What can you optimize?

Innovate Now! (U.S. Air Force graphic/James Rainer)

Innovate Now! (U.S. Air Force graphic/James Rainer)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- What can you optimize?

This month, the Innovate Now Team asks you to take a minute to look at your processes. How can you optimize them? How can you shave off a second or polish every action just a little more? How can you automate small tasks that can add up to time and money savings?

I encourage you to use different techniques and have others review your processes and get their ideas. Additionally, I encourage you to look for innovative ways and implement them. Identify items that may help others optimize their processes and share them with us. Your small idea may add up to gargantuan returns when our entire team jumps on board. After all, that is what this program is all about. The Innovate Now Program strives to make Team Patrick-Cape continually better...together.

By constantly assessing and evaluating the progress of processes, we can make adjustments to get the most out of every activity that we commit to accomplishing. Even small changes and automating the seemingly most minute task can add up to increases in quality and savings of time and money.

Additionally, be sure to reevaluate whether or not there is a need for the actions we take. Is everything we are doing for a process essential? Can we reduce requirements while still delivering the same, if not better, quality product or service without negatively affecting safety or timeliness?

This month in innovation, Team Patrick-Cape is asked to look at optimizing its essential processes. What does this actually mean? Optimization is defined by the Merriam-Webster's dictionary, as "an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible."

There are a variety of ways and different tools we can utilize to accomplish this. Whether we utilize Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century (AFSO21), Six Sigma, lean techniques, data flow charts, or even just getting external opinions and eyes on our processes, we can undoubtedly make them better.