After a year on station it is clear to me that, as I stated in my Guidance and Serials, one of the unintended consequences of focusing on cost reduction through the many “enterprise” efficiency initiatives we have undertaken over the last decade has been the placement of system cost above system performance in importance.
As a result, our priorities have become low cost, then schedule and lastly performance. This priority inversion has resulted in a culture where we are too willing to accept the delivery of substandard products (e.g. accepting starred cards as the norm and not the exception.)
My goal is to turn our priorities around by putting system performance back at the forefront. I’m not interested in engaging in a finger-pointing exercise – we are all part of the cultural problem that we have today. This will also not be an exercise where the Fleet recommends reinventing past organizations (e.g. PMS 400 for Aegis). Simply put, our effort is about doing what we can do today, within the authorities we have today, to ensure products delivered to the Fleet today perform to design specification.
It is about holding everyone accountable to established policy requirements and standards (see attached OPNAV Instruction). And finally, it is about taking many small steps to reach our goal because there is no “big-bang” solution – again, this is a cultural problem; so it is about setting standards, disciplined execution to those standards, and a willingness to “stay on it” over the long haul.
I need your help in fixing this cultural problem that we’ve allowed ourselves to develop. We simply can no longer allow products that do not perform to specification – ships, aircraft, submarines, systems or equipment – to enter our Fleet on our watch. All the best, JCHjr