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Houston's Business Plan for Continual Improvement

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The City of Houston has a reputation for Texas-style delivery of its public services – big, efficient and friendly. To help maintain this reputation, the city's Public Utilities Division decided to develop a formalized plan to “institutionalize” the Division's general philosophy of continuous improvement.

The resulting Continuous Improvement for Collection Systems (CICS pronounced “Sis”) plan serves as a baseline inventory for existing conditions related to the wastewater infrastructure and to the city's organizational structure for managing those facilities. Based on this system overview and evaluation process, initial opportunities for continuous improvement were identified. A CICS Steering Committee formed to begin the team building process improvement implementation.

The continuous improvement goals are to:



Improve customer service.


Optimize system performance and asset management.


Strengthen regulatory compliance.


Accomplishing of these goals is expected to result in improved operations and a reduction in the number of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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