Unprecedented times and uncertainty are nothing new for St. Paul District’s Lean Six Sigma, or LSS, coordinator, Andy Huffman. As a retired Air Force officer, Huffman, said he’s accustom to dealing with unknowns while also looking for opportunities to improve.That desire to make things better than he found them is a quality that Huffman said he learned while in the Air Force¸ and it is one of the main reasons he now seeks opportunities to improve the organization by developing streamlined processes for a variety of projects.As the LSS coordinator, Huffman said the benefits of the program are obvious. “The LSS methodology has a proven track record,” he said. “It has produced a return on investment of 700 to 1 since its deployment, and it’s important to the Army because it is an analytically-based methodology that has and will continue to help us be responsible stewards of our nation’s resources.”For Huffman, the process is simple. He said LSS has been used by numerous organizations to streamline processes. The goal is to reduce waste while delivering a more consistent product. “While Six Sigma is frequently associated with manufacturing plants, the system can be implemented successfully in a variety of organizations, to include federal government organizations,” he added.Most organizations, to include the St. Paul District, use the DMAIC methodology to develop their Six Sigma programs. DMAIC is an acronym of the methodology’s five steps: define, measure, analyze, improve and control:• Define – The main objective of this stage is to outline the borders of the project;• Measure – The main objective is to collect data pertinent to the scope of the project;• Analyze – The main objective is to reveal the root cause of business inefficiencies;• Improve – The main objective at the end of this stage is to complete a test run of a change that is to be widely implemented; and• Control – The objective of the last stage of the methodology is to develop metrics that help leaders monitor and document continued success.In order for any process to be improved, however, a team must first identity an opportunity for potential improvement. Huffman said project selection and prioritization is the first crucial step in building a strong and balanced portfolio of projects and for making effective resource allocation decisions when executing projects. He said the St. Paul District Quality Committee prioritizes the district’s projects according to:• Does the project align with the district’s strategy;• Does the project have the support of district’s leadership team;• Do we have the required resources to execute the project; and• When completed, will the project provide the desired business benefits (value).Huffman said the projects will result in more than $2 million in savings. In addition to saving tax dollars, the St. Paul District had eight new employees earn their certifications to lead LSS projects. Huffman said the district had four employees earn their Black Belt and four of them earned their Green Belt. TIn comparison, there were only six personnel certified in the Corps outside of St. Paul District this past year.