The US Air Force considers Lean and Six Sigma as a self-motivated, interactive force rather than what people normally perceive as two opposing initiatives. Lean and Six Sigma, which are two primary business process and development strategies, serve as beneficial tools to any place of work, if used accurately with leadership support and dedication. These two strategies thus make a vast difference in the work methodology of organizations.
The Lean Six Sigma is balancing by nature and, if started accurately they bring about a long-term business procedure that is able to produce extraordinary results. The Lean process concentrates on removing the unimportant activities and steps in an organization, while the Six Sigma process concentrates on decreasing the differences from the additional important steps.
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On one hand, Lean ensures that an organization is practicing correct activities, while on the other hand Six Sigma ensures that the organization is using the correct methods while venturing into new activities. Lean determines and installs the price flow attracted towards the customer, whereas Six Sigma ensures that the value flow proceeds smoothly without any disturbance.
The lean Six Sigma success in the US Air Force depends on the number of people occupied in the program that is, the numbers of individuals practicing, trained, certified and so on. It not only depends on the conduct and principles of the people, but also the maturity of the US Air Force.
All these actions are very significant but apart from them, one of the most vital characteristics of Lean Six Sigma is the capacity to assess the monetary impact of usage and deployment.
The following vital factors are incorporated in almost every operation of the US Air Force:
1. The first vital factor is managerial ownership and dedication with a strong obsession to make it occur.
2. Second is leadership placement.
3. Constructing the correct infrastructure and choosing the precise people such as Black Belt Champions, Master Black Belt (MBB) Champs, leadership team members, and Six Sigma Green Belt certified people.
4. Selecting accurate projects, project contracts, and project teams are also certain crucial lean six-sigma factors
5. Financial responsibility and positive contribution by finance
6. Participation of the supplier and the customer
7. Rewards and appreciation system
8. Communication and factual sharing
9. Proper training in the right activities with the finest motivators and trainers
10. Incessant review of projects and implementation or deployment issues
Lean Six Sigma Implementation
The process implementation consists of three steps:
The Initialization Phase: This phase assumes that the main supervisory within the US Air Force understands and appreciates the nature and characteristics of Lean Six Sigma and the influence of its implementation on the Air Force’s scorecards and measures.
The next step is to identify the corporate-level organization leader, who reports directly to the main supervisory. After this, a sequence of rules, policies and guidelines need to be developed by the leader. One or more navigation committees and particular business functions comprising of human resources, finance, communications, and quality are also good options.
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Execution: After the completion of the initialization phase, the US Air Force aims at selecting the correct full time people, training, and initial projects. Each project needs to address appropriately the targets, thereby ensuring success. A cautious upfront setting is necessary to ensure the completion of the project within four months. Update the selected projects frequently for proper management.
Assessment: When a specific project ends and a new project begins, the US Air Force does an objective versus a subjective review of benefits as following:
1. Ensuring that the main factors of the Lean Six Sigma plans are taking place in a timely manner
2. Address any performance gaps for benefit realization
3. Promote discipline, knowledge, accountability and so on
4. Increase self-sustainability.