By Kristin Bradley,USAG Hohenfels Public AffairsFebruary 26, 2008
HOHENFELS, Germany - When most people hear about someone working on a green belt, they think of martial arts like karate or tae kwon do. But when Bridy Godwin earned her Green Belt Certification, the first person to do so from Installation Management Command-Europe, she did it on a computer, not a gym mat.
The certification that Godwin earned is a distinction within the Lean Six Sigma business improvement model. A combination of the Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma models, its goal is to improve a process within an organization - uncovering where quality improvements, additional efficiencies or cost savings might lie.
"This is really important in today's Army," said Godwin, "We like to try to do things better and find all the cost savings we can, so we can apply it in different areas."
To achieve a green belt, Godwin had to attend an LSS course and pass a written exam, as well as completing a project assigned to her with the task of finding cost or manpower savings while streamlining an existing process. The project took months to complete, as Godwin worked on it while also managing her normal work load at the U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels plans, analysis and integration office.
Godwin's assignment was to look at the Hohenfels bowling center food operations, ensuring food items offered on the menu were consistently available to customers, a situation the operation had been struggling with.
Together with her team (a sponsor and a regional black belt as a mentor), Godwin found ways to save the bowling center almost $33,000 annually. But she was emphatic in acknowledging the help she received from her group. "I did not, by any stretch of the imagination, accomplish this alone" she said.
She also stressed that it was the bowling center staff that created new standing operating procedures and other changes that were implemented.
"A powerful part of Lean Six Sigma is that you get a group of people together and facilitate some discussion," said Godwin. "Being part of that team is a good feeling."
Godwin has been accepted to work on her black belt, the next step up in the Lean Six Sigma certifications, and is waiting to find out what her next project will be.