Green Economy: Business Transformation and Process Improvement


Continuous Process Improvement 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. Deployed effectively, it increases quality and productivity, while reducing waste and cycle time. The Army has embarked upon one of the largest enterprise-wide deployments of Lean Six Sigma in an effort to institutionalize the tenets of Continuous Process Improvement, a component of Business Transformation. Lean Six Sigma combines the principles of Lean (reducing and eliminating non-value activities) with Six Sigma (reducing variation, increasing quality) to improve process effectiveness and alignment with the voice of the customer.

Lean Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology that maximizes value by achieving the fastest rate of improvement in customer satisfaction, cost, quality, process speed, and invested capital. The fusion of Lean and Six Sigma improvement methods is required because:

  • Lean cannot bring a process under statistical control
  • Six Sigma alone cannot dramatically improve process speed or reduce invested capital
  • Both enable the reduction of the cost of complexity

An award-winning, world-class program applies Lean Six Sigma as a core capability in business transformation by reviewing core business processes to better support business operations, to reduce waste and to improve quality. The ultimate goal is to free human and financial resources for more compelling operational needs. Shingo Prize is a recognition for organizations demonstrating operationally excellent strategies and practices that achieve world-class results in business and public sector/government-owned facilities.

The Army’s Lean Six Sigma program has trained more than 1,450 senior leaders. As of the date of this report, the Lean Six Sigma community has completed nearly 5,200 projects, and more than 1,900 projects are currently in progress. Completed projects have yielded significant financial and operational benefits at organizations across the Army.

Senior leaders have laid out an aggressive and focused agenda on performance management in the Department of the Army. The Army adopted the Lean Six Sigma program more than five years ago to specifically help the Army overcome the unique challenges and complexities of the enterprise. In 2009, the Army submitted $96.6 million worth of projects in response to an Office of Management and Budget data call to support President Obama’s government-wide $100 million savings goal.

In fiscal year 2011 the Army is proposing to train over 3,100 people; and anticipates completing over 3,000 Lean Six Sigma projects. Additionally, the Army is establishing a cost and performance culture in which leaders better understand the full cost of the capabilities they provide and incorporate cost considerations in their planning and decision-making processes. This approach will enable the Army to more efficiently achieve its readiness and performance objectives. To support this effort, the Army is embarking on aggressive plans to provide new top-notch education and training programs for flag officers and senior civilians to give them the business acumen necessary to lead the Army enterprise.

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IBM uses Six Sigma to help public cut energy, waste

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since ...

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since there is no official governing body over Earth. The flag holds a photo transfer of a NASA image of the Earth on a dark blue background. It has been associated with Earth Day. Although the flag was originally copyrighted, a judge ruledhttp://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/CopyrightLaw/Copyrightability/articles/EarthFlagVsAlamoFlag_A.shtml that the copyright was invalid. Earth Flag Ltd. v. Alamo Flag Co., 154 F. Supp. 2d 663 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 IBM has introduced the first consulting service designed to help government organizations analyze energy and water use, assess waste management, evaluate overall environmental impact and develop improvement strategies.The IBM Public Sector Energy and Environment Diagnostic can help governments better understand their overall performance on environmental issues, identify improvements that can increase energy efficiency, reduce environmental impact including greenhouse gas emissions, and help ensure public institutions meet their own rising environmental standards.

IBM developed the diagnostic to help U.S. federal agencies comply with current requirements for broad improvements in efficiency and economy for all environmental, energy and transportation management operations. However, it can be adapted to any future requirements for U.S. government agencies or for use with any other federal, state or municipal government in any country.

“Citizens everywhere are demanding that governments improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact, and public officials at every level are responding by raising standards for how they operate,” said Eric Riddleberger, IBM’s business strategy consulting global leader, who heads up the company’s corporate social responsibility consulting efforts. “Using a comprehensive approach that employs new, smart processes and tools to assess current performance and develop improvements can help public agencies meet those standards while maintaining proper levels of public service.”

The IBM Public Sector Energy and Environment Diagnostic offering uses a proprietary Heat Map tool to provide an initial analysis. Based on IBM’s Component Business Model approach, the tool breaks organizations down into logical segments – finance, operations, procurement, etc. – and then provides an analysis as to how well they are performing in terms of efficiency, cost and environmental impact.

Areas for potential environmental improvement are color coded – red for “most critical,” yellow for “moderately critical,” and green for “performing within guidelines” – to help government institutions prioritize where to make changes. From there, IBM can assist government agencies in developing a comprehensive strategy for prioritizing and implementing those changes, accounting for the cost and benefit of each solution.

Specific areas addressed in the diagnostic are:

  • Environmental management systems – identifying leadership, establishing targets, tracking performance and communicating with stakeholders;
  • Energy and greenhouse gases – addressing efficiency and use of renewable sources;
  • Water management – reducing consumption and improving quality;
  • Waste and disposal – waste prevention, recycling, environmentally responsible disposal, and reducing the use of potentially toxic and hazardous chemicals;
  • Facilities and equipment – sustainable practices in motor fleets and renovation and construction operations;
  • Workforce programs – establishing workforce sustainability programs, training, benefits, and awards for environmental sustainability leadership.

The Public Sector Energy and Environment Diagnostic joins a growing portfolio of consulting offerings from IBM designed to help clients address CSR issues throughout their operations, including: the CSR Assessment and Benchmarking Utility, the Carbon Tradeoff Modeler, Green Sigma, Environmental Product Lifecycle Management, the Supply Chain Network Optimization Workbench (or SNOW), and Strategic Carbon Management.

The public sector diagnostic is designed to be used together with many of these other offerings. For example, after completing an analysis and identifying areas for improvement with the public sector diagnostic, clients can use Green Sigma(TM), which applies Lean Six Sigma principles to measuring and monitoring energy and water usage throughout a organization’s operations, and the Carbon Trade-off Modeler, which helps evaluate and balance carbon dioxide emissions and energy usage with other key factors throughout a supply chain — cost, service and quality.

These offerings use “smart” approaches, such as advanced business processes and monitoring dashboards, which allow clients to collect and analyze large amounts of data to make better decisions.

To learn more about IBM’s strategy and change offerings, visit http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/bus/html/bcs_strategyplanning.html?re=gbs_fe_leftnav.