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NEWS | May 20, 2021

PSNS & IMF begins new trio of NSS-SY sprints

By Max Maxfield, PSNS & IMF Public Affairs Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility

Naval Sustainment System - Shipyard champions and experienced project leaders from all four Navy shipyards met at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in April to determine three areas the commands will focus on to streamline projects and help ensure ships are returned to the fleet on time or early.

Matt VanRavenhorst, NSS-SY champion for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, and Elaine Priest, PSNS & IMF Submarine Program manager, along with process transformation representatives from across the Naval Sea Systems Command enterprise, decided to move forward with three sprints focused on the production system used to carry out day-to-day operations on projects.

A sprint is a fast and focused effort to look at one process or part of a process to see where barriers can be removed or systems put in place to streamline the overall process.   

The three sprints U.S. Navy shipyards are moving forward with now are:

1.            Operations Control Center – Creating a central hub where a cross-functional team of project managers, mechanics, supervisors, logisticians or anyone involved in a project can track performance, facilitate communication among organizations, provide timely resolution of delays and work stoppages, and make decisions when required to prioritize competing work.

2.            Start-of-shift communications – Helping various shops ensure start-of-shift meeting and musters are effective; and help the shops develop visual management tools best suited to their missions to track job assignments, progress and potential barriers.

3.            Timekeeper – Bringing in administrative support from outside a project to help first-line supervisors tackle admin tasks such as timekeeping, training and employee qualifications that take these supervisors’ focus away from the tasks needed to complete a project.

According to Capt. Jip Mosman, commander, PSNS & IMF, NAVSEA provided guidance to help the shipyards tailor their sprints to each command’s mission, while ensuring the data collected will help NAVSEA later evaluate how effective those sprints were.

“We now have a foundation and alignment that will enable us to see improvements and/or highlight other areas that need improvement,” Mosman wrote in a message to shipyard leaders. “We’re going to move forward in these efforts, and continue to learn and improve them even more.”

PSNS & IMF is currently using an OCC on the Louisiana Project to good effect.

“Ken Rogers (project superintendent for Louisiana)  and the Louisiana Team have been phenomenal in support of these new efforts and continue to adapt and lean forward to try something new,” Mosman said. “I ask that all of us lean in to make sure we, too, learn from these sprints and find ways to continue to improve on them.”

While the OCC concept is being expanded to other projects, Mosman said the OCC each team uses might not look exactly the same as the Louisiana OCC.

“At some point, they will likely expand to other projects,” Mosman said. “Team Michigan has a different form of an OCC that is working well for them. We’re going to keep experimenting and gathering lessons learned from it.  

Over time, NAVSEA will make an “apples-to-apples” data comparison of how these sprints did or did not work for the various shipyards. Concepts that paid off will be retained and improved upon. Changes that do not help improve the on-time delivery rate of ships will be discarded.