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Akron Public Utilities Bureau (APUB) is redesigning its business practices, technology, and organizational structure in order to improve service levels and become more competitive. One fundamental business change has been to develop empowered “Work Teams,” a strategy which prescribes that the staff closest to the work can help decide how it should be executed, as long as the means chosen remains within APUB's predefined performance guidelines. Numerous benefits have been achieved from the new organizational structure. The implementation has also been challenging due to:

Extent of organizational change

Number of employees impacted

Communication challenges in a 24/7 operation

Work practice traditions developed over 75 years

Aging workforce not comfortable with change

APUB engaged EMA, Inc., to help with implementation of the new organization structure. EMA provided a Resource Loading tool to capture APUB's existing workload and illustrate it in a clear, logical manner. This enabled APUB to analyze and redefine the “right” work needed to support optimized business processes. As a result, APUB was able to:

Eliminate work that was not value-added

Reduce tasks that provide low value

Create new value-added work tasks

Develop up-to-date standard operating procedures

The Resource Loading tool provided APUB with a road map to help redistribute the work to the new Work Teams.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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