Using Lean Six Sigma to Improve Support for U.S. Veterans

Male veteran on a phone at a work desk with an American flag in the background.

Project Brief

The Challenge

The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment Training Service implements case resolutions under the 1994 Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. USERRA allows service members to return to their former employment following active military duty. VETS investigators help veterans whose former employers refuse to re-employ them. However, a series of Government Accountability Office analyses found that VETS had timeliness and quality issues in meeting USERRA statutory deadlines for case resolution.

ERG's Solution

ERG used a Lean Six Sigma analysis to identify and solve the key timeliness and quality issues in VETS case reviews. ERG mapped the case review process in detail based on VETS standard operating procedures and a series of interviews with VETS investigators. ERG identified several areas where 1) actual process steps differed significantly from designed steps and 2) designed steps made little sense given the facts of most cases. ERG developed a series of recommendations for improving the case review process—almost all of which VETS then implemented. Subsequent GAO reports found significant improvements in VETS’ timeliness in resolving cases.


U.S. Department of Labor