Management is its own discipline, and good managers must always be sharpening their own skills. This is true in the defense industry as well, as engineers climb the ladder, officers rotate out into civilian life or into desk rather than field jobs, and globalizing teams need more native management skills within the team to keep them productive. With that said, Dilbert creator Scott Adams is a rich man for a reason. We’ve all seen the firm that promotes an excellent salesperson, or an excellent engineer, or some other kind of high-performing employee – and shoots itself in the foot, twice. Once by losing the expert services of that employee, Twice by promoting someone who may not have management training, and may not be able to perform well in their new role.
DID’s “The Project Management Podcast” discussed the potential usefulness of MP3 podcasts as a training tool that can be used at convenient times. It’s a great tool for new managers, and can be useful for existing managers as well. After all, even major league athletes spend a lot of their practice time working on the fundamentals. Along those lines, the Manager Tools podcasts offers a set of free sessions devoted to practical fundamentals, as well as sessions covering more advanced topics.
Everyone we know hates a lot of the meetings they’re forced to attend. Manager Tools’ 3 sessions on Running Effective Meetings talk about what works at Intel, Google, et. al., and offer a good introduction. This is an MP3 set you’ll want to pass around:
EM Part 1 [20.5 MB]. Includes “how do you handle a boss who is late?”
EM Part 2 [12.5 MB]. Includes continuous improvement, and discussion re: facilitators.
EM Part 3 [16.7 MB]. Includes: “the meetings I must call” and the “no surprises” rule.
General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp. in Groton, CT received a not-to-exceed $324.9 million modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-03-C-2101) for long lead time material associated with the FY 2009 Virginia Class submarine [SSN 784] and its FY 2011 counterpart [SSN 787)] This contract covers long lead-time material for steam and electric plant components; the main propulsion unit and ship service turbine generator set; components that are critical to maintaining the submarine component industrial base; and miscellaneous Hull, Mechanical and Electrical system components to support ship construction of SSN 784 and SSN 787.
Work will be performed in Groton, CoT and Quonset Point, RI (7%); Newport News, VA (7%); Sunnyvale and South El Monte, CA (50%); Coatesville, York, and Cheswick, PA (5%); Linden, Philipsburg, and Florence, NJ (5%); and at various sites throughout the United States (26%), and is expected to be complete by Mar. 2013. The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington Navy Yard, DC issued the contract.
Good car owners take their vehicle in for maintenance after a certain number of months, or a certain number of miles, whichever comes first. Depending on the vehicle’s age and mileage, the dealer’s mechanic will have a list of standard systems to check and/or replace. It’s the same for the military, with the added pressure that vehicle breakdowns in a combat zone are not acceptable. So the inspections and rebuilds take place regularly, and it’s considered better to replace a working part with a new one than risk problems later. Unless, of course, land vehicles included the same sort of proactive diagnostics (“prognostics”) that are making their way into aircraft and helicopters. Maintenance could then take place only when necessary, keeping a higher percentage of vehicles in service, saving some money, and creating faster turnaround time for real problems.
That’s the aim of the US Marine Corps’ Embedded Platform Logistics System…