Lean Six Sigma class encourages new ideas
October 13, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 13, 2011) -- "Because that's how we've always done it," is not an acceptable excuse for those who recently completed the Lean Six Sigma class here.
The Department of the Army-funded and Training and Doctrine Command-taught class began here in July with 15 students. Those 15 graduated from the course with Black Belt certification Oct. 6. This was the first time the Black Belt certification course had been taught at Fort Rucker, said Rod Norris, TRADOC LSS instructor.
All 15 are now "Black Belt" certified through the course and are ready to take the information and knowledge they've gained to their organizations and units, said Norris.
"This is all about finding broken processes in the Army and fixing them," he said. "We want to do it in a disciplined, diplomatic sort of way. That's what a (Black Belt certified) individual does."
A Black Belt certified LSS graduate uses what Norris referred to as the DMAIC system. It stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control, he added.
The course lasted four weeks, but was only taught for one week each month since July, Norris said. Each student was also tasked to come up with a project to apply what they had learned in order to become certified upon graduation.
"This program has been going on since 2006," Norris said. "The Army has trained over 450 Black Belts, to which we've added 15 with this course."
Col. John M. Lynch, TRADOC capability manager, was instrumental in bringing the LSS training here, Norris added. Lynch said this class is going to be highly beneficial to Fort Rucker and the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence.
"These graduates are going to take these skills back to their organizations and it's going to wind up cutting costs in the long run," he said. "They'll also be able to develop new projects in the future now that they can put these concepts into practice. It's much like the Leading Change concept here."
Lynch told the graduates they have accomplished something that only a few have, and that they should take their skills and use them to their full advantage.
"What a great opportunity that has been presented to your commands," he said. "I commend them for allowing them to take advantage of this. It's both good for the individual and the Army."
While the class mostly consisted of civilians, there were some Soldiers who took part as well, including Maj. Andrew Herzberg, Basic Officer Leadership Course commander.
"LSS brings an interesting approach for problem solving," he said. "I liked it because I found it challenging and it exposed me to forms of thought I hadn't previously seen. The Army has its way of solving problems and this has its own way."
Herzberg said he isn't sure how BOLC will be affected just yet, but he's sure the training he's picked up here will definitely affect decision making and organizing in the future.
"The different approaches to thinking I learned here can be broadly applied to what my company does in terms of the mission," he said. "We can find better ways of doing things that we do every day, like processing leave forms, we can find better ways of doing things like that. It's all about taking a high-quality product, and making it better. This class is very learner centric. It's more of a collaborative process between instructor and student."