Army, Navy Bases Go All-In on Lean, Lean Six Sigma Training

Army, Navy Bases Go All-In on Lean, Lean Six Sigma Training

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Army, Navy Bases Go All-In on Lean, Lean Six Sigma Training

In 2017 and 2018, two military facilities in the southeastern United States have worked hard to emphasize Lean and Lean Six Sigma principles – and they’ve both gone about it in unique (but effective) ways.

Now, before we dive in, there’s an important distinction to make… Lean and Lean Six Sigma aren’t the same thing. This is a bit of an oversimplification, but it’s a simple way to differentiate the two schools of thought – Lean is about waste reduction, while Sigma is about defect prevention. Lean Six Sigma, then, is about reducing waste to prevent defects.

Anniston Army Depot

Anniston had a disappointing 2017 – at least, in one aspect. They failed to meet their process improvement goals for the year.

As a response to this, the leadership doubled-down on Lean training. It’s mandatory for all supervisors and employees, and the training covers much of the basics of Lean. And best of all, the training is simple. They use the acronym DOWNTIME to help employees remember what type of waste needs to be eliminated from their day-to-day work.

  • Defects
  • Overproduction
  • Waiting
  • Not utilizing employees/Injuries
  • Transportation
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Excess Processing

Anniston is striving to hit its process improvement goals over the next year, and as a result, it’s hoping to inspire and empower the depot’s workforce too. An article on quoted Aaron Parris – one of Anniston’s process improvement specialists.

He said, “The idea of Lean is to empower you… We want to give you a voice, the tools to make change and the forum to communicate the needs up the chain of command.”

Navy Medicine Operational Training Center

NMOTC is a training facility in Pensacola, Florida, dedicated to training and educating the Navy’s healthcare professionals. For the first time, in 2017, NMOTC committed itself to training its constituents on Lean Six Sigma principles.

They have a tiered approach to training. It starts with the White Belt introductory course (which provides some general knowledge on all the ways Lean Six Sigma can be used to improve Navy Medicine). The next phase is the Yellow Belt course, which expands on the initial lessons in the introductory training.

After completing the Yellow Belt course, the next step is a week-long Green Belt course, which focuses on systematic problem-solving and process improvement strategies. But before moving onto the final tier, NMOTC constituents are asked to spend one year putting their Green Belt training to use. They’re required to improve one of the NMOTC’s processes.

In an article on, Yeoman 2nd Class Dylan Greene explained his yearlong Green Belt project. “One of my projects I am working on getting approved is NMOTC’s check-in/check-out process. I think it has a lot of potential to be streamlined and overall make the process and paperwork run more smoothly.”

After completing the yearlong project, constituents can move into the Black Belt training course, which provides insight on real, meaningful organizational change.

By offering such robust and well-delivered Lean Six Sigma training, NMOTC is hoping to improve the skillset of its students – and provide them a framework in which they can solve problems and more effectively do their jobs.

The post Army, Navy Bases Go All-In on Lean, Lean Six Sigma Training appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

By: James LoPresti
Posted: May 21, 2018, 12:00 pm

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