ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Can your work be completed in an efficient and effective manner or are heroic measures required?Do you experience delays inhibiting your ability to meet production requirements?Do safety hazards exist in your work area?I bet there are things in your work area which, if given the opportunity, you would change and make better.I believe that because I think the person doing the job has the best ideas to improve the work area and how to best accomplish the job.Incorporating these ideas into Anniston Army Depot’s continuous process improvement initiative is one of the key ingredients for success.Here at the depot, our CPI efforts are commonly referred to as Lean. Regardless of what we call it, our efforts and focus are being reinvigorated.Our approach centers on value streams.Earlier this year, we chose the Paladin component value stream to kick off our reinvigoration. In March, a value stream analysis was conducted, laying out the entire process from vehicle disassembly until the completed vehicle is returned to DLA.The result was a road map for improvements over the next 12-18 months.Without a road map, drive-by improvements usually happen. In drive-by improvements, only a small piece of the process is improved, without consideration to the impact of the whole value stream.Many times, these small improvements have a negative impact on the overall process.Our CPI staff has been busy collecting data for the improvements to the Paladin component process.You may have seen employees collecting time observations. Gathering of the time observation data sometimes makes the watched employees nervous.It is sometimes associated with time studies to reduce time standards or the time allotted to complete the work. Our time observations document the work being performed and the time it takes.We are creatures of habit. We do work the way we were taught and, in many cases, accept the inefficiencies without realizing it.Time observers are trained to identify the wasted efforts. Once the waste is identified, the team, including the people doing the work, determine how to best eliminate the waste.This is what we mean when we say, “work smarter, not harder.” This is one of the benefits of an efficient work cell.The target benefits from the Paladin component process improvements are:• Reduce schedule changes by 50 percent to an average of 1.8 changes per month.• Improve the percentage of kits provided to vehicle assembly with zero shortages to 75 percent.• Reduce man-hour standards by 15 percent.• Reduce quality deficiencies by 75 percent.I encourage each of you to provide ideas for improvements in your work area to your supervisor or contact a member of the Lean team at Ext. 6781.In other words, if you see an opportunity to make things better or easier, say something. Better yet, I encourage you to volunteer to serve on Lean events.I’m sure each of you track the Group Award Program performance and take note of the key metrics determining the payout. CPI savings is one of those key metrics. So, even if CPI didn’t make your work area more efficient, you still have a very good reason to participate in our CPI initiatives.When CPI events are conducted in your work area, please provide your ideas.When given the opportunity, participate in CPI event whether it’s a Rapid Improvement Event, Value Stream Analysis or a Problem Solving and Corrective Action Team.When we work together, we make things better.