DCMO leading continuous process improvement

  • Published
  • By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information
The Air Force Deputy Chief Management Officer (DCMO) is leading continuous process improvement (CPI) by finding innovative ways to maximize Air Force resources and increase efficiency in areas concerning people, money and time.

The DCMO enables enterprise-wide business transformation initiatives and associated activities, from planning events to measuring results, while overseeing CPI implementation to improve overall effectiveness and efficiency across missions and functions.

“I became a believer in continuous process improvement when I was the wing commander at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany,” said Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. “I witnessed firsthand how CPI drives ingenuity and innovation, and what happens when those lessons are applied to solve problems and evolve processes across our Air Force.”

The propulsion flight at Spangdahlem AB used various CPI tools and reduced engine repair time by 73 percent, from 41 to 18 days.

One of the first steps in implementing the Air Force’s CPI is publishing guidance.

“The new Air Force instruction codifies our transition from an Air Force-unique Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century to a more generalized CPI approach to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Air Force processes,” said Marilyn Thomas, the deputy under secretary of the Air Force for management. “We can leverage a wider array of training and materials offered by our counterparts in the Department of Defense and industry more easily.”

All courses in the CPI portfolio are being updated to reflect this shift in approach and incorporate lessons learned from teaching them over the past eight years.

The office also established the Enterprise Process Improvement Council in January 2015, and followed with a series of business process re-engineering and improvement initiatives to make the Air Force more effective and efficient.

Some of the major initiatives sponsored by the Air Force DCMO and facilitated by EPIC last year include: audit lifecycle improvement initiative, investment funds streamlining, major headquarters activities, and planning and programming process reform and reorganization. These initiatives have improved the quality of products, removed redundancy, and decreased process time.

“Continuous process improvement efforts are occurring throughout all levels of the Air Force enterprise -- Headquarters Air Force, (major commands), and wings,” Thomas said. “We’ve seen great work from the field -- improving patient safety, reducing maintenance down time, and reducing wait time in customer service areas -- just to name a few.”

Additionally, the DCMO stood up a contract court division and oversaw the secretary of the Air Force’s Make Every Dollar Count program. The contract court establishes more discipline in the acquisition of support services and assesses the governance of associated contracts. The Make Every Dollar Count objective is to reduce cost, increase productivity, and harness efficiencies across the Air Force by challenging every Airman to look for ways to improve existing processes while finding cost-savings measures and efficiencies.