By Holly Logan-Arrington, Robins Public Affairs / Published November 28, 2018
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. —
The Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex is no stranger to Art of the Possible.
While the constraints-based process improvement tool has been used at Robins since 2012, the complex’s workforce development and training section has been working to apply AoP to its operations since 2014.
Annette Albright, training administrator in the WR-ALC Workforce Development and Training Section, said her office has applied AoP to three areas, including its Training Management Element, Courseware Development Element and Instruction Element.
“By November 2014, it was decided to AoP the Structured On-The-Job Training/Special Skills Qualification Triennial Review, formal training plan review and civilian training plan review processes,” she said.
The workforce development and training section was the first staff office within the WR-ALC to establish an approved AoP process, the SOJT/SSQ Triennial Review process.
“This process was identified as the gold standard and was bench marked by the safety, quality, financial management and other staff offices,” Albright said. “The SOJT/SSQ Triennial Review process is also used in the Central Georgia Technical College Operations Management 101 course.”
During its AoP journey, Albright said the section was able to identify its constraints and map a way to solve problems.
“The main constraint for the SOJT/SSQ Triennial Review machine are the subject matter experts,” she said. “Being a SME is not a person’s primary duty and, as such, it may be difficult for the SME to find the time to review the SOJT/SSQ. When the machine was first developed, the SME was required to ‘touch’ the SOJT/SSQ 3 times. In September 2016, after utilizing elements from the AoP system with all the stakeholders, to include SMEs, the process was changed so that SMEs only had to ‘touch’ the SOJT/SSQ once.”
Albright said AoP has allowed her section to standardize all of its processes.
“It has provided us the opportunity to educate our customers on our processes and their role in those processes,” she said. “It has allowed our customers to tell us exactly what is important to them. Depending on the urgency of the requested project, it may be inducted into a machine immediately, or can wait until the manning is available to staff that project.”
AoP has helped identify what the section’s workload is currently and what the next few years are going to look like.
“By understanding what our workload is, we are also able to determine if our manning is at a level to sustain that workload,” Albright said. “It has actually helped the Section increase our manning due to the increase of new hires to the WR-ALC, which means more people to track and train.”
Albright said the section has come a long way since AoP was first introduced.
“We started with three machines and have grown to nine machines with a new one being developed,” she said. “All machines have a matching process guide that were required to be developed in 2016. It has been identified over the last two years that many of our process guides are very basic in nature and don’t provide enough guidance to help the user take a project from induction to completion successfully. So the next improvement for the section will be to review all of the process guides not with the process owner in mind, but the process user.”