SSC-Natick Press ReleaseU.S. Army Soldier Systems
Public Affairs Office
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Date: September 19, 2007
Efficiencies sought and taught with Lean Six Sigma
Attendees of the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Course held in
Natick, Mass. Pictured from left to right: Timothy Attig, U.S.
Army Test and Evaluation Command; Harry Kirejczyk, Natick
Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC);
Tessie Snavely, TACOM Integrated Logistics Support Center (ILSC);
Mark Rudd, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC);
Holly Story, SMDC; William Tharion, U.S. Army Research Institute
of Environmental Medicine; Maj. Richard Hall, NSRDEC, LSS class
coordinator; Marc Mathews, NSRDEC; Gregg Gildea, Product Manager
Force Sustainment Systems; Steven Pautz, instructor, George
Group Federal Services; Katelyn D'Alessandro, NSRDEC; Michelle
Sullivan, TACOM ILSC; Brian Ashford, Army Center of Excellence
in Battlefield Capability Enhancement; Jerry Speciale,
instructor, George Group Federal Services. Not pictured: Deborah
Mangano, U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center. (Photo by Sarah
Click for Larger Photo
NATICK, Mass. -- During the weeks of July 16 and Aug. 13, twelve
students from various military organizations attended a Lean Six
Sigma (LSS) Green Belt Course at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems
Center (SSC) in Natick, Mass. This was the first Department of the
Army sponsored green belt course at Natick and was hosted by the
Office of Continuous Improvement, Natick Soldier Research,
Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), and consisted of two
Lean Six Sigma is a combination of two business-improvement
methodologies, Lean and Six Sigma. Lean refers to the reduction of
waste and Six Sigma focuses on the reduction of variance to improve
system performance. Together, they form a powerful approach to
process improvement helping to free up resources and ensure quality
equipment and services are quickly provided to Soldiers.
Maj. Richard Hall, LSS course coordinator, said, "The purpose of
this training is to teach students how to apply these concepts and
tools in conjunction with the Lean Six Sigma methodology."
A green belt course is the first level of LSS certification and
incorporates simulations, examples, team exercises and case studies.
"The outcome of the course is students who can lead projects or
solve problems utilizing the LSS methodology, including its five
defined phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control," said
To ensure that the students understand the practice, exams and a LSS
project must be completed.
Katelyn D'Alessandro, visit coordinator, NSRDEC, is working on a
joint project with personnel from SSC, titled, "VIP Visit
Coordination." The purpose of the project is to improve the
efficiency and quality of information flow between SSC and NSRDEC
leadership in the coordination of VIP visits, D'Alessandro said.
Although visit coordination often requires last-minute adjustments
due to unforeseen circumstances, she continued, "we are excited to
use the Lean Six Sigma improvement methodology as a tool for
standardizing the elements of coordination that take place before a
visit actually occurs."
This in turn will help improve communication and eliminate
Green belt training is a critical step towards the implementation of
LSS and the success of Army transformation. Students who
successfully complete the course and a project receive LSS green
belt certifications. A number of students who receive certification
in green belt training may choose to progress to the next level of
LSS training, black belt.
D'Alessandro said part of what she learned from the training is Lean
Six Sigma is not just a tool for manufacturing processes.
It [LSS] requires a great deal of up-front data gathering and
process mapping, but the results are very much worth it. Our
instructors were very passionate and helpful in getting us to
recognize the benefits of LSS, and Im excited at the prospect of
using this tool to make what I do more efficient and quality
driven, she said.