Recently the Under Secretary for Business Transformation (DUSA-BT), the Honorable Mike Kirby spoke with our Command and BB/GB trainees on the need for change. He presented an hour long slide show on why we must change the way we do business. Most compelling was his analysis of the evolution of the capability of the war fighter but the waning of the administrator. In essence, a disparity has been created in how the Army conducts business and how it supports those who conduct military operations.
Most will question the relevance of process improvement in the Army. However the Army is involved in every industry that exists in the private sector: supply chain, aviation, engineering, maintenance, accounting, IT, security, information management.
The Military and the Private Sector have exchanged management philosophies many times. The use of Standard Operating Procedures or SOP’s came from the military. The translation of Lean Six Sigma to benefit the way the Army conducts business is further evolution of this exchange.
The US Navyand the US Army Materiel Command have been the first in the military to utilize Lean Six Sigma. They have seen tremendous benefits in its adoption. As the largest deployment in the world, our biggest challenge will be changing mindsets and attitudes.