Kristen Cox

Prior to her return to Utah, Kristen served as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Disabilities in the Cabinet of Governor Robert Ehrlich. The position included the distinction of being appointed as the head of the first cabinet-level Department of Disabilities in the nation—requiring Kristen to establish the agency from the ground up.

A former Department of Education appointee of President George W. Bush, Kristen has also held many positions with the National Federation of the Blind, including heading up its governmental affairs work in Washington, D.C. and serving as President of the National Federation of the Blind of Utah.

Kristen currently serves on several boards and commissions and has been awarded numerous honors, including being named in 2012 as one of Utah Business Magazine’s “30 Women to Watch” and the 2012 Days of 47 “Pioneers of Progress Award for Business and Enterprise.”

Outstanding leader

Gary Richard HerbertKristen’s paradigm of constant improvement stands out. She has demonstrated impressive leadership and vision at the helm of one of Utah’s largest agencies, shouldering record caseloads while fostering employment and looking for ways to grow jobs. That is exactly the approach I want as we work with agency heads to streamline operations and ramp up performance management.

Gary Richard Herbert, Utah Governor


Kristen CoxUnder Cox’s leadership, the Department’s of Workforce Services (DWS) caseload grew by nearly 50 percent. By restructuring eligibility services operation into a single division, she saved DWS more than $20 million while improving quality. Through other efficiency measures, DWS has saved the state an additional $54 million.

Utah Business Magazine (May 2012)

Topic of the presentation

How to Implement TOC Principles and Tools in State Government and Achieve Great Results: Utah’s Story


The problem or challenge in state government is that federal and state funding resources are diminishing while customer demand for services is increasing.

The State of Utah plans to continue its tradition of excellence by setting the gold standard of government practices. We must ensure that scarce resources are allocated and managed in a way that will continuously bring more and more value to our stakeholders.

Governor Gary R. Herbert has set the target and charged his 24 Cabinet officials to improve government operations and services by 25% (a combination of quality, cost and throughput) over the next four years.

In her role as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, Kris Cox is leading the charge and is working with every Cabinet member to ensure success in meeting the target.

Speakers Roles

  • Kris Cox and Greg Gardner pioneered the implementation of TOC principles and tools three years ago at the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS).
  • Based on that experience, they created the SUCCESS Framework—a tool to assist agencies in applying TOC and other operational excellence tools to state government. The process produced great results at DWS.
  • Based on that success, Governor Herbert appointed Kris to head his Office of Management and Budget and to lead the charge for the 24 Cabinet agencies to achieve a 25% improvement in services and operations over the next four years.
  • Kris recruited Greg to join her as a member of the team working to implement the SUCCESS Framework strategy across Utah state government.


Overview of the SUCCESS Framework.

The framework was developed in Utah to assist government agencies with the implementation of TOC and other operational excellence principles and tools.

Introduction of Utah’s measurement criteria.

“Quality Throughput divided by Operating Expense” to measure progress in meeting the 25% improvement target.

Introduction to the SUCCESS Management Information System (SMIS).

It was developed to simplify reporting and measure progress and performance.

Utah’s use of additional tools to assist agencies achieve great results including:

• Throughput operating strategy
• Strategic and operational measurements
• Maximize control point capacity
…………………………………..• Strategy and tactics
…………………………………..• Acceleration
…………………………………..• Mistake proofing
…………………………………..• Policy synchronization

Utah’s progress to anchor the budgeting process to performance.

Agency funding requests will be evaluated in the context of the impact on quality and throughput.

Status of implementing the SUCCESS Framework across Utah’s 24 Cabinet agencies.

And the great results being achieved so far.

Benefits to the Audience

Real world application of TOC principles and tools in state government.

To include agencies as diverse as public safety, corrections, health, workforce development, agriculture, economic development, human services, tax, commerce, national guard, transportation, technology services, natural resources and environmental quality.

o Tools and systems that can be adapted for use in other international government agencies.

Exposure to the bottom-line results that are occurring by using these tools.

proof that the SUCCESS Framework and tools are producing great results.



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