By Aime Lykins
For more than 245 years, the U.S. Navy has patrolled the seas and protected freedom. Throughout that time a truth has emerged: the Navy is only as strong as its shipyards. The need for the Navy’s strategic advantage has become increasingly prevalent during the last several years as the nation observes the advancing sea power of its adversaries. The Navy is America’s best deterrent to these aggressive actions.
Historically, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, and the Navy’s three other public shipyards, have struggled to return submarines from maintenance availabilities back to the fleet on schedule. One of many contributing factors is that the command has not held itself accountable for following Project Management Fundamentals principles.
“With a focus through the lens of our production workforce, our intent is to stabilize the production system directly under the control of the shipyards,” said Rear Adm. Scott Brown, deputy commander, logistics, maintenance and industrial operations, Naval Sea Systems Command, during a call to action at a recent Naval Sustainment System-Shipyards offsite. “The aim is to improve the conditions, environment, training, safety and support for our mechanics to accomplish their work. Our behaviors must drive for truth and realism in our reporting in order to escalate major issues immediately for awareness, help needed, and corrective action.”
At PSNS & IMF, the call to action is to leverage PMF principles to improve focus on scheduling, setting priorities, job readiness, workload management, barrier removal, and allowing mechanics and deckplate teams to plan their work realistically.
Everyone at PSNS & IMF plays a role in supporting waterfront teams. All members of the workforce are encouraged to use PMF principles to identify barriers and root causes, and pinpoint potential systemic issues related to schedule readiness. This requires truth and realism when identifying where those barriers exist and how to address them. It’s about getting real to get better.
“This [PMF] is one of our top focus areas to improve availability execution in the near term,” said Vice Adm. Bill Galinis, commander, NAVSEA, in a May 2022 interview with Seapower Magazine.
As the shipyard moves forward with a renewed focus on PMF principles, a collective commitment across the command is essential for success. That commitment enables us to support each other by attacking the problem, not the person.
With a renewed emphasis on PMF, PSNS & IMF’s goal is to stabilize the production system for the deckplate workforce’s non-stop execution of work