Monitoring Optimization: Lean Approaches and Lessons
Improvement projects included modifications to reduce sampling frequencies and depth intervals, and trials that led to approval of low flow methods for groundwater sampling and automated water level data collection. Constraints were removed by justifying analytical methods with longer holding times, and more ergonomic or efficient field methods. Visual management approaches such as one-page snapshots were used to support consolidation and reduced frequency of extensive bound reports. The cost of non-compliance was avoided by modifying schedules and access procedures to protect cultural and biological resources. Mobilization costs and the environmental footprint of monitoring were reduced by cross training IM operations staff to support all monitoring activities, a measure that also increased responsiveness to short term data collection needs.
Lean tools such as the Pareto diagram help select improvement projects aligned with cost/benefit considerations, and explain why some initiatives succeed, and other initiatives don’t fully achieve intended results. Lessons and suggestions will be shared for approaches in monitoring programs to identify improvement projects that reduce defects, lower cost, and increase performance against any site metrics.