DoD Continuous Process Improvement Transformation Guidebook

Keywords continuous improvement process improvement transformation

DoD is achieving significant performance improvements in its full range of activities—from operations to human resources management and logistics management—with the major focus on improving the support for the warfighter customer through the application of Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) concepts and tools. DoD CPI is a strategic approach for developing a culture of continuous improvement in the areas of reliability, process cycle times, costs in terms of less total resource consumption, quality, and productivity. In DoD, CPI comprises the application of a broad range of tools and methods, such as Lean, Six Sigma, and Theory of Constraints (TOC). For example, the Air Force applied CPI to improve its medical referral management process and reduced the flow time on provider authorizations from 97 hours to 1 hour; the Army used a Lean approach to increase the mean time between overhaul (MTBO) for T700 helicopter engines by 300 percent; the Navy reduced the cycle time for F404 jet engines by 78 percent in 2 years; and the Marine Corps applied TOC tools to reduce the repair cycle time for CH-46 helicopters by 40 percent. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) reduced interest payments and administrative lead times on a major support contract by 10 percent through Lean and Six Sigma techniques. DLA is currently applying these techniques to improve Common Access Card (CAC) issuance rates. These successes, and many others like them, demonstrate DoD’s ability to apply world-class, best-of-breed practices to meet a wide range of operational requirements.

These outstanding achievements are only the beginning. As Secretary England’s memo indicates, this guidebook is designed to facilitate CPI success by codifying experiences to date that have produced the best result. There is great promise for DoD to leverage, expand, and connect past isolated CPI successes as it establishes an overriding CPI culture that converges on best practices, and shares information among its organizations.

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