AFCEC’s new culture of continuous improvement focuses on supporting installations

  • Published
  • By Steve Warns
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Air Force Civil Engineer Center aims to sharpen mission readiness and strengthen installations by implementing a culture of continuous improvement.

“Our people are our greatest resource and are best positioned to identify and suggest improvements,” Maj. Gen. John Allen, AFCEC commander told attendees at a Continuous Process Improvement event in San Antonio recently. “Instituting a culture where they are trained, engaged and empowered at all levels not only benefits us at AFCEC, but supports the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center and the Air Force enterprise.”

The AFCEC-sponsored Continuous Process Improvement for Executives training event earlier this month focused on how to best deliver civil engineering expertise and services to installations in a constantly changing environment. The event stemmed from a course Allen attended in 2021, and he wanted his senior leaders to attend the same training.

“We want commitment to continuous improvement to be part of the DNA of AFCEC,” he said. “At the end of the day, we owe it to our stakeholders and taxpayers to provide the most effective and efficient services we can.” 

“That culture of continuous process improvement will do just that,” said Tammy O’Neill, chief of AFCEC’s Planning and Integration Directorate Requirements Identification and Development Division.

“To quote Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. (CQ) Brown, ‘We must empower our incredible Airmen to solve any problem,’ ” O’Neill said. “As the Air Force faces increasing budget pressure based on growing costs of sustainment for current and aging force structure, continuous combat operations and long-deferred modernization, we need to revolutionize CE solutions to enhance readiness and increase lethality.”

Allen stressed a unity of purpose to AFCEC senior executives during the CPI event where a management framework was established as a baseline to measure the effectiveness of CPI implementation. Two days of formal training, where attendees learned about CPI concepts and methodology, led to a specific discussion amongst the leaders that resulted in five lines of effort needed to implement CPI throughout AFCEC.

The five lines of effort and their leaders are:

● Develop Tailored Education and Training Program, led by Dr Tim Sullivan, AFCEC Facility Engineering Directorate Technical Services Division chief;

● Develop AFCEC Management Plan and Dashboard to measure AFCEC’s Measure of Effectiveness and Performance, led by Ben Kindt, AFCEC Environmental Directorate Operations chief;

● Develop CPI Metrics and Dashboard, led by O’Neill;

● Build Strategic Communication Plan, led by Erica Becvar, AFCEC’s Business Information Systems and Requirements Directorate deputy director;

● Build CPI Transformation Integrated Master Schedule and Battle Rhythm/Governance, led by Dr. Ivette O’Brien, director of AFCEC’s Business Information Systems and Requirements Directorate.

“The baseline in place that allows quicker response times while delivering the same high-quality service to the installations benefits the Air Force enterprise from a time and financial standpoint,” said Kelly Osvold, AFCEC CPI alternate process manager.

“For example, there are folks putting out fires 80 percent of the time and spending 20 percent on improving the process,” Derrick Le, AFCEC CPI support staff member added. “If they could dedicate more time instead to CPI that gives time back to Airmen to focus on activities such as readiness training, reducing the overall lead time to support installations.”

“Actively measuring efficiency at implementing its core capabilities allows AFCEC to adapt and accelerate its ability to serve the installations,” O’Brien said.

“Identifying barriers and inefficiencies in our current processes directly benefits the way we get things done today, and paves the way for our future mission operations,” she added.