Lockheed Martin Six Sigma Management

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DEFENSE ACQUISITION REVIEW JOURNAL

Joint Strike Fighter

Courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation

172

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2004
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The Lean Enterprise-A Management Philosophy at Lockheed Martin

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Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98)
Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18

THE LEAN ENTERPRISE: A MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY AT LOCKHEED MARTIN MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY AT LOCKHEED TUTORIAL

THE LEAN ENTERPRISE— A MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY AT PHILOSOPHY AT LOCKHEED MARTIN JOY MICHAEL JOYCE AND BETTINA SCHECHTER
In 1999, Lockheed Martin developed an approach called LM21, for Lockheed Martin in the 21st century, to identify best practices for increasing efficiency and improving financial and operating performance. Leaders soon realized that best practice sharing was just one means to a higher end. The ultimate goal is to create a system that consistently achieves excellence for our customers, shareholders, and employees. We selected and implemented the management philosophies called Lean and Six Sigma. This article describes the Lean Enterprise at Lockheed Martin and the steps taken to make it a reality.

L

ockheed Martin is the world’s largest defense contractor, a company built by a strategic vision of merger and acquisition that characterized the mid- to late1990s. Rooted in the heritage of 18 different companies, Lockheed Martin set out in 1999 to identify and share best practices to increase efficiency and improve financial and operating performance. While this approach, called LM21 for Lockheed Martin in the 21st century, did identify many best practices, leaders and employees alike soon began questioning the real end objective of the exercise. The realization is that best practice sharing is just one means to a higher end. The ultimate goal is to create a system of work, or operating system, that consistently achieves excellence for our customers, shareholders, and employees. In early 2000, the title of the effort was changed from LM21 Best Practices to LM21 Operating Excellence. We then looked at the challenge of defining and achieving Operating Excellence and found that, in addition to transferring good ideas, we needed a...
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