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Local Continuous Improvement Network at Civil Service Live

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John Manzoni and Chris Barr at Civil Service Live

Continuous Improvement is relatively new within The Food Standards Agency (FSA), we started a couple of years ago by way of introduction with building stickle bricks, something that amused me at the time, but having done it twice I started to see the message.

I visited Civil Service Live last year and took an interest in the North East Continuous Improvement stand, and met by Vivienne Wallace from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), where there was a lot of information for me to help a member of my team working on introducing a Continuous Improvement (CI) board in one of my plants (Poultry Slaughterhouse).  Viv gave me lots of advice and some relevant leaflets, as well as putting my name down for further information.

I followed this up with a ‘go see’ to HMRC office in Nottingham to look at their CI boards which I found very interesting.

I was then invited to join the Yorkshire and Humber CI group by Steve Benson from HMRC and attended a group meeting in the UK Border Agency office in Sheffield to discuss how the group could help other government departments with CI, rather than spending public money on external consultants, I did feel as if I should not have been there as I was surrounded by CI professionals, but I was warmly welcomed by all.

Some members of the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber CI Networks
Some members of the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber CI Networks

We had a recent meeting in the FSA office in York, arranged by Caroline Terry where we delivered a presentation on the FSA journey on CI so far, this led to helping another government department who had just started their journey into CI.

The group has many success stories already despite it’s infancy, including cross government CI training, shared Yammer group, group visits to other government areas, as well as mentoring and coaching.

Steve Benson and Alison Roach
Steve Benson and Alison Roach respective Chairs of the Yorkshire and the Humber and North East CI Groups at Civil Service Live

Who would have thought that this brief encounter last year would lead to myself helping out on the stall at Civil Service Live in Newcastle this year, becoming a CI lead within the FSA and having an interesting CI discussion with John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office on the day.

I would also like to recognise that the CI group network is supported by Civil Service Local, a very useful resource, for which myself and many colleagues have found very helpful.


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