By Capt. Michael CherryOctober 31, 2008
Soldiers and civilians from the Warrior Transition Brigade on Fort Hood, Texas, participated in a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt course sponsored by Army Materiel Command Sept. 8-12. The Warrior Transition Brigade's sole mission is to heal Soldiers returning from war and help them successfully return to duty or transition to civilian life. Its role in healing and caring for Soldiers and their families is crucial to the success of both the Soldier who has served so valiantly and the Army as a whole.
The Fort Hood WTB is a rapidly growing organization that has expanded from 300 personnel in 2003 into a 3,000-person brigade today. Because of this fact, the WTB command team wants to ensure sound business practices and procedures are enacted throughout their organization in order to provide the best service possible to its wounded warriors. By utilizing the tools taught in the Lean Six Sigma course, the WTB expects to do this.
The Lean Six Sigma program is designed to improve and streamline processes within any organization. The goal is to make processes faster and more efficient by cutting out non-value added activities; in essence, trimming the fat and making it "lean". The "Six Sigma" portion consists of statistical analysis to ensure a process maintains consistency and quality throughout. One of the biggest benefits of LSS is that it can be applied to any process within any organization. It is not limited in any way. It can help restructure any business, organization, or even the way your own home functions, for that matter.
Lean Six Sigma affects cultural change in an organization by clarifying the need for change and providing a controlled structure by which to achieve that change.
"Lean Six Sigma training is something we should have been doing a long time ago," said Sgt. 1st Class Clarence D. Bryant from the WTB. "The Army should implement at every level!"
WTB Capt. Aaron Doft recommends adding the program into the Army Officer Education system, particularly the Officer Basic Course and also into the Non-Commissioned Officer schools. That is a big statement of how powerful the Lean Six Sigma program is.
"We are starting to build on LSS capability too, so it is great to share lessons learned," said Maj. Steve Knotts of Army Sustainment Command's 407th Army Field Support Brigade.
Lean Six Sigma's relentless pursuit of product quality and process speed will lead to organizational success and to personal success for the people who contribute to that journey. For the WTB, the end-state is superior service and support for our wounded warriors and their families in their time of need. AMC is proud to be a part of their efforts and success.
"AMC is one of the Army's largest single practitioners of LSS, and the WTB's participation adds a lot of value to this course," said Lt. Col. Jim Farrell, of the 407th.
Both AMC and Fort Hood Garrison Command have active LSS programs on Fort Hood.