U.S. Army Lean Six Sigma

The U.S. Army Materiel Command has a website dedicated to information about the Lean Six Sigma efforts currently underway. There is even an entire page devoted to Lean Six Sigma project case studies and results. Over 20 success stories are shared including a video that highlights the ways Lean Six Sigma is directly impacting U.S. troops overseas. The video is about 5 minutes long and worth every minute.

One project at the Fort Knox Unit Maintenance Activity increased the number of M1 tanks serviced by 40 percent. The increased throughput allowed the team annihilate the service backlog (from 85 tanks to zero in only 6 months). Another Lean Six Sigma project ensures that HMMWV armor plated door kits are shipped mistake-free.

Comments 3

  1. anonymous

    Its great to see the military trying their hand at six sigma. I’ve taught a few of these folks myself. Having served in the army, the real issue will be how the army handles a regulation needing to be changed to facilitate a six sigma project. That is where I think, sadly, six sigma will be quite difficult for the armed forces. Most of these projects are on non regulated maintenance issues.

  2. Scott Myers

    I’m retired Army, and this is good news indeed. The success of LSS in the Army is contingent upon (as always) buy in on part of leadership. It sounds like LSS has a fighting chance. We need to focus on the Captains, Lieutenants and Sergeants who will be the leadership of the Army in the coming ten years or so. Soldiers and leaders have been complaining about Army processes behind closed doors now for generations. Now, they have an opportunity like they have never had before; a chance to really change Army culture. I hope they succeed.

  3. Steven Traum

    I’m one of those Army Lean Six Sigma Black Belts. I recently finished a project and am awaiting my final certification. From my foxhole, the comment about buy in from Army leadership is absolutely correct. In my unit, the leadership was VERY supportive and we achieved great success. Those organizations that whose leaders provided minimal support failed to achieve much out of the program.

    I also agree with the comment about getting junior officers and NCOs involved. I’m a Major and nearly all my classmates were DA civilians. Ask any soldier and even more senior officers about what they know about L6S and they look at you like you have a 3rd eye. If future Army leaders aren’t familiar with it, who’s going to serve as project sponsors and champions to lead the DA civilians who execute the projects?

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