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25 Graduate from first CPI green belt course

Hulman Field, Ind. --
     On March 5th 2010, 25 students graduated from the brand new Lean Sigma Six Green Belt Course in Bloomington, Indiana. The students were a mix of Army and Air Force members as well as DoD employees. The Continuous Process Initiative (CPI) training program is rated on three levels; green belt, black belt and master black belt.
     This curriculum combines the Army's Lean Six Sigma and the Air Force's Smart Operations for the 21st Century efficiency programs. CPI is designed to help an Enterprise become mission-ready and mission-capable by removing wasteful and non-value-added activities. The hope is to reduce the time it takes to accomplish tasks, while improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency. CPI supports the critical need for action in meeting National Guard mission requirements.
     "It's the first time that we actually have a class that was designed to be truly joint," said Air Force Col. B. J. Marshall, CPI director at the National Guard Bureau. "We took the best of the OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense) curriculum, the Army's black belt curriculum and the Air Force curriculum and built our own curriculum that meets the learning objectives of both the Army and the Air Force."
     Many adjutant generals pushed for a joint training program due to the issues from having two separate programs. Improving efficiency by eliminating the repetitive and cumbersome aspects of those programs has helped accomplish the long term initiatives set forth by Col. Marshall.
     "Our whole initiative starts with the strategic alignment workshop for the senior leaders," said Marshall. "We go in and take their strategic plan, align it to the core processes, identify the gaps and build a project library."
     These new green belt graduates will be able to provide a standard framework, method and metric to accomplish the long term initiatives while making immediate improvements across all mission sets. This is a critical component to the successful execution of the National Guard Strategic Plan and its objectives.
     It comes down to using the CPI training and tools to better manage finite resources. "By working through and using the continuous process improvement tools, we are able to free up resources to apply them in other areas," Marshall said. "And that can be both people and money."