Attrition: Why Optimal Manning Wasn't

Archives

January 14, 2011: The U.S. Navy is cancelling its decade-long experiment in "optimal manning." This was a policy meant to cross-train sailors, reorganize work on a ship and introduce some automation in order to reduce crew size up to 20 percent. Early experiments seemed to work. But optimal manning was less successful when it was tried on more ships. The long term impact was very damaging to morale and ship readiness. What happened was that, as many little emergencies showed up, especially on long voyages, sailors were pulled away from their duties, especially ship maintenance. The maintenance deficits were often never made up, and ship systems began to fail. In particular, they began to fail the periodic readiness inspections. This eventually caught the attention of senior leadership. Investigations followed, and it was concluded that to solve the maintenance problems, the crews needed to be larger. This was a big boost to morale, as sailors were unhappy with all the extra work, and the frustration of that effort not being enough to prevent their ships from slipping into disrepair.

 

 


Article Archive

Attrition: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close