By Mark V. Arena
A short research examines the follow-on creation of the complex SEAL supply method (ASDS) for the Deep Submergence Directorate (PMS 395) of the Navel Sea structures Command.
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Additional resources for Advanced SEAL Delivery System: Perspectives and Options
However, there are still a few areas for potential improvement that the program office should consider. Some other technical areas need to be examined at a greater level of detail as well. These issues mostly center on materials suitability and affordability. While the cost-reduction efforts are a good step toward improved affordability, we feel that the program should fully explore alternative acquisition strategies, such as multiyear procurement, to further cost savings. Lastly, we feel that the program office and prime contractor should work to build better relationships and foster improved communication among the various stakeholders in the production of follow-on ASDS vehicles.
The team membership includes not only program management employees but also other government stakeholders, contractors, suppliers, and operators. We observed in our discussions that the communication between NGC and its potential subcontractors is not as effective as it could be. Given the early history of the ASDS program, it does not surprise us that there are communication difficulties currently, too. When significant problems arise, people naturally tend toward blame assessment 30 Advanced SEAL Delivery System: Perspectives and Options rather than problem solution.
Further complicating the situation is that some of the contractor participants are competitors. With most of the problems, hopefully, behind the program, it is an opportune time to rebuild working relationships on the program. Again, we are not assigning blame, but rather presenting an opportunity for improvement. To improve the communication between the parties, we suggest strengthening the appropriate IPT membership (or an IPT-like team, such as a design review team). The strengthened team should include major suppliers as well as the key operators (pilots and copilots) to maximize its utility.