Engagement Result

Organization: U.S. Navy

Group: Carrier Strike Group

Unit: USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)

Project: Sailor Workload Reduction

Size: 5,000 crew members

Location: San Diego, CA

Expertise: Independent Assessment, CPI Training & Facilitation, and Continuous Process Improvement

Assignment: The mission of USS John C. Stennis and her embarked Air Wing is to conduct sustained combat air operations while forward deployed in the global arena. The embarked Air Wing consists of eight to nine squadrons. Attached aircraft are the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, E-2C Hawkeye, and MH-60S Seahawk. USS John C. Stennis' aircraft are used to conduct strikes, support land battles, protect the Strike Group or other friendly shipping vessels, and implement a sea or air blockade.

The U.S. Navy recognized that sailors’ average workload on the USS John C. Stennis was in excess of 92 man-hours per week at wartime requirement manning. The sailors’ excessive workload was causing serious problems including a reduced quality of work life which led to lower re-enlistments and morale levels. In addition, not having sufficient man-hours available to effectively and safely carry out the carrier’s mission caused the Command’s leadership high levels of stress.

MainStream GS was engaged by the U.S. Navy to assess the USS John C. Stennis' current workload requirement and identify areas of improvement to reduce sailor man hours through conducting an independent assessment and providing continuous process improvement (CPI) and CPI training & facilitation of crew members and leadership.

Actions: MainStream GS’ initial assignment was to develop the Smart Carrier Process Improvement Program. The program not only needed to work in the unique environment and culture of the carrier, but in the transactional processes, as well as the limited production type areas. By working with the Command’s senior leaders, MainStream was able to develop a program that met the unique requirements, was easy to deploy, and was sustainable with trained organic resources.

MainStream GS, working closely with the U.S. Navy’s Office for Carrier Innovation, took the lead in identifying and implementing the CPI initiatives for the Smart Carrier Program. The program began with a one year commitment to implement CPI on the USS John C. Stennis. This effort was led by a team of MainStream GS personnel and government personnel, including retired Master Chiefs and officers. The team assisted the carrier at port as well as at sea in actual operation conditions.

Results: Over the course of the engagement MainStream GS trained over 500 of the carrier’s personnel in CPI tools. The CPI mythology was taught to personnel in an effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of processes to reduce sailor man-hours. In the training and implementation phase, the process improvement tools were used to improve 16 carrier processes including computer trouble call, engineering trouble call, personal awards routing and submission, command sponsor program, discipline process, and hazmat issues.

The process improvement initiatives resulted in reducing sailor man-hours from a total of 971,914 hours to 558,587 hours per year. This reduction reduced a sailor’s man-hours from 92 to 52.4 man-hours per week, a 43% reduction. In addition, feedback from the Command’s leadership indicated that sailor morale dramatically increased. The training provided by MainStream GS enabled Command leadership and personnel to sustain the improvements and continue to implement the CPI techniques after the engagement concluded.