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Kent Police: LEAN process review

Because of our work: Kent Police gained a new and deeper understanding of their organisation, its teams and its processes. A transformation team is now working to implement cultural, structural and operational change by 2025.

Kent Police’s Force Control Room (FCR) handled phone calls to the force and allocated resources in response. The FCR was operating with processes that were perceived to be overly complex and too bureaucratic because systems had been amended in piecemeal response to changes in I.T., demand and policy. The FCR was seeking support for a LEAN process review to increase the speed and effectiveness of its call handling.

Stage one: identifying the real issues

Hall Aitken’s approach to change management recognises the interplay between people and systems. In discussion with the client, our team considered the real issues underpinning delays and bureaucracy. We identified that they were due to inherent cultural barriers resulting from the historical and hierarchical set up of teams. Previous studies had tended to focus on process while our view was that wider consideration should be given to human resources

Stage two: understanding people, process and the organisation

As with any LEAN project study, our work centred on staff interviews and observations to identify anomalies and opportunities for more efficient approaches. We looked at all functions of the FCR, from call handling, to crime recording, through to the dispatch of police resources. We reviewed a total of 15 processes in two months. Our work included extensive interviews with staff and management to explore the wider issues of cultural and structural weaknesses.

Stage three: thought-provoking findings

In January 2018, Hall Aitken submitted a draft report that recommended LEAN processes as requested in the original brief. We included an appendix that described what we identified as more important, issues relating to culture and the FCR’s organisation. The FCR recognised these findings to be highly important and relevant to an ongoing internal review. They agreed to refocus of the report, centring on our strategic findings and placing LEAN recommendations as a secondary - though important – area for improvement.


The FCR has set up a Transformation team to implement major change by 2025. Our report provided important strategic considerations and recommendations which the FCR and the Transformation team are actively using. This includes an overhaul of staff structures, training, recruitment and retention of staff and even the name of the FCR.

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