. Widely used in private sector organizations, Lean Six Sigma utilizes statistical analysis to improve efficiency and reduce wastage. The county plans to apply this methodology across all its departments, with the Department of Planning and Building leading the implementation as its champion.

CAO John Nilon emphasized that many local governments have adopted Lean Six Sigma to address the challenges posed by limited resources. He believes that this approach can result in financial savings, improved morale, heightened performance, and elevated services for the residents of San Luis Obispo County.


To facilitate the adoption of Lean Six Sigma, a Lean Six “Master Black Belt” will serve as a consultant to guide the county through the program’s implementation. Ortiz-Legg emphasized that both the public and private sectors share a common focus on service and customer satisfaction. She expressed confidence that the “Lean Forward” program will help the county serve its community more efficiently and with reduced bureaucracy.

CAO John Nilon, who had previously implemented Lean Six Sigma in Kern County, credited the methodology with substantial cost savings and significant reductions in permitting process times.

Paulding highlighted the urgency of finding ways to streamline processes and improve efficiency in the face of limited resources and growing demands. He emphasized that “Lean Government” principles align perfectly with this objective.

“Lean Forward” aims to bring smart changes and improved governance to San Luis Obispo County, enabling the government to adapt and thrive amidst changing circumstances.