Louisiana National Guard Adopts Lean Six Sigma to Address DoD Business Reforms

Louisiana National Guard Adopts Lean Six Sigma to Address DoD Business Reforms

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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In 2017, General Jim Mattis – the United States Defense Secretary – distributed a memorandum to the Department of Defense. In the memorandum, Secretary Mattis asked the DoD to focus on three lines of effort – (1) restore readiness, (2) strengthen alliances, and (3) create business reforms.

That last one – business reforms – is worth a second look, because Mattis provided specific instructions and established his expected outcomes. In the memorandum, he wrote: “This [business reform] instills budget discipline and effective resource management, develops a culture of rapid and meaningful innovation, streamlines requirements and acquisition processes and promotes responsible risk taking and personal initiative.”

To me, that sounds a lot like Mattis asked the DoD to reduce waste and improve process efficiency.

If your mind jumped to “Lean Six Sigma,” you’re not alone. One military body – the Louisiana National Guard – had the same idea. They’ve spent the last nine months collaborating on a Lean Six Sigma program to help satisfy Secretary Mattis’s expectations.

“Our most precious resource is time,” said Sgt. Maj. David Mula, who serves as the strategic plans senior enlisted advisor for the Louisiana National Guard. “We use Lean Six Sigma tools to identify areas where we can streamline a process to make it faster without reducing efficiency. The goal is always to increase readiness and save time.”

Lean Six Sigma Projects

The Louisiana National Guard brought in Master Black Belts to help train their personnel through a series of short workshops, and the results are already apparent. Mula, specifically, has completed a Lean Six Sigma project that has saved more than 500 man-hours and nearly half-a-million dollars in annual labor costs.

Others have started contributing too. Lt. Col. Keith Robinson has increased the Louisiana National Guard’s dental readiness by 30%. As a collective, they’re currently brainstorming ways to make vehicle maintenance faster and more cost effective – and with nearly two-dozen Guardsmen currently enrolled in Lean Six Sigma training, they’re on the lookout for other processes that can be tweaked, refined, and improved.

But their sights are set much higher than simple on-site improvements.

“The best practices that we find in these programs can be used in other states with minimal changes,” said Mula.

That’s why the Louisiana National Guard has partnered with the National Guard Bureau – specifically, their Business Transformation Office – to bring these best practices to other states and, eventually, the entire National Guard. And if they’re successful, it wouldn’t be the first time the National Guard has adopted Lean Six Sigma protocols.

One example, from back in 2017, involved 30 Guardsmen – based out of Carlisle, Pennsylvania – who studied Lean Six Sigma practices to create more time for their training. And the military’s adoption of process improvement principles goes back even farther than that. The U.S. military has used Lean and Six Sigma principles for decades and is still relying on them to improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations.

So, with their commitment to Lean Six Sigma, the Louisiana National Guard is going down a familiar road. They’re improving efficiency, reducing waste, and doing exactly what Secretary Mattis asked them to do…

They’re reforming their business with process improvement.

The post Louisiana National Guard Adopts Lean Six Sigma to Address DoD Business Reforms appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

Original: https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/louisiana-national-guard-lean-six-sigma-address-business-reforms/
By: James LoPresti
Posted: July 5, 2018, 11:00 am

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