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Team McChord hosts virtual senior leader CPI course

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mary Andom
  • 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- The 446th and 62nd Airlift Wings hosted its first virtual Air Force Continuous Process Improvement course for senior leaders here Aug. 31 to Sept. 1.

Thirty-two senior leaders from the airlift wings and various Air Force bases received virtual classroom instruction on process improvement concepts through Microsoft Teams.

“This event is a prime example of how to adopt a continuous improvement mindset virtually,” said Bruce Winhold, the 446th Airlift Wing process manager. “We have to be agile, innovative and think outside-the-box. We need to empower Airmen to innovate and reduce waste which also helps give time back to Airmen.”

The two-day course focused on training senior leaders in managing organizations and resources, change management and process improvement strategies. They also attended a half-day virtual visit to the Philips Ultrasound Business Group office located in Bothell, Washington, to learn first-hand lean tools.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Philips’ employees conducted a virtual tour of the plant to include presentations highlighting operational best practices and strategic planning methodology.

The tour provided a peak under the hood of one organization’s CPI procedures, according to Col. Paul Skipworth, the 446th Airlift Wing commander.

“This collaborative event showcased how organizations can adapt to new challenges by sharing ideas,” said Skipworth. “We had the opportunity to learn CPI best practices from a private sector company from behind our computer screens. This is definitely a virtual model we can leverage for future CPI courses.”

Continuous process improvement is the process in which organizations routinely evaluate and assess their day-to-day practices to become more effective, productive and resourceful.

“The class is designed to give senior leaders tools to change the culture of their organizations,” said Phil Chansler, an Air University assistant professor and lead instructor. “CPI is not a program; it is a culture, and a different way of doing business.”