The Minnesota Office of Continuous Improvement (CI) was established in late 2007, as an initiative within the Minnesota Department of Administration. It was originally labeled the "Enterprise Lean Program," and was put forth by the Commissioner of Administration in support of Governor Tim Pawlenty's "Drive to Excellence" initiative. The program introduced within Minnesota state government organizational improvement methodologies that were commonly used by leading businesses worldwide. While labeled with a Lean banner, the program included a variety of problem-solving approaches, including Lean, Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, and others.
In 2010, the election of Governor Mark Dayton brought the arrival of a new administration. Governor Dayton called on all state agencies to continue supporting a culture of continuous improvement, reinforcing the commitment to the Enterprise Lean Program. The program continued to serve an important role, working in concert with the governor's "Better Government for a Better Minnesota" initiative.
With the program's continued growth, featuring a larger selection of tools and methods and an increased emphasis on efforts related to problem-solving and performance measurement, the program's name and brand were updated to the Minnesota Office of Continuous Improvement.