Friday, September 28, 2007

Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.

The title of this blog comes from a list of quotes I have hanging near my desk. The quotes are funny and amusing, but, sadly, too many of them seem applicable. Like this one: "Chaos, panic, and disorder - my work here is done." Why does this seem both funny AND relevant? (for the full list of these hilarious phrases, click here)

Well, I've officially started taking steps to reduce the amount of chaos and disorder I leave this place in. Construction is starting on a massive project on the eastern edge of the depot, and will soon start on the refurbishment and rebuilding of about 25 warehouses. Money has been allocated to bring in power lines, reducing our reliance on generators that only work about 60% of the time. Next month, a brand new life support area, to include living quarters and dining facility, will be complete for our Iraqi Army members. This is especially exciting because it means the days of the raw human sewage trench are numbered. Yes, it's as gross as it sounds; it's green and I think it speaks to me sometimes. In addition to being responsible for these projects, I recently started another type of project that I think will really benefit the operations of this place.

Prior to being called back into the Army, I was certified through my company as a Six-Sigma Green belt. Six Sigma is basically a structured approach to solving problems that relies heavily on the use of statistical analysis. I really enjoyed these types of projects, particularly because I love working with data. After 5 months here, we've started to accumulate some performance and historical data, and we have recently been asked to share this data with our higher HQ. When I started talking to our Ops officer (CPT NAP) about it, a light-bulb went off in my head. Why not turn this into a structured project, one in where we have a defined problem and the data we collect can be analyzed and used to actually improve things here, instead of just being used a reporting requirement. He was all for it, and so a few days ago we 'officially' started a Green belt project to help the Iraqi Army, complete with multi-national team members. If you told me last year after I completed my initial green belt training that I would be using it in Iraq doing a project with the Iraqi Army, I would probably would have either laughed at you or tackled you, or maybe both.

If I seem a little excited about this, I am. I like structured problem solving and the thought of using some of my civilian skills while I am over here is an even bigger bonus. We'll see how it goes, but I am excited about the potential, and anything that gives me more motivation cant really be a bad thing, can it?


Bag Blog said...

Aha! I didn't know your were a statistics man - collecting data and making use of it. My husband and son are statistic types.

It sounds like you are doing a great job. Electricity rather than generators is so much better. Plumbing is good too. Welcome to the modern world!

bg said...


THANK YOU for everything you do!! :)

and may all your click & flush dreams come true.. :D


David M said...

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newbie here said...

Thomas of the great men of history!

santia said...

I like Dinar.and its revaluation of currency.