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NEWS | May 17, 2023

Crew board development teammates earn Navy Civilian Service Achievement Medals for their innovative efforts

By Max Maxfield, PSNS & IMF Public Affairs

The team of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility employees who helped spearhead the development of digital crew boards at the command, as part of the Naval Sustainment System - Shipyards initiative, were recognized for their efforts during a ceremony May 4.

The two team leaders, Dakota King and Adam Knauss, along with 31 teammates, were presented with Navy Civilian Service Achievement Medals. The team effort was also recognized by Naval Sea Systems Command as finalists in the NAVSEA Excellence Award competition, Commander’s Innovation Award category.

“Electronic crew boards were born here as a ‘let’s go try this, let’s go do this’ idea,” Capt. Jip Mosman, commander, PSNS & IMF, told the awardees during their award presentation ceremony. “We’ve been absolutely leading the way and setting the example in this effort. I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ on behalf of NAVSEA and all of the other public shipyards. You’re helping make us all better — not just this shipyard, but the entire NAVSEA corporation.”

“I remember when we first talked about digital crew boards in this room,” Mosman recalled. “Later, we were looking at the early versions, saying ‘Eventually we will have something here. Eventually we’ll have something there. Eventually, it will look like this.’ Now, it’s pretty phenomenal.”

The annual NAVSEA Excellence Awards and Commander's Awards recognize individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to the NAVSEA Enterprise. Finalists were acknowledged by NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Bill Galinis, during a ceremony at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. The ceremony was live streamed for awardees outside of the national capital region.

Mary Kay Crouch, deputy chief information officer, Code 109, Information Technology Cyber Security Office, who championed the digital crew board effort, said the team’s efforts were worthy of recognition based on how much the digital crew boards can improve workflow and how effectively they worked to create the product.

“The Commander's Innovation Excellence Award was submitted in recognition of the Crew Board Development Team for their outstanding work in creating an innovative tool designed to improve efficiency to the waterfront supervisors start of shift,” said Crouch. “The creation of the crew boards tool was in support of the NSS-SY Information Technology Pillar at PSNS & IMF. The crew board team consisted of cross-functional disciplines that included software developers, a software project manager, Windows system administrators and waterfront production supervisors.”

“The diverse team quickly became a cohesive unit, using complex software engineering and agile development processes to define requirements,” she continued. “The synergy of this team and their efforts was demonstrated in the record-breaking deployment of the new web tool. Crew boards were rolled out to production in only four months from the inception of the project. The customary start-to-finish software product typically takes 9 to 12 months, depending on the complexity.”

Digital crew boards facilitate a two-way information pathway—even more effectively than their dry-erase board predecessors did — at the start of shift. The lead shop is able to see what is going on with the assist trade, which helps supervisors and crew members stay more up to date with current work and be quicker with reactions to changes. The boards showcase the power of having real-time information available to crews and upper management.

Crouch said the overall effort to create digital crew boards illustrates how effectively employees can innovate and improve long-standing processes, if they are willing to embrace change.

“The Crew Board Team and their efforts are a good reminder to all of us that we possess the capacity in the roles and positions we hold to be innovative,” Crouch said. “If someone asks us why a procedure, function or process is performed in a certain manner, and our response is, ‘because that’s the way we’ve always done it,’ that response should give us pause. There is a very good chance we’ve been given an opportunity to take another look, and that question could very well have sparked ingenuity and process improvements.”

Recognized were:

Kyle R. Barone 
Bret M. Brown 
Heidi L. Butts 
Steven K. Denton 
Joseph J. Doyle 
Josh T. Fernandez 
Jonathan D. Fritsch 
Joseph R. Goosey 
Michelle L. Gilbert 
Daniel S. Gile 
Allie M. Grega 
Sydney C. Harris 
Douglas S. Harms 
Thomas L. Hengst 
Mitchell F. Hutchison 
Dakota S, King
Adam W. Knauss
Michael C. Landin 
Anthony J. Larrea 
Mark M. Matos 
Brett W. Miller 
Jacob W. Musser 
Dennis G. Noah 
Raymond C. Quitano 
Matthew D. Randle 
Thomas K. Serrano 
Morgan L. Schaleger 
Mark W. Simmons 
Kellan M. Smalley 
Daniel J. Smith 
Daniel F. Souza 
Alex C. Vandegrift 
Seth M. Zwiefelhofer  

For more information about the team or digital crew boards, visit www.navsea. Article/3226388/. To read the full issue of Salute featuring the team, visit www.