AASHTO News, 29 July 2011
Lean, Efficient, Customer-Based Transportation Departments Are a Must, Says Idaho Dir. Ness
(Washington, DC) – In a new Two-Minute State DOT Update video, Brian Ness director of the Idaho Department of Transportation, says that, taking office in January 2010, he initiated a plan to improve customer service, efficiency, and accountability and save $3.5 million in personnel costs.
“We have to make sure that we are spending our tax dollars as wisely and efficiently as we can,” says Ness. “We also need to make certain that our workforce is as effective as it can possibly be because we don’t want to give any legislator a reason to vote no (for transportation funding) by pointing to something our state department is doing.”
The realignment reduced the layers of management between Ness and the department’s front line supervisors from nine to five and gave decision-making back to where the work is being done. It also eliminated 62 supervisory positions where one manager supervised one employee. “We’ll increase our efficiency, by having a less bureaucratic organizational structure,” Ness said. “Then as we eliminate those layers of supervision, we’re going to reassign people to the front lines, allowing them to help us improve customer service.” Ness says the Idaho Transportation Department ended the state’s fiscal year with a total of $5.7 million in personnel and insurance savings that will be invested into highway construction, maintenance, and
To watch this and other Two-Minute State DOT Update videos, go to www.TransportationTV.org.