2017/09/07: Utah Ops & Goldratt Consulting: Breakthrough Reults For Government and Business Part 2

by Gene Kim on


2017/09/07: Utah Ops & Goldratt Consulting: Breakthrough Reults For Government and Business


Kicking off Goldratt conference: Kristen Cox, Exec Director, Office of Mgmt and Budget, State of Utah

Up: Retired Lt General Andrew Busch (former head of Defense Logistics Agency)

  • Cox: “Lt General Busch will talk about he used Theory of Constraints to help taxpayers, our troops and our country” (how marvelous @nicolefv!)
  • Busch: “Defense Logistics Agency: our product is military readiness: our customers are the warfights (w/constrained budgets)
  • Busch: “95% of our workforce are civilians; generals are like SVP of business unit”
  • Busch: “Senior military roles are capped at 2-3 years: very much ‘up or out’; must quickly orient and contribute
  • Busch: led orgs from 4500 to 25,000 employees: last gig was only 45 military personnel
  • Busch: “These are profit/loss businesses; 2005-2017, we were at war, emerging China/Russia; req strong operational focus
  • Busch: “Our budget process is as convuluted as anything on planet; using money budgeted 5 years prior; financial & readiness objectives
  • Busch: “Aircraft MRO: C-5 Strategic Airlift: largest strategic airlift asset for US: only 112 exist; demand was incredibly high
  • Busch: “7 year maint cycle; taking 1yr to do overhaul; WIP 10-16 planes; 10-15% airlift capacity in overhaul
  • Busch: “cycle time for overhaul was 350 days; used TOC Critical Chain proj mgmt to reduce cycle time to 160 days”
  • Busch: “Problems: employees were multitasking; lots of airplanes parked waiting; feeling that couldn’t let planes sit, so threw ppl at it
  • Busch: “Build system to manage common pool of safety buffer; when plane came in, took off pylons, engines, paint, sent to repair shop; then we left it alone, for the first time ever
  • Busch: “40% cut of WIP; reduced cycle time from 340 to 160 days; returned 8 additional 8 aircraft to support warfighter
  • Busch: “Freed up dock space for additional work, b/c fewer planes parked; and gave rebates to our customers
  • Busch: “Coverting to Critical Chain started before I got there; my predecessors set the goal of 160 days
  • Busch: “160 day target was easy to embrace, b/c fit into overall mission of Air Force; ‘know that u’re right, trust your intuition

  • Busch: “Next tasking: DoD Aviation Spare Parts: supply management for all Dept of Defense; 1MM parts: largest Enterprise Biz System

  • Busch: “Probs: inside SAP, customer backorders were up 78%; backlogged purchase reqs up 72%” (very similar to industry probs)

  • Busch: “Probs: entirely new org chart, new job reqs, new terminology

  • Busch: “My mission: turn my org into a contract order machine: inputs were purchase reqs to buy, thru pricing, contracting; outputs: awards, grants

  • Busch: “10-15 months of work in queue: ppl waiting over years to get needed purchases thru the contracting system” (!!!)

  • Busch: “Again, the problem was poor WIP control: used Drum Buffer Rope to regulate work

  • Busch: “Results: late awards reduced by 22%; award throughput increased 19%

  • Busch: “Over time, backlog went from 15 months down to 3 months; 80% reduction of cycle time

  • Leadership lessons

  • Busch: “Setting BIG goals is critical to success; core team of believers/implementers is essential; invest in them

  • Busch: “2% improvement targets are not enough of a rallying cry to get people involved and excited”

  • Busch: “Employees want to be on winning teams and they want leadership to take them there

  • Busch: “People were always poring thru my calendar, looking to see how I spend my time: where I focused sends powerful signal of values

  • Busch: “You will spend far more time on process rather than metrics; the pages of reports of metrics were causing the probs

  • Busch: “I.e., people showing your reports of metrics is what causes the whack-a-mole problems, causes the chronic problem

  • Busch: “Must focus on making things that make change enduring: that means policy & resources, budgeting process

  • Busch: “In my last gig, I had separate team that focused on lasting change: changing standard operating procedures,

  • Busch: “In military, balance between ‘finger in chest’ & ‘bringing folks along’ — your personal leadership style; servant leadership” (!!)

  • Busch: “Early in my career, I realized I was a micro-manager: poor delegator; had to learn to delegate

  • Busch: “A mentor taught me: at end of meeting, don’t talk: ask for opinions for those around you;

  • Busch: “There will be setbacks; stay the course and draw upon your mentors; tremendous strength & resolve thru sharing stories w/others

Andrew E Busch: Andrew.e.busch at g—