Deploying Lean Six Sigma throughout the command

Deploying Lean Six Sigma
Critical-to-Quality tree example – CTQs are the key measurable characteristics of a product or process whose performance standards or specification limits must be met in order to satisfy the customer. They align improvement or design efforts with customer requirements.

Traditionally, the leader of a military organization is referred to as the Six, which is the historical radio call sign for the commander. Each unit relies upon the commander for support in achieving its mission essential tasks. Successful accomplishment of this series of tasks determines the effectiveness and capability of the unit.

In other words, the unit relies on the support (Lean) of the leader (Six) to achieve the summation of its goals (Sigma). Likewise, the successful deployment of Lean Six Sigma throughout the command relies upon the support of leadership.

What is the best way to successfully deploy Lean Six Sigma throughout the command?

Through attending and supporting training at all organizational levels, in order to identify continuous process improvement projects. The focus of this article is the first key step in the process, attending and supporting training. There are four distinct levels of Lean Six Sigma training available to members of MRMC: Executive Awareness, Project Sponsor Workshop, Yellow Belt, and Belt Certification.

The first two training levels, Executive Awareness and Project Sponsor Workshop, are designed for supervisors at the GS-13/14/15/O-6 and SES/GO levels. EA and PSW training is 2-3 days in length. The training provides a basic understanding of LSS, its relevance to the Balanced Scorecard and continuous process improvement, the roles of project sponsors and LSS belts. The intent of EA and PSW training is to ensure leaders provide purpose, guidance, and direction to project teams. The importance of providing resources and removing barriers is also covered. Training is conducted by the MRMC-Quality Management Office. EA training occurs annually, while PSW training is conducted quarterly.

The next level, Yellow Belt training, is designed for the team members of a LSS project. It is a one-day training session which provides a basic knowledge of LSS terms and products. The simulation exercise helps YB team members become familiar with the process they’ll use under the mentorship of the project belt. Once again, MRMC-QMO conducts YB training, typically holding a session each month.

The most in-depth training level is the Belt Certification level. Organization leaders may identify candidates to participate in either Green Belt or Black Belt training. GB training is two non-consecutive weeks long, typically conducted concurrently with an approved project. BB training is four non-consecutive weeks long, again conducted concurrently with an approved project. The GB or BB will manage the project, mentor the YB team members, and obtain Army certification as a LSS belt upon the completion of their project. This training is conducted by the Department of the Army and can be coordinated through MRMC-QMO.

If you are interested in attending any level of training, or would like a copy of a LSS Awareness CD, contact the MRMC-QMO office at (301) 619-1066 or email

Last Modified Date: 24-Dec-2009