An AFSC Way journey to art of the possible

The AFSC Way is a standard, repeatable tool set, developed by the Air Force Sustainment Center, to enable improved performance and production. 

To date, across the Ogden Air Logistics Complex, the AFSC Way has influenced numerous production areas and their ability to make improvements in throughput by implementing the AFSC Way tenets. 

Recently, the Ogden ALC Commander, Brig. Gen. Carl Buhler, challenged his staff to implement the AFSC Way for administrative staffing functions.

“In the AFSC Way Leadership Model, the three levers that can affect change are people, processes and resources,” Buhler said about the challenge. “This effort is aimed at all three, with the huge realization that time — especially people’s time — is critical.”

Col. Matthew Powell, Ogden ALC Deputy Commander for Maintenance, and Angela Love, Ogden ALC Director of Staff, led the Continuous Process Improvement event, and Allen Whitfield, an Air Force Smart Operations 21 black belt, facilitated. The 12-member team came from the Complex’s command section, protocol office and Commander’s Action Group. 

During the event, the team tackled the job of identifying process improvement opportunities for five processes. One challenge the team had was classifying processes that were being accomplished, but lacked formal guidance.

The event leveraged proven methodologies associated with AFSO21, specifically, identifying current and desired end states, performing assessments and gap analysis, developing mitigation strategies, as well as coordinating implementation plans. The team used Value Stream Mapping for five prioritized Ogden ALC staffing processes: Meeting Requests, Distinguished Visitor Notifications, Direct Tasks, Workflow and Calendar Requirements. 

“The Value Stream Mapping really opened our eyes to the amount of efficiency we could gain through this effort,” Love said. 

The basic methodology for improving each of the five areas centered on enacting key aspects of the AFSC Way to identify and eliminate process constraints affecting critical path performance. The “critical path” is the most effective way a task can be accomplished in a constraint-free environment. 

To that end, the team focused on the skills, abilities and forward thinking present across the Ogden ALC, to enhance teamwork which is critical to achieve the desired impact in the chartered areas — specifically, Production, Agility, Timeliness and Quality — which will create the environment for success. 

Corrective action plans were developed to close gaps in the process and to develop and socialize business rules across the Ogden ALC. Additionally, the team recommended a timely and systematic “burn-down” of existing process backlogs to fully realize maximum throughput. The team also recognized the AFSC Way would enable them to systematically improve their service to both internal and external customers. 

 “Great job … this is how we continue to improve across the Complex,” Buhler told the team at the March 23 out-brief. “Although something like this takes time, the rewards we will all reap are worth it.”

The team will continue studying the functions and will report its progress to the general in June.