Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2011 Contents improved LSS tool set. Intuitively they
knew that if we collectively remained
on our current path, we would make
LSS certification a destination versus
the start of a cultural journey.
In that regard, it was their intent that
employees achieve learning on their first
few projects and work to achieve practitio-
ner status with each project undertaking.
Taking It to the Top
In early April 2010, we elevated our
customer VOC needs to the DA, Office
of Business Transformation (OBT), via
the ASAALT. LTG Robert E. Durbin,
OBT Director, understood the message,
reacted positively, and immediately
directed that we conduct a pilot pro-
gram to address the CPI/LSS process
concerns. He agreed to co-sponsor,
with his office and ASAALT, a two-site
program to increase the overall effi-
ciency and effectiveness of the Army's
Durbin included PEO Ammunition
at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, the Army's
2009 Public Sector Malcolm Baldrige
Award winner and CPI/LSS leader.
He acknowledged the need for posi-
tive cultural change, created a pathway,
established a timeline, and enabled
an environment for CPI/LSS process
improvement throughout the Army.
Immediately, the Deputy Assistant
Secretary of the Army for Strategic
Communications and Business
Transformation within ASAALT, using
its already established Training Integrated
Process Team (IPT), began to address all
aspects of the VOC process concerns.
By mid-September 2010, the IPT
team, with input from DA and
ASAALT co-sponsors, had developed
VOC solutions with approved process
changes that would make CPI/LSS
significantly easier to deploy and
use in the Army's organizational and
business environments. We collectively
assessed, developed, and improved the
deployment techniques, methodologies,
and POIs, ultimately developing the
process into LEAN Lean Six Sigma.
A key challenge was to address VOC
issues and maintain standards with-
out compromising the POI's body
of knowledge, which is based on the
American Society for Quality (ASQ)
education base line. The team measured
and developed a Lego-style or stackable,
aligned, and consistent ASQ standard
of knowledge for Green and Black Belt
training. ASAALT, working with the
training IPT, approved the team's rec-
ommendations, which institutionalized
solutions that provide practical guidance
on 16 major CPI/LSS process issues.
The seven approved VOC solutions
represent changes in the way the Army
will deploy its CPI/LSS practitioners to
become more efficient and effective:
• Approved pilot site POIs that reduce all
LSS belt training times by 50 percent.
ʼ Yellow Belt: 6 hours of training
ʼ Green Belt: 1 week of training
ʼ Black Belt: 2 weeks of training
• Authorize local Master Black Belts
to teach Yellow Belt, Green Belt, and
Black Belt POIs.
• Authorize local Black Belts to teach
Yellow Belt and Green Belt POIs.
• Authorize local Master Black Belts
and local panels to DA-certify Green
Belts and Black Belts.
• Authorize DA certification for
methodologies other than Define,
Measure, Analyze, Improve,
Control for DA Green Belt and
Black Belt certifications.
• Authorize scheduling and administra-
tion of local DA-approved training and
certification to meet the needs of the
deployment, customer, and culture.
• Develop reasonable and accept-
able project certification-level
Each VOC solution addresses a particu-
lar need for change that was apparent
to everyone we talked to or briefed and
was not specific to PEOs Ammunition
and MS. The VOC solutions go a long
way in addressing systemic change man-
agement and clearly demonstrate DA's
and ASAALT leaders' commitment to
LSS---that they, too, recognize that
change, regardless of how useful or ben-
eficial, is difficult for people to accept.
Many original CPI/LSS change agents
and practitioners no doubt will see the
revised LSS pilot deployment strategy as
unnecessary, possibly as a threat to what
they have fought to build or achieve.
Ultimately, they will realize that the
only constant is change. They will real-
ize that the leaning of Lean Six Sigma is
an organizational and systems approach
to business process and organization cul-
tural change, which is what we should
be doing daily to support the Soldier.
FRANK J. DE LUCA JR. is the
Assistant Program Executive Officer for
Strategic Planning and Operations, PEO
MS, Redstone Arsenal, AL, and a retired
U.S. Air Force colonel with 31 years
of service. In November 2006, he was
recruited from industry to be an Army
civilian. He holds a B.S. in aviation busi-
ness management from Embry-Riddle
Aeronautical University and an M.A. in
contracting from Webster University.
De Luca is certified Level III in program
management and life-cycle logistics and
holds an LSS Black Belt certification.
One of the PEO MS VOC needs was to reduce Green
Belt and Black Belt training time and focus the POI
to better align the content between the two training
levels. (U.S. Army photo.)
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