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Innovation at PennDOT

PennDOT logoThrough process and quality improvement initiatives, such as Governor Wolf's LeanPA initiative, PennDOT remains committed to developing innovative and smart approaches to doing business. Though the LeanPA initiative may be newer to the Commonwealth, Lean thinking is not new to PennDOT.

Whether framed as Continuous Process/Quality Improvement (CPI or CQI), Organizational Change, Total Quality Management, ISO Quality Management Certifications or Lean, the foundational principle remains constant – ensuring internal processes meet and adapt to the needs of our customers.

PennDOT has consistently prioritized innovation and continuous improvement in its processes and practices. Through the department's Strategic Plan, Quality Coordinators, Lean Leaders, Innovations Councils and its Bureau of Innovations (BOI), PennDOT has emphasized and pursued CPI/CQI initiatives for more than 30 years.

To support these initiatives, PennDOT's BOI provides process mapping, facilitation, and performance management support across the department, assisting organizations in better understanding the work they do, and the improvements necessary for enhancing the customer experience.

PennDOT regularly obtains feedback from its customers through several annual surveys, its PennDOT Connects initiative and through its process and quality improvement projects. This input helps PennDOT better understand its customers' perspectives and make impactful changes based on the challenges and opportunities identified by its customers through these forums.

Another integral part of CPI/CQI efforts is engaging employees at all levels of the organization. In striving to create a positive, safe, diverse and innovative work environment, one employee engagement tool that PennDOT uses is its Organizational Climate Survey (OCS). This survey asks employees to share their opinions about their PennDOT employment experience. PennDOT analyzes OCS results and uses the information gleaned from the survey to implement process and quality improvement initiatives across the department.

Two additional employee engagement tools PennDOT utilizes are its IdeaLink 20/20 and PennDOT WorkSmart systems that provide employees with the opportunity to suggest innovative ideas, share smart practices and celebrate innovations that lead to a Lean organization.  

Employee engagement tools, such as the OCS, IdeaLink 20/20 and PennDOT WorkSmart, will continue to prompt and celebrate innovative, Lean thinking and demonstrate the daily benefit gained through a culture of continuous process and quality improvements across the department.