Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) Strategic Framework is a tool for communicating the shipyard’s mission and vision statements. It shows how initiatives executed across the command tie together with why NNSY exists—to deliver warships. In order to bridge the gap between mission and vision, NNSY has identified four critical change agents—our pillars. These pillars are the highest priority strategic focus areas we must urgently work to improve. They are Infrastructure; Dependable Mission Delivery; People Development; and Process Improvement and Innovation.
To have a table, one would need four table legs, or in the case of Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) Strategic Framework four pillars. If one of those legs are removed, the table might not topple over, but it would not be as strong or stable as it once was before. Remove a second leg, mostly likely the table will fall over to one side, unable to put anything on the table. At the same time for the Strategic Framework, if one pillar is working hard without giving or receiving feedback from the other three pillars, this could cause the table to be lopsided, again unable to serve its purpose. This is why all four pillars need to work together as one team to support NNSY’s one mission.
Although one pillar is no less important than another, the Dependable Mission Delivery Team (MPT) and People Development team relies on each other to support each pillar’s mission and ultimately, NNSY’s mission.
“People are the most important resource the shipyard has,” said NNSY’s Executive Director (Code 1100) and People Development Pillar team lead Fred McKenna. “But they would serve no purpose or achieve their full potential if we don’t train and develop our employees in their trade skill, leadership skills and character.”
Modifications were made to NNSY’s New Employee Orientation (NEO) and First Level Supervisor training to better prepare employees to become a valuable asset in serving the shipyard’s mission. “Total Workforce Management Services (TWMS) required training was added to NEO to help knock out approximately half of their required training before the new employee steps foot on the project,” said Production Resource Department (Code 900A) Analysis and Business Manager and Code 900 MPT coordinator Ursula Jones. “We also improved the First Level Leadership course to better prepare our employees on the waterfront.”
The MPT collaborated with the People Development Team to provide input on the recommended changes to increase employee productivity on the waterfront. “Using metrics and valuable feedback, MPT provided us areas that needed improvement,” said McKenna. “They helped us to determine if the right people with the right skills are being hired. Additionally they can highlight issues if people are not getting enough support with their character and leadership training.”
Some of the benefits of the pillar teams working together are creating stronger leadership to support NNSY; creating better processes and techniques to sufficiently complete first time quality work; and creating a better future for NNSY.
“Working together just makes the pillars stronger as a person, as a team, and as a shipyard,” said Jones. “Although each pillar has their own focus areas, the one thing we all have in common is to meet NNSY’s mission of repairing, modernizing, and inactivate our Navy’s warships and training platforms.”