period. It took 4 years to break through the stovepipes and get rid of impediments, and they began to look at readiness differently. There was a single process owner (keeper of the metric). The metric adopted was “aviation units ready for tasking based on missions completed.” This overall metric has a number of supporting metrics involving inventory, reliability, cycle time reduction, and total cost (all dollars/all financial stovepipes). Consistent with Lean principles, the goal is to achieve the metrics and no more. It is important to decide how much is enough; going beyond is not necessarily good and may be costly in both financial and personnel terms. The metric must be aligned with end-user value. One must (1) understand the outcome to be achieved, (2) define processes to achieve the outcome, and (3) reorganize only to the extent it affects the outcome.
VADM Massenburg cited a number of examples where this enterprise approach resulted in better fleet readiness at lower cost. Managers had to subordinate personal priorities for the greater good. Money left over at the end of the fiscal year was returned to the enterprise rather than spent. NAVAIR became the only organization recapitalizing its force, to the tune of $4 billion per year. This represented a “life spiral” rather than a death spiral. Much of the latter part of the presentation was devoted to encouraging productivity in the workforce. People are the source of capability to perform the mission and to achieve program success. It is the role of leadership to get the incentives right and inspire people. The culture should emphasize subordination to the metric, not collaboration per se. Work needs to be driven by demand pull, and worker talents need to be matched to the tasks. By emphasizing productivity, staff costs can be reduced without threatening the delivery of end products. VADM Massenburg concluded with a list of best practices and behaviors:
• Identify domains and assign single process owners.
• Assemble the right enterprise teams and gain commitment.
• Operate in support of a single fleet-driven metric (what the enterprise values).
—Get agreement on scope, outputs, and linked metrics;
—Make data transparent to promote trust and monitor performance;
—Share knowledge on issues and key problems affecting the domain;
—Recognize, nurture, and support technical authority; and
—Identify entitlements (what’s needed, when, and how much and no more).
• Agree on the desired output (e.g., readiness over cost), with focus on the trade space involving current and future readiness.
• Operate with discipline, governance, and a regular (timely) “drumbeat.”
• Baseline every dollar, all the people, all the stuff, and all the capability within the domain, with assigned accountability for outcomes.
• Establish entitlements. Continually measure gaps to entitlement.
• Remove barriers to productivity.14
14Two books were recommended for further discussion of these principles: Gary Connors’ Lean Manufacturing for the Small Shop (Society of Manufacturing, 2001) and Joel Levitt’s Lean Maintenance (Industrial Press, 2008).