VICENZA, Italy (Oct. 25, 2019) - With goals of maximizing resources and and service improvements to Soldiers and families, more than two dozen employees here took advantage of "Lean Leader" training here Oct. 21-25.
The five-day Lean Leader course was designed as an extension of the Army's Lean Six Sigma (LSS) initiatives, which began in 2006, and led to numerous process improvements saving billions of tax dollars.
"This is not a LSS class but rather an overview of "lean" concepts in a one week period where students can go back to their work places and immediately apply them. It's realistic to the Army workplace because students apply the concepts in a classroom simulation to improve a service without getting more workers or money," said US Army Europe Lean Leader Instructor Donna Robert.
According to Robert, students are introduced to the eight-step process of lean leadership: clarify the problem; breakdown the problem; set targets/goals; analyze the root cause of the problem; develop courses of action; implement them; monitor the results; and finally sustain them and share best practices.
"We simulate using a scenario presented to us by the Army Medical Command that involves a complex and chaotic process for how medication is processed and handled in an in-patient hospital. The goal is to reduce process time to get the right medication to the right patient at the best cost," said Robert.
Jason Todd is the personal property chief for Logistics Readiness Center (LRC), Italy, 405th Army Field Support Brigade and is responsible for helping more than 1800 permanent change of station moves for Soldiers, civilians and families each year, in-and-out of Italy. For him, learning lean leadership concepts will help him improve to provide better service.
"When it comes to PCS moves, I can better map out the process and identify pain points and how to make efficiencies. I don't have to shoot from the hip anymore wondering if something will work," said Todd.
Another student who found the training valuable was U.S. Army Africa Chaplain (Major) Matt Madison who is responsible for planning various outreach programs in Africa.
"I think this class will help me streamline some of the planning we're doing now. I know I'm a small part in the process but I think I can help to making improvements in what we do," said Miller. "If people are sure what LSS or lean management is, this class is a great opportunity to not only improve your professional life but your personal one, too."
Courses like these, highlighting a systematic lean management process, and LSS are important to USAG Italy and the Army. Reducing duplication, improving efficiency, and increasing effectiveness are even more important today as budget and resource reductions are inevitable.
According to Robert, the lean management course returns to Vicenza next April. Organizations interested in hosting the class can email her for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.