Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
 
10/1/2015
 
PMS Service Requests
The Future of Feedback Reports

Has something like this happened to you? You’re working on a maintenance procedure and run into a problem on a maintenance requirement card. You take the time to research the problem, fill out and submit a planned maintenance system (PMS) feedback report (FBR) hoping you will receive a response before your tour on that ship is over? Such is the current state of the feedback reporting system. To be fair, some responses are received relatively quickly, however, others linger for months on end. Technical and Non-technical Feedback Reports are the primary processes for updating planned maintenance system (PMS) documentation today. Unfortunately, the existing FBR process does not always give sailors timely updates for issues with the PMS documents provided to them. Additionally, the existing process also has limited visibility of FBR status, administrative burdens for processing advanced change notices (ACN) and "pen and ink" changes on maintenance index pages (MIPs) and maintenance requirement cards (MRCs), as well as an overall lack of community involvement for resolving common problems throughout the Fleet. The end result is a suboptimal process that doesn’t always provide the timely relief of maintenance problems.

The Future of PMS (FoPMS) project will breathe new life into the current FBR process. The objective is a multi-faceted feedback system. It’s called the PMS service request (PSR) and like the name implies, it is meant to improve customer service and communication. Unlike its predecessor, which left a Sailor guessing the outcome, the PSR encourages feedback both ways. The PSR will not only be used for PMS documentation updates but also for questions, feedback, or change requests for PMS tools, processes, and policy. In short, each PMS Service Request is a request to the maintenance community for additional guidance, clarification, or improvements.

Clearly, two-way communication is a key aspect of the PMS Service Request concept. Currently, FBRs emulate the legacy "paper" process and leave the ship to the Type commander for screening before reaching Naval Sea Logistics Center (NSLC) for action and potential forwarding to the respective In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA) for technical action. Once the FBR leaves the ship, the Sailor who created it does not have an easy way of tracking it throughout the system. The screening and brokering processes in use today are inconsistent and somewhat arbitrary leaving the sailor to wonder what has happened with the FBR.

In the system of the future, the PMS Service Requests will immediately leave the ship upon approval and be visible to all interested parties throughout the screening and adjudication process. This means not only will the originating ship or activity be able to see the PSR at all times, but Type Commanders, Commodity Specialists (CS), In-Service Engineering Agents (ISEA), and other Sailors using the same systems will be able to see it as well.

 

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Service RequestsContinuous distribution of PMS documents and other information will be a key part of the PMS Service Request. Think of continuous distribution as a constant update of material. Today, the Surface fleet only receives bulk PMS updates semi-annually due to the administrative burden associated with making changes through the Force Revision process that deletes and re-installs the electronic PMS library aboard ships. The Future of PMS will maintain a continuous distribution of PMS changes automatically updated within the electronic PMS deck through Equipment Maintenance Plans.

While this will greatly reduce or eliminate the administrative burden for Force Revisions, it will also eliminate the need for ACN processes and other paper-based PMS document work-around solutions. If a PSR results in a change to PMS documents, those updated documents will be automatically distributed to all hull/activities using the same systems and equipment. This means, you can expect approved changes to be finalized on the maintenance requirements distributed to your command within days, not months after the changes are authorized. So if it was a monthly PMS check you were working on and you submitted a PSR, there is a good chance you will be working on the revised document the next time that PMS check comes due. How great is that?

By making the PSRs more versatile than the current FBR system, work center supervisors can view any PSR fleet-wide, whether it is opened or closed. Automatic indicators will be available from the scheduling software to highlight issues or concerns from their peers who use and perform maintenance on the same systems or equipment. If the supervisor sees a common issue they may be able to select a "thumbs up" or a "+1" indicator to add their name and command to the existing PSR and add more information or comments.

In contrast, if the user disagrees with a PSR request, they may select the "thumbs down" or a "-1" indicator to show their disagreement and provide a conflicting viewpoint. In this manner, the Fleet maintenance community will have a greater ability to influence how PMS documents, tools, processes, and policies evolve. This process can only be successful if the information is easy to find and their opinions can be captured in just a few clicks of a mouse, rather than the current practice of making an entirely new (and independent) feedback document.

In order to implement the PMS Service Request in the Future, there are several technical challenges to overcome. The primary obstacle is the ability to continuously send and receive PMS data from the ship. To leap this hurdle, the Future of PMS infrastructure will be designed to work primarily in an off-line mode, with transactions being passed between the ship and the shore as bandwidth is made available.

This approach will allow commands to continue to utilize their maintenance system when the system does not have active communications with shore support infrastructure. Other potential barriers include the limited computer resources at the ship level, shore-based hosting infrastructure shortfalls, and the need for all PMS to be tied to configuration records. As these barriers are overcome, the PMS Service Requests will be implemented to give you a quicker response to all of your feedback and be a key feature in the Future of PMS Project. Surface Warfare Magazine

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