How the US Military Uses Some of the Lean Six Sigma Methodologies?


The US Military is one of the biggest on our planet, involving enormous processes and several billion-dollar transactions. The US Military uses lean six sigma concepts in several tiers to help simplify the processes, increase the system’s efficiency, and make the soldiers more competent. The US Navy, Airforce, and the Army use these concepts to empower their recruits better. 

For better training 

The lean six sigma training involves various stages, and the aspirants who finish the training get awarded, green, yellow, and black belt and master black belt. The certification is helpful for the military personnel to improve their work in the military, eliminate errors efficiently, and prevent time wastage. 

The certification fetches them good credibility when they return to civilian life and provides them a means to earn a good living. Training similar to Lean Six Sigma in military can be delivered professionally to every company or business establishment through The training imparted teaches the participants several management skills, organizational talents, and high-quality deliverance skills. 

Process efficiency improvement 

Reducing the time taken to complete a process by eliminating waste or useless procedures is the basis of the lean concept. Six Sigma aims to improve the result or make it error-free by imparting uniformness throughout the process. 

The US military, mainly the army, uses Lean Six Sigma to train the cadets uniformly and make them perform a task in the best possible way to achieve maximum results. The outcome gets easily judged in most cases, and the time, material, and money needed to achieve optimal success get predicted easily.

Cost reduction 

The IMCOM program in the US Military got rolled out to reduce the cost by using the DMAIC or Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control method. Incorporating the DMAIC method has enabled the US army to increase its Humvee production from 3 units in a week to 32 Humvees. Besides, they saved nearly $30 million in costs by reducing waste and quickening the process. 

The Chinook helicopter maintenance process showed a 74% reduction in cost after DMAIC got implemented by a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt leader. Besides this, operation streamlining helped the US Military generate nearly $55 million and save around $10 million through wastage reduction.

Improve time-management 

Using the expertise of Lean Six Sigma black belt leaders enables the US army to cut down process time in several areas. The Texas Corpus Christi Army Depot started to build UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters in just 70 days instead of the previous 256 days. The time taken to recruit new people into the army had reduced by 40% due to a program named LEADS. 

The program uses DMAIC concepts and reduced unwanted procedures, shortening the recruitment procedures to 11 instead of 32, saving ample time. Similarly, the Utah bases now make their battle-rostered soldiers’ deployment-ready in 3 days instead of 30. These examples prove the efficiency of Lean Six Sigma methods in saving enormous time without compromising on the result and still maintaining high-quality performance. 

Eliminating errors in operations 

In addition to making the process fast and saving costs, process improvement relies heavily on reducing errors. The US Military uses the Lean Six Sigma method to minimize the mistakes at various levels using combined techniques like Root Cause Analytics or RCA. 

The elimination of error falls under scrutinizing the current process, identifying the time-consuming processes, and replacing them with efficient and cost-effective techniques. The Lean Six Sigma process helps the military leaders to analyze every contract and operation, allowing them to spot the bottlenecks easily. They effectively use their training to bring down common errors, which often simplifies the process and provides an easy way to achieve a perfect result.


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