Lean operations focus of week for 49th Fighter Wing

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Experts in Lean Transformation from the Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill Air Force Base, Utah will be visiting Holloman as part of "Lean Week," here March 26-30. 

The week-long focus on Lean operations is being sponsored by the Air Force Smart Operations 21 office, part of the 49th Maintenance Group, and will be a chance for the entire wing to gain an appreciation for how Lean operations can benefit a workspace. 

"The purpose of Lean Week is to help communicate AFSO21 to the 49th Fighter Wing and get the groups off on the right foot, while providing the group AFSO21 representatives a good road map on where to strategically apply their knowledge and training," said 1st Lt. Carmel Patton, the officer in charge of Lean operations for the 49th Maintenance Group. 

The week will consist of awareness training and critical planning from the experts at Hill focusing on leadership implementation strategy and Airmen awareness training. 

Monday will consist of critical Leadership Briefings and AFSO21 Awareness briefings for Airmen and supervisors. Spots in the class are reserved; contact a group representative for more information. 

Tuesday through Thursday, the Hill experts will train the group reps on how to map out an entire value stream for deployments and pick future Rapid Improvement Events based on that map. 

This means that several AFSO21 representatives will be in work centers across the base asking Airmen how they fit into the macro deployment process. They'll be glad to take any inputs on how to improve the process overall as well. Deployment subject matter experts who would like to be involved are urged to contact the 49th MXG AFSO21 office by phone at 572-7183. 

On Friday the week will conclude with a leadership out-brief and end with some newly-educated group represenatives who will stand ready to Lean out processes. There will also be a list of future Rapid Improvement Events which will directly streamline the deployment process. This will give us almost a whole month to improve identified processes and test improvements, or gather information during the April Phase I. 

The visitors from Hill have had tremendous success with Lean Operations at their depot responsible for repairing F-16s and A-10s from across the Air Force. Their industry-level awards include several Shingo Prizes from 2005 and 2006. 

The Shingo Prize is named after Dr. Shigeo Shingo, who is recognized internationally as a leader in manufacturing processes, according to www.shingoprize.org. The awards are the industry's highest recognition for excellence in manufacturing processes and have been given out annually for the past 18 years. (Courtesy of the 49th Maintenance Group)