Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station successfully resolved their 1,000th System/Software Problem/Improvement Report (SPIR) using an internally developed process, July 1.
The process ensures decisive, clear and consistent distance troubleshooting guidance and support for DDG 51-class machinery control systems (MCS).
In February 2013, the DDG 51 Machinery Control Systems Branch at NAVSSES began using a process developed by a group of its engineers to improve the workflow of providing in-service engineering support to ships, shipyards and regional maintenance centers (RMC).
They created the Fleet Support Process (FSP), which established an email entry point where anyone needing help with DDG 51 MCS issues can submit their support request. The email routes through a carefully developed process so an in-service engineering agent (ISEA) can solve the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Before the FSP, requests came to the group in many roundabout ways making it difficult for engineers to track an issue's progress, said Noam Oz, program manager for DDG 51 class machinery control system fleet support at NAVSSES. Now anyone needing assistance submits an inquiry via email to CRDR_DDG51MCS.SUPPORT@navy.mil.
Since the inception of the new FSP, the team has improved its SPIR closure rate to almost 92 percent. In 2013, the first year, the team closed 308 SPIRs followed by 509 in 2014, and they are on pace to reach 450 by the end of 2015.
Oz said it is difficult to compare their closure rate today to before FSP implementation because the metrics are not available. He said one of the main goals of the new process is to develop metrics that help them become more efficient in serving the customer.
"Two of our great achievements of the FSP are that it enables us to capture meaningful and actionable metrics, and it is successful by the empirical data reflecting a 90 percent plus closure rate," said Oz.
Another goal is to share the information gathered by NAVSSES with all ships in the class, RMCs and shipyards. Oz said everyone benefits from the information because often ships, RMCs and shipyards will encounter similar issues and their knowledge of previous SPIRs helps them resolve problems on their own.
Oz said he and a few other NAVSSES engineers (referred to as the gatekeepers) monitor the email box and send an immediate reply to the requestor letting them know their issue was received, and it will be assigned to an ISEA for action. They assess the issue and assign the task based on knowledge of the problem and availability.