Operational Effectiveness: Lean Six Sigma Deployment Paradigm
Client: US Military Command
Project duration: One Year
Project category: Operational Effectiveness & Efficiency
A military command requested an assessment of an ongoing Lean Six Sigma deployment. We worked closely with both military and civilian personnel to identify areas of opportunity, presenting the result as system archetypes that combined to create a deployment paradigm.
The use of systems thinking archetypes enabled participants to “see themselves” within the system they were operating in. We identified four key system archetypes: Limits-to-Growth, Accidental Adversaries, Shifting-the-Burden, and Fixes-that-Fail. For example, the Accidental Adversaries, depicting how military and civilian personnel can switch between a ‘virtuous’ and ‘vicious’ mode. Knowledge of what provokes a switch from virtuous to vicious, and how to switch it back again, aided cultural change efforts.
We also found that the use of Structured Systems Thinking filled a gap in Lean Six Sigma methodology. Both DoD and Marine Corps CPI guidance specifies the importance of “systems thinking” but provides little in the way of practical, light-weight tools for the pursuit of it. As a result of the assessment we proposed adopting Structured Systems Thinking as the proper method with a robust background established in systems engineering to fill this gap; and that both Green Belts and Black belts should receive some level of training in it.
Persona-Analysis using system archetypes (replacing traditional stakeholder analysis)
Policy analysis using systems map
Creation of Lean Six Sigma Deployment Paradigm
Greater understanding of human dynamics affecting deployment efforts
Lean Six Sigma deployment paradigm transferable to other deployments in different environments
Proposal to adopt Structured Systems Thinking training for Green and Black Belts
Use of archetype names gave a clearer language for teams to discuss opportunities and barriers