Air Force Materiel Command news service (Feb. 3, 2006): Electronic Systems Center gets "Smart".
As Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of the Air Force Materiel Command, noted in his Jan. 27 commander's log, this doesn't mean the Air Force, or AFMC, has been doing things wrong. It simply means "we cannot rest on past success," he wrote.
AFSO 21 is a continuous process improvement initiative. That means it's designed to help people keep finding ways to make things better, even if they're already "good." This requires "a passion for continuous improvement--a spirit and mindset that we can always get better," General Carlson wrote.
Air Force leaders hope that this mindset will be contagious, that everyone will continue looking to eliminate steps that add little or no value to a process or product. They might also look at combining process steps to save time. Those sorts of critical process examinations are at the heart of Lean.
Six Sigma looks at various segments of a process to determine what a customer truly needs. That enables deliverers to determine where they should spend more time or money to achieve greater precision and perfection; conversely it allows them to determine where, from a customer's perspective, the extra time and money aren't warranted.
"Smart Ops 21 is all about continuous process improvement," said Electronic Systems Center Vice Commander Maj. Gen. Arthur Rooney. "There are many weapons in the Smart Ops 21 arsenal, including brain storming, problem solving, benchmarking, Lean and Six Sigma, to name just a few. We must look for opportunities to use these weapons each and every day. In so doing, we will make sure we remain the world's greatest Air and Space Force."
At ESC, Lt. Gen. Chuck Johnson, the center commander, wants to begin implementing this initiative immediately. On his behalf, Rooney has already asked members of the staff to begin thinking about processes that could be streamlined with AFSO 21.
He has identified the ESC Plans and Programs Directorate as the lead organization for implementing AFSO 21 and for meshing it with ongoing Balanced Scorecard efforts.
Paone is with Electronic Systems Center Public Affairs.
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|Title Annotation:||Acquisition & Logistics Excellence|
|Publication:||Defense AT & L|
|Date:||May 1, 2006|
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