The Army's Lean Six Sigma Program

What is it'

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a vital part of today's business environment. It attacks inefficiencies - waste caused by defects and eliminates non value-added flow of information or materials, data storage, stacks of inventory, overproduction and extra processing. With Lean Six Sigma proven techniques, Army managers have the skills to find, fix and finalize efficiencies to save time and money and improve our nation's ready forces at best value.

What has the Army done'

Since the start of the Army's LSS deployment in 2006, a cumulative of $19.1B dollars has been saved through a number of Army process improvements including improved materiel flow in Iraq and Afghanistan. These financial benefits cover savings to current programs, cost avoidance in future programs and revenue generation from reimbursable activities. Today, the program continues to expand as leaders are pressed for resource reductions and elimination of waste and inefficiency. So far in fiscal year 2011, 2,111 process improvement projects are underway representing $3.6B in potential financial savings. None of these financial benefits can be accomplished without the strong partnership of leaders/champions and the 48 LSS deployment directors throughout the Army.

The Army has trained 5,700 "Green Belts," 2,400 "Black Belts" and 175 "Master Black Belts" to date.

The goal is for Army organizations to become self-sustaining in the LSS techniques and to leverage the gains that we've earned. The LSS Program Management Office (PMO) has integrated the improvement efforts of individual commands Army-wide and championed the training necessary to make this a routine way of doing business.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future'

The future of Lean Six Sigma is bright. Since the announcement of the efficiencies effort by the Secretary of Defense in May 2010, the LSS value stream analysis is now a fundamental step within the cost-benefit analysis for any new requirement.

Why is this important to the Army'

The LSS methodology has a proven track record. It has produced a return on investment of 700 to 1 since its deployment. LSS is 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.

Resources:

Lean Six Sigma

IMCOM Lean Six Sigma

AMEDD Lean Six Sigma

Army Logistician (Lean Six Sigma at Anniston Army Depot)

STAND-TO! edition, Nov. 29, 2010: Army Lean Six Sigma Excellence Awards Program

Related articles: PEO C3T employee earns Lean Six Sigma honor

Lean Six Sigma at Joint Munitions Command: Past, Present and Future