A Triager’s Success Story — Jessica Ross, Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles

I live for this.  It wags my tail (in dog-speak)! It pops my buttons (in proud parent-speak)!

I have the unique and humbling pleasure to facilitate Process Triage workshops.  The participants in these workshops are the best-and-brightest, cadre-grade producers and expert doers of their organizations. Our triage facilitators face literally a parade of outstanding front-line leaders and technical experts by the nature of our business model.

So it’s a statistical probability then, that some triagers are outliers — truly over-the-top amazingly competent and insightful professionals with obviously great potential.  For example, when a triager sings perfect-pitch executive or process manager notes, we know they’ll run the organization someday, if their current leaders are paying attention.  If fact, just this week I was honored to meet one of these big-motor types.  The sponsor CEO agreed (I confirmed) he should help her with her MBA, for example.

About a year ago, the Kansas Department of Vehicles led by Director Lisa Kaspar triaged the call center that supports drivers license actions, such as suspensions, cancellations, reinstatements and so on.  It’s a ‘hot kitchen’ with an understandable level of unhappy customers who must always be treated with respect regardless of the upset customer’s often difficult circumstances.  A number of factors outside of Lisa’s control led to an unacceptably low ‘first call resolution’ rate that gave reason to triage the call center.   Triager Jessica Ross was on the front row and was an exceptionally quick study.    Mark Schemm, the call center manager and triage host wrote and led the 90+ Day improvement plan, much of which Jessica shouldered.  Lisa (executive sponsor)  understood the post-triage needs as well; she and her boss added necessary head count and had one of the nation’s best call center coaches take a look, Dave Slattery of  E-Resource Planner  But the heavy lifting was led by Jessica.

Well — a year later, let’s celebrate like crazy:


The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) Leadership Academy provides professional development opportunities for future leaders in the AAMVA community. The program is designed for jurisdiction employees who have demonstrated leadership potential and the ability to succeed in positions of greater responsibility within their agencies.

This week-long program includes modules on defining leadership, working with legislators, team work  and collaboration, consensus building and dispute resolution, managing employee performance, and more. It is an intense training opportunity focused on the unique characteristics of leading and managing a motor vehicle or law enforcement agency.   

This is a new program and only 20 participants across all jurisdictions are accepted. She will network with other leaders in the vehicles industry, will visit with Federal officials at the United States Department Of Transportation and tour the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The opportunity to attend this training (fully paid for by AAMVA) is a well deserved outcome of all the hard work and leadership Jessica has shown this past year- might I say Driver Solutions phone stats going from an average [snip] a year ago to 80+% now!!!

While some state’s Department of Motor Vehicles catch a lot of criticism, something really cool and right is happening in Kansas!

Hat Tip  Jessica, and the triage team that worked shoulder-to-shoulder with her to deliver the improvements.

298-4 Jessica Ross leads deck ranking (2)

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