PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J.-- When it comes to teaching the tricks of the trade of business process and product improvement, the Lean Six Sigma Competency Office (LSSCO) at <a href="http://www.pica.army.mil/PicatinnyPublic/index.asp" target="_blank">Picatinny Arsenal</a> knows that teamwork is critical.

In fact, their teamwork recently won a Federal Executive Board (FEB) of Metropolitan Northern New Jersey annual award, which was presented to the group Oct. 6 in Paterson, N.J.

The FEB Team Award was given to the LSSCO for their successes in using a "teaming approach" to make significant contributions to quality improvements and customer service.

"We couldn't do any of this without the collective dedication, collaboration and accountability of every member of the Lean Six Sigma team," said Dominick Carra, Director of the Quality Engineering and System Assurance Directorate, which oversees Lean Six Sigma here.

Lean Six Sigma supports the <a href="http://www.pica.army.mil/PicatinnyPublic/organizations/ardec/index.asp" target="_blank">Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC),</a> the <a href="https://www.pica.army.mil/peoammo/Home.aspx" target="_blank">Program Executive Office for Ammunition,</a> and Program Managers in developing and delivering robust armament solutions for the U.S. Army and other federal organizations.

The Lean Six Sigma team's most recent accomplishment was the in-house design and implementation of a Black Belt Training Program - an advanced process improvement regimen - which consists of a two-week training course and a supporting project development program.

The in-house ARDEC Black Belt Program is tailored to the engineering and business needs of the ARDEC and PEO Ammo communities, but it also targets other career fields such as management and finance.

Not only has the program shown to be more effective in realizing significant product and process improvements, but it also costs almost 40 percent less per participant compared to private consulting.

Continued development of the program at ARDEC's off-site locations will lessen dependence on private consulting firms and allow internal management to have more control of the content and methodology.

"This program embraces a best-in-class Lean Six Sigma philosophy customized to the needs of our technical and management communities," Carra said. "We use the best principles, methodologies and tools to leverage and maximize the talents of our workforce."

"ARDEC is recognized by the Army as a leader for its innovative Lean Six Sigma subject matter and teaching techniques," he said. "As a result of this recognition, the Army and its agencies are benchmarking with us to improve their own Lean Six Sigma Programs."

Future plans for the team include marketing the Black Belt Program to other Army and government groups to help them solve productivity problems and design effective and efficient technical and business processes. The LSSCO will also continue to focus on continuous improvement of the program.

"After all, continuous improvement is not just a concept this team teaches to others, but rather a common and every day practice for them in their pursuit of excellence," Carra said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16