Original Date: 05/20/2002
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Availability Process
The Maintenance and Logistics Command-Pacific’s Availability Team process reduced problems encountered during ship availabilities, while ensuring that work packages or specifications are complete and depict all work that is scheduled to be performed. By having all interested parties involved in the Availability Team process, fewer chances of mistakes or omissions occur, reducing cutter non-availability days.
The availability strategy and planning process being used by the Maintenance and Logistics Command-Pacific (MLCPAC) help ensure a smooth transition of ships to either drydock or dockside for routine and planned repairs and maintenance. The process begins approximately one year in advance of the actual repair event, and involves a team of players from all required disciplines involved in the drydocking and facilitates the overall availability scheduling process.
MLCPAC assembles an Integrated Product Team, called the A-Team. This Team consists of the Availability Project Manager, who is the chairperson of the team; the port engineer (PE) from one of MLCPAC’s Naval Engineering Support Units (NESUs); and the contracting officer. Other ad hoc members are added to the Team as required. Team members join or withdraw from the Team as their expertise is required, and may serve on several A-Teams simultaneously.
The A-Team process begins with MLCPAC notifying the affected cutter and NESU of the upcoming availability. A work definition conference is held between the NESU PE and cutter personnel to generate the initial work list that depicts needed and desired repairs/modifications. After review and required modifications of this initial list by the type desk manager, the first A-Team meeting is held to define the scope of work, validate the acquisition strategy, deliver the work package for specification draft development, and finalize the work list. A checklist has been developed to guide the participants through the process to ensure that nothing significant is overlooked. The first A Team meeting is held onboard the cutter. A draft spec package comprised of mostly baseline recurring work items is used at this meeting. The imeeting involves a detailed review of the specifications and a “shipcheck” to ensure that all necessary areas are covered.
The APM will then work with the other members of the specification branch to prepare a second draft of the specification and submit it to the entire A-Team for review and comment. A thorough review of the draft specification is one of the most important steps in the entire Availability Process. Team members forward their comments to the APM for review and concurrence. After approval, the APM combines all of the comments. The APM schedules the second A-Team meeting, which involves an administrative review of the specification to ensure that all comments and issues raised at the first A-Team meeting have been addressed. A checklist is again used to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the final specification. From this meeting, the final specification (or statement of work) evolves which is forwarded to contracting for start of the procurement process.
Execution of the contract is monitored daily by the NESU PE. Minor modifications to the contract are usually handled by the PE, who serves as the Contracting Officers Technical Representative. This review and partnering with the contractor by a member of the A-Team help ensure compliance to the contractual requirements and identify other areas of concern early, allowing for speedy contract modifications should the need arise.
At the conclusion of the contract execution, a third meeting is usually held between select members of the A-Team. This meeting is to solicit feedback from all members of the team and the customer, review lessons learned on this particular availability, and uncover ways to improve the entire process for future work. By having team members focus on a common goal and not just their part of the entire process, the A-Team makes a significant contribution to keep projects on schedule and within budget.
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