Consulting firm wants shovels in the ground this October - will sit beside the planners to show them how to make that happen.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 11th, 2019



Sharman - bullying meet Feb 5-2018

Paul Sharman – a private sector advocate

In his heart Paul Sharman is a private sector advocate; he is of the belief that the private sector has always been a better producer of results that the public sector.

He chafes at the process many city issues get put through when the direction comes from the bureaucrats.

An opportunity to put forward a private sector approach to a city issue popped up in his ward when Endress + Hauser (EH) Canada Ltd., a world leader in high technology process control systems decided to increase their Burlington operation from 27,000 sq. ft to 46,000 sq. ft, expandable to 55,000 sq. ft. The new building is planned to be state of the art, LEED GOLD level, Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Carbon.


Shovels in the ground in October for an application that will be in front of the planners on Friday – aggressive

The scheduled development goals are ambitious as EH wish to be “in the ground” by October 2019 to install geothermal infrastructure.

“This schedule” may be achievable said Sharman, “ if City processes are adapted to accommodate and process applications within the speed of business.”

In a memo to his colleagues Sharman advised that: “City staff are currently working with a company in Ward 5, Endress + Hauser (EH) Canada Ltd., one of several corporations who have successfully implemented Project Management, Lean Management and integrated process management/value chains and aligned performance measurement.

Several of their staff are Black Belt Six Sigma qualified and members of their senior management team are Green Belt Six Sigma.


It’s the E&H mantra – the planners at city hall will be gobsmacked with this stuff.

It is proposed that the EH application be engaged by the City of Burlington as a prototyping initiative to learn from EH about how to successfully implement leading practice Project Management, Lean Management with integrated process management/value chains and aligned performance measurement.

What this means is that city Council is being asked to let the private sector into the kitchen while city chefs put together a meal.

Sharman loved the idea and said he “wished to put forth the following staff direction:

“Direct the City Manager, Director of City Building and staff to engage with Endress + Hauser on their application to develop land on International Boulevard taking advantage of their Project Management, Lean Management with integrated process management/value chains and aligned performance measurement expertise in order to enhance City Planning and Development Application approval processes and achieve the applicants desired construction timeline.”

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns was excited – mention Sigma 6 and green belts and you’ve got her attention.

Commisso stare

City manager Tim Commisso – happy to have a discussion.

The city manager didn’t seem quite as excited as he watched two people from E&H take Council and some staff through a presentation that had more energy than circus performers and more than enough corporate gobbledygook to require a different dictionary. City manager Tim Commisso said he would be happy to have a discussion.

Sharman commented that “you improve processes by actually managing them” and managing the process of what E&H is all about. They are intense, direct and they will be all over the planning staff.

The tag team from E&H were impressive. While one member was talking the other was scanning the faces of the audience to see who was paying close attention and who wasn’t. They were good – and in the corporate world they would be welcomed with open arms.

EH th e two

Tony Varga and his side kick Lisa paying very close attention to what is being said.

City hall is not the corporate world. When the people from E&H start working with people in the City Building department (that’s what they are calling the Planning department these days) the clashing of cultures will be painful.

Tony Varga, the lead presenter for the delegation said that a first step is to identify the “Apostles” in the planning department

E&H is hoping they can get the planners to move with a level of dispatch they need to get shovels in the ground by October of this year – yes this year.

the two a

Lisa and Tony doing their dog and pony show – council doesn’t get to see they kind of energy these two people pumped out very often.

To be fair, E&H was able to get the purchase of the land they are going to build on in close to record time; the BEDC was able to help them get around most of the obstacles.

The Gazette will be watching this one carefully – perhaps a real change in the culture at city hall will be seen, experienced and made permanent.

If that does happen – the young people who work as planners will want to come to Burlington – too many of them have left for what they hoped were greener pastures.

Promise is the word that will carry this one forward. Proof will be in the pudding.

The formal application will be given to the Planning department on Friday.

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5 comments to Consulting firm wants shovels in the ground this October – will sit beside the planners to show them how to make that happen.

  • Bob

    Correction from Bob. The reference to Juran and city hall finding a tomb on Quality,the armload of out of context and mixed buzz words – quality metrics, value streams, six sigma, black and green belts, there’s even a yellow one , should be turned around to read: ” … it would be the E&H consultants that found the book and not city hall.”

  • Bob

    I’m with Jim and Penny – buzz word jargon makes me cringe. Doug Ford spouted the same kind of nonsense from his Decco Label days. The Value Stream figure is as old as the hills. Did somebody at city hall find an old and stale dusty quality book by Juran. Six Sigma has nothing to do with building a facility – it’s a quality metric of sorts from back in the mid 80’s, that is out of favour, I remember it being a statistic term used by Motorola, but it may be GE. Google 4DX for the latest spin on getting it done better and faster. The GE and parallel comments are on the mark, GE is a corporate mess, going away by way of death by a thousand cuts. Gee, they forgot to include one of the latest buzz words: “… tiger teams.” And going one further: “ Champions and lastly Quality Tools.”

    • Jim Thomson

      Six Sigma is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. It was introduced by engineer Bill Smith while working at Motorola in 1980. Jack Welch made it central to his business strategy at General Electric in 1995. Wikipedia

      We are both right.

  • Penny Hersh

    I have often said that perhaps City Hall needs to bring in a company from the private sector to show them how to put in place an efficient way for city planners to deal with development applications. When a department cannot complete a development application in 210 days something is definitely wrong. Now the 210 days has become 120 days to process a development application.

    Forget about all the” buzz bingo” as Jim Thomson mentions – If the planning department can’t get up to speed the legal department will be spending most of its time fielding LPAT appeals for non decision.The interim Control By-Law works only in one area of the City, and development applications are coming in for other wards.

  • Jim Thomson

    Anyone want to play buzz word bingo?
    Black Belt, Green Belt, Lean Management, Six Sigma, Aligned Performance, Value Chains, Value Streams, Transformation Cycles, Net Zero Carbon, Net Zero Energy, LEED GOLD.
    Did I miss any?
    Oops “Apostles” – Needed to spread the Gospel according to Neutron Jack Welch. (he took away the people but left the buildings standing) Do we really want City Hall to turn into the next GE?