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News > Commentary - AFSO21: Smart Operations for Scott AFB
AFSO21: Smart Operations for Scott AFB

Posted 10/20/2010   Updated 10/20/2010 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by Col. Mike Hornitschek
375th Air Mobility Wing commander


10/20/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- It's been almost three months since Mr. Jim Suttles joined my staff to serve as the wing's Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century, or AFSO21, program manager and I'd like to share our progress and vision as we continue to build the AFSO21 culture.

It's important to note that AFSO21 has five desired effects: increasing productivity, improving response times, enhancing decision making, improving energy efficiency, and utilizing resources in a safe and reliable way. This is accomplished by eliminating waste--a process also known as "Lean." We practice AFSO21/Lean every time we identify deficiencies, make improvements, or streamline our processes. We perform continuous process improvement because it's the right thing to do.

AFSO21 provides numerous tools to guide us through the improvement and change process. Often we know our desired end state, but lack the ability to get to the root cause of the problem or see the best action to fix the issue. AFSO21 provides us the framework in which to make those discoveries and take the best possible course of action.

In addition, AFSO21 gives us numerous problem solving approaches. The most common is the Rapid Improvement Event which is used to identify the root cause of a problem, eliminate waste, and develop an action plan. Another is known as a 6S event which stands for: Sort, Straighten, Shine, Safety, Standardize, and Sustain. This event is used for organizing work areas, arranging shared information, and visual management. Earlier this month, we conducted a 6s event after I sent out a notice to all of Team Scott implementing "Scott Pride." Still another type of event is Process Reengineering. Here larger, more complex issues and are addressed. In November, I will lead a business reengineering event to reshape the base Community Action Information Board and Integrated Delivery System functions. As you have noticed by these examples, AFSO21 can be tailored to meet the needs of any process improvement situation.

I'm proud to say that our wing is on track and is building a sustainable AFSO21/Lean culture. We are setting the conditions for success by eliminating waste, creating a sense of urgency, motivating Airmen at all levels, and focusing on our mission with velocity, accuracy and reliability. We simply can't afford to waste precious time or resources by performing non-value added actions.

That's why one of the wing's AFSO21 experts, Ms. Janet Collins in the 375th Force Support Squadron, is leading a "Decoration Timeliness" process improvement event. Her team is chartered to ensure we recognize our Airman in a timely fashion. In addition, there are 10 other events in various phases of execution, eight individuals pursuing Green Belt certification, two others completing their Black Belt certification, and AFSO21 developmental training for all.

That's a solid start with real results. However, in order for our successes to be sustainable...every military and civilian employee must understand, embrace, and practice AFSO21/Lean principles. Together we will build that culture.



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