iSixSigma

Government/Non-Profit

Case Study: Optimizing Processes in Louisville, Kentucky

Problem-solving teams are equipped to help leaders break through vexing operational challenges that impair customer satisfaction. Often, there are more challenges than resources, and staying focused on the most critical problems is imperative. This case study describes how a team redirected its efforts toward strategic needs.  Original Team Purpose In Louisville, Kentucky, Greg Fischer, businessman…

The Lean Six Sigma Deployment in Tyler, Texas

In 2008, Susan Guthrie was the communications manager of the City of Tyler, Texas, (current interim city manager) and a General Electric-trained Green Belt. She approached the assistant city manager at the time, Mark McDaniel, with the idea of implementing Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in the City. Guthrie recalled, “The City’s culture of continuous improvement was…

3 comments

Case Study: A DMADV Approach to Marketing and Advertising

The Corporation of the City of Kawartha Lakes (the City), Ontario, Canada, is a single-tier municipality that covers a land area of 3,067 square kilometers and includes more than 250 lakes. In addition to approximately 73,000 permanent residents there is a large seasonal population of approximately 31,000 residents each summer. More than 77 percent of…

3 comments

Six Sigma 2012: Political Ambitions?

Soon after announcing that he was forming an exploratory committee for a potential bid for the presidency in 2012, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty was heard touting the virtues of Six Sigma process improvement for government reform. In March, according to the Politico.com blog, the Republican Pawlenty had a conference call with many of his…

Up Close with William B. Wark

Wark will be presenting on the role of the CSB and the lessons learned from its investigations during a keynote address at iSixSigma’s Energy Forum for Process Excellence on May 17 in Houston. In an interview with iSixSigma Senior Editor Kirsten Terry, Wark offered a preview of some of the topics he will cover during…

1 comment

A Sense of Urgency in the Inspection Dock

The 21st century has brought on many changes for the Department of Defense, affecting all the military branches. In particular, the Air Force has encountered a reduction of forces, base closures and funding cuts to many of its programs. Additionally, the message from the Department of Defense and Air Force senior leadership is simple: resources…

The Evolution of a Government Lean Six Sigma Training Program

I can still hear the words ringing in my ears: ”Congratulations on the promotion.” I was selected for a position with the Senior Executive Service, a corps tasked with leading the continuing transformation of the United States federal government. The job could wield great influence over performance improvement in the Department of Defense (DoD) –…

1 comment

Employees Writing on the Walls? Not a Problem

Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania – One Tobyhanna organization sees the writing on the wall when it comes to cutting overhead costs and improving efficiency. Members of the Productivity Improvement and Innovation Directorate’s Process Improvement Division estimate an annual cost avoidance savings of more than $2,000 by transitioning select processes from the use of paper products…

White House Announces Winning SAVE Award Idea

Posting public notices for seized property online, rather than in newspapers…Ending express delivery of empty U.S. Departmet of Agriculture food inspection containers…Requiring mine operators to use online forms for quarterly data, rather than mailing paper forms. These cost-saving ideas – and more than 18,000 others – were submitted by government employees as part of the…

The 2010 DoD Performance Symposium – Enterprise Excellence

More than 400 attendees gathered at the National Conference Center at Lansdowne, Va., in June for the fourth Department of Defense (DoD) Performance Symposium. The symposium, hosted by the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Program Office, provided a forum for all services and other government agencies…

Career Change Benefits Frontline Warfighter

Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania. – When you see Michael Verton helping employees conduct Lean events, it’s hard for some to imagine that this cheerful, fun loving and very young-looking “kid” was a full-time warfighter only a short while ago. A combat injury in July 2008 may have ended Verton’s career as a Soldier, but not…

Ideas for Using Lean Six Sigma in the Marine Corps

The U.S. Marine Corps’ continuous process improvement (CPI) effort is aimed at enhancing all aspects of support provided to operating forces to maximize combat readiness and war fighting capability. That means the Marine Corps is emphasizing that the CPI program is for every level and every element of the corps. Here is what is being…

Lean Lesson: Batching Is Bad…Right?

Teach people about Lean manufacturing. That is what the U.S. Air Force asked me to do. OK, but before I could teach it, I had to learn what Lean was. I grabbed some books and started putting together a basics course on Lean, which they wanted done in two weeks. I was surprised at how…

3 comments

Tracking and Technology Speed Black Belt Certification

With more than 1,000 trained Black Belts, the U.S. Army continues marching forward in its Lean Six Sigma efforts. Trained Black Belts who complete projects and obtain certification are essential to building a robust cadre of practitioners. To this end, the Army formalized the use of Belt course portfolios (BCPs), the collection of projects assigned…

Lean Six Sigma and the War Fighter

Lean Six Sigma is part of a broader U.S. Marine Corps and Department of Defense (DoD) continuous process improvement (CPI) effort aimed at enhancing all aspects of support provided to Marine Corps operating forces to maximize combat readiness and war fighting capability. The Marine Corps has emphasized that the CPI program is entirely focused on…

1 comment

Streamlining Coast Guard’s Accounts Payable Process

The local senior leadership of the U.S. Coast Guard Finance Center was confronted by the problem of maintaining high levels of service in its accounts payable (AP) process in the face of increasing process complexity. Compounding the issue was the fact that the center’s information technology (IT) systems had been modified to accommodate the growing…

Reserve Unit Improves Requisition Process

For Lt. Col. Harry Yates of the 335th Theater Signal Command and his deployment advisor Capt. George Harris, Lean Six Sigma is having a big impact on the way daily work gets done. The 335th is an Army Reserve command co-located with Fort McPherson in East Point, Georgia. It is responsible for signal operations supporting…

Going Beyond the 5 Whys

“So what?” That’s all your CEO has to say after you present your latest Lean Six Sigma triumph. You gaze out over a deafeningly silent boardroom. Your team is stunned. While you try to comprehend the CEO’s demoralizing response, the other managers and administrators chime in: “Yeah, so what?” The above scenario might be an…

1 comment

Q&A with Cmdr. Stanley Dobbs

In an interview with iSixSigma, Cmdr. Stanley Dobbs shares his approach toward Lean Six Sigma project selection and execution, as well as insight into the Navy’s positive response to continuous process improvement.

Case Study: Optimizing Patient Flow at Fort Drum Clinic

A project to optimize family practice patient flow at the Guthrie Ambulatory Healthcare Clinic, part of the U.S. Army Medical Activity (MEDDAC) at Fort Drum, N.Y., was initiated in November 2007. The goal: to reduce process cycle time while maintaining the same quality of care and to increase patient satisfaction from the time the patient…

Communication and Business Case Key to Revising Process

Through a two-year Six Sigma project, the Department of Defense (DoD) Acquisition and Technology Programs Task Force (ATP TF) coordinated a revision to a joint weapon system safety review process that provided a 59 percent reduction in cycle time. Without the Six Sigma framework, the project might not have achieved the success it did within…

Six Sigma in Government: Focusing on the Customer

Six Sigma, with its emphasis in many cases on hard, current-year results, is often not associated with government agencies and their processes. One reason is that a government’s mission is as much about providing services to the public and other stakeholders as it is about cutting costs and realizing efficiencies. In fact, there is frequently…

The DoD Roundup

Editor’s note: A longer version of this article was previously published in the September/October 2009 issue of iSixSigma Magazine. When the U.S. Department of Defense opened a Continuous Process Improvement/Lean Six Sigma Program Office in October 2007, the office had no budget, no staff and, in fact, no office space. But it did have a…

P&R IM Improves Management of Health Treatment Records

Personnel and Readiness Information Management (P&R IM), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), led an in-depth analysis of the Health Treatment Record (HTR) life cycle management process. The HTR is the chronological documentation of medical, dental and mental health care received by a service member during the course of his or…

Army TACOM LCMC Strengthens Lean Six Sigma Deployment

Since 2007, the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) has made efforts to institutionalize a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. The goal to have TACOM LCMC associates at every level advocate, pursue and implement continuous process improvement methods through the promulgation of Lean Six Sigma across the command is a…

Aligning Army Call Center Goals to Improve Performance

Product Manager, Transportation Information Services (PM TIS) is an Army program under the auspices of the Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS). The PM TIS organization includes the Customer Service Center (CSC) which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions and resolve issues related to software that…

Using Simulation to Design Robust Combat Vehicles

From September 2006 to December 2008 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed several weapon programs and identified problems resulting in billions of dollars in cost overruns, long schedule delays and reduced weapon system availability. The major reason for these reliability problems was poor systems engineering practices related to requirements analysis, design and testing. The GAO…

Army Improves Equipment Management with Lean Six Sigma

With increased budget cuts and dwindling funding, Army organizations are examining how best to manage budgets and stretch dollars to provide the best logistical support to soldiers. Army organizations at Natick, Mass., USA, are using Lean Six Sigma to establish a joint process to improve the accuracy of the soldier equipment support budget proposals by…

DoD to Focus on Four Improvement Areas During Convention

Leaders from across the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and various agencies and activities, will gather Oct. 22 to 23, 2008 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the state of the department’s Lean Six Sigma deployment. The event, named the Breakthrough Convention and produced by iSixSigma Live! is an…

Up Close with J.D. Sicilia

In an interview with iSixSigma, J.D. Sicilia, director of the Department of Defense Lean Six Sigma Program Office, shares about the purpose of the office, his deployment strategy and how the office will interact with the services.

64 Fold Increase in Productivity at Army Repair Depot

Red River Army Depot (RRAD) is a sprawling industrial complex of some 1,400 buildings on 18,300 acres in northeast Texas. Called one of the “crown jewels of the Army” by Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Red River is a leader in supporting the warfighter. The depot’s mission is to return torn-up,…

State of Maine – CI-Ps Visit Lonza

On Monday June 1, 2009 Continuous Improvement Practitioners (CI-P), from the State of Maine “Bend the Curve” initiative, led by Walter Lowell, conducted a study mission at Lonza in Rockland Maine. To quote from the Lonza web site, “Lonza is one of the world’s leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science industries. Its…

Lean Federal Contract Process

Saw an article this week in the Federal Computer Week emagazine about our new President making federal contracting more efficient. This is great news and about time. http://fcw.com/articles/2009/03/04/obama-reforms-contracting.aspx?s=fcwdaily_050309 This looks very promising for the Lean Government Champions. Sounds like a job for a Continuous Improvement Practitioner. Are there any CI-Ps in the federal government yet?

1 comment

Erie County Saves a Cool 1.5 Mil

Erie County’s Six Sigma initiative is set to save 1.5 million dollars by year end. Almost a half million more than the initial goal. Below is the news reporting the story. Interviews with Al Hammonds, Deputy County Executive and former Six Sigma Director as well as the new Six Sigma Director Bill Carey. http://www.wgrz.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=61254&provider=gnews Yet…

Erie County Scouting Six Sigma Talent

Al Hammonds has been appointed the new Deputy County Executive, which means Erie County is looking for a new Director of Six Sigma. “A new director for the Six Sigma program will be chosen within the next three to four weeks, Collins said. The hope is that the new hire will be easier to find…

Do the Public Policy Guru’s get it?

Lean government is making public sector inroads through out the US. It is exciting to see this. But I am worried. Some managers seem to see it as a weapon, rather than a tool. The legislature is making us more accountable so we have to do something or else? Do more with less? Cut staff so we can…

5 comments

Revisiting Henry Ford

I have been re-reading Henry Fords book My Life and Work. I got the idea to re-read this from Walter Lowell, the Lean Initiative Director at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. It is available as an e-book from The Project Gutenberg (see below). In this wonderful book Ford talks about how he…

2 comments

Naysayers in Erie County

Six Sigma in Erie County is seeing setbacks as skeptic county legislators put a cap on the Six Sigma budget. The initial one million dollars planned has been slashed to $120,000. “I’m one of the skeptics, I believe. They didn’t name me Doubting Thomas for nothing,” Legislator Thomas J. Mazur, D-Cheektowaga, said Thursday. “I am…

2 comments