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AFNWC and Kirtland employees lean into improvement training

DeLaura Santos, at podium, director of Plans and Programs for the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, kicks off Kirtland AFB’s “Lean Into It” Day on Aug. 15. More than 200 base employees attended the workshop to learn about identifying and eliminating inefficiencies in the workplace with tools from the Air Force’s continuous process improvement program. The workshop’s presenters came from industry, government and academia. (Courtesy photo).

DeLaura Santos, at podium, director of Plans and Programs for the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, kicks off Kirtland AFB’s “Lean Into It” Day on Aug. 15. More than 200 base employees attended the workshop to learn about identifying and eliminating inefficiencies in the workplace with tools from the Air Force’s continuous process improvement program. The workshop’s presenters came from industry, government and academia. (Courtesy photo).

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

More than 200 base employees recently leaned into improvement during a workshop sponsored by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and several Kirtland organizations.

The “Lean Into It” Day on Aug. 15 promoted continuous process improvement collaboration and idea-sharing for all organizations on Kirtland, according to DeLaura Santos, director of AFNWC Plans and Programs, who helped bring the program to the base.

“Continuous process improvement, or LEAN, is a method to improve products, processes and services but it is also an organizational culture mindset,” she said.  “It encourages people to identify, challenge and work to eliminate inefficiencies--every organization can benefit from using its tools.

“Yes, it can save money, and reduce process steps; however, it also stands to empower personnel with a sense of accomplishment as they work as a team to create and own change.”

The Lean Into It Day was a collaborative effort between the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Sandia National Labs and other Kirtland mission partners.  The event provided diverse training and perspectives from experts in the continuous process improvement realm.

The workshop’s topics included understanding the power of a sticky note, building a framework for cultural change, and generating innovation. They were taught by process improvement leaders from industry, government and academia.

“Many of our speakers are very successful business entrepreneurs, each bringing valuable expertise, skills and experience to the workshop,” Santos said.