Everyday Lean: The DMV


As we continue our month-long challenge for examples of Everyday Lean, you still have plenty of chances to win. The best will win a free copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to Lean. You can read previous Everyday Lean posts by following this link. Everyday Lean is how lean principles help make stuff if everyday life easier, simpler and more effective.

Here's a submission on the Department of Motor Vehicles. Since it is brought up, I have another example from my DMV. As you go in there is a triage station. They determine if you're there for something simple such as a driver's license renewal or something else. They separate the flows so if you're in the quick and easy line, you don't have to wait on resources processing something that takes 30 minutes. As a result, if you're there for something quick, you will actually get in and out fast. Imagine that! Here's our reader's submission:

While neither I, nor anyone else, who has ever had to get a driver's license or plates for a vehicle would call the hold queues of a Motor Vehicle department “lean”, perhaps the state of Indiana may have a step in the direction leveling their demand. The state has staggered the due dates of license plates every two weeks based on the first two letters of the last name of the licensee. Instead of allowing typical behavior of waiting until the end of the month, they have subdivided the waiting to be due about every two weeks.

Here is more innovation from the DMV.

Have ideas of your own? Please submit them here.

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Jamie Flinchbaugh
Jamie Flinchbaugh is an accomplished Entrepreneur, Senior Executive, and Board Member with more than 20 years of success spanning finance, manufacturing, automotive, and management consulting. Leveraging extensive operational experience, Jamie is an invaluable asset for a company seeking expert guidance with process improvements, lean strategies, and leadership coaching in order to transform operations, reduce costs, and drive profitability. His areas of expertise include continuous improvement, entrepreneurship, coaching and training, process transformation, business strategy, and organizational design.


  1. Dividing people into subgroups of work is NVA. The waste of sorting. The net result is the people waiting in long lines are now waiting in even longer lines. If the DMV could keep up with its demand by staffing appropriately, it would not need a triage.


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