There are 195 countries in the world. Of those, 15 do not have a military. So roughly 92% of the countries have some form of one. And that means logistics is important in supplying the military.

That brings us to the question: is Six Sigma applicable in a military services setting?

The Warrior Logistician, Matt Shatzkin, an Army Colonel with a Ph.D. in transportation and logistics, addresses the problem using the METTTC acronym.

M: Mission

E: Enemy

T: Time

T: Troops

T: Terrain

C: Civilian or Culture

The answer depends on the variables that exist in military applications that don’t apply in an established commercial supply chain setting. In a military setting, you may not be able to control changes in the variables which would affect the use of Six Sigma.

Colonel Shatzkin discusses each of the acronym elements with a view towards logistics.

Mission: Application of Six Sigma is highly mission dependent

Enemy: Much variability would make it difficult to apply Six Sigma

Troops: What is the skill level and availability of the troops?

Time: In a tactical war setting, this is an important variable. Matt recommends therefore that 

services should be part of the training for this application.

Terrain: Are there roads and what are their condition?

Culture: Does the culture support Six Sigma efforts?

You can watch Matt’s video here.

Do you agree with Colonel Shatzin?

Which of his concerns, recommendations might also apply to your non-military environment?

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