2017 Distinguished Services Award: Learning Management Systems

Chris KingAwards, Learning Management Systems

Category: Learning Management Systems
Project Title: Advanced Skills Management (ASM) Integrated Product Team (IPT)
Agency: Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport
Program Dates: From: 01/2016 To: 12/2016

Accepting: Eric Stoeckel and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Department of Navy

Briefly state the overall mission of the Nominee’s organization.
The mission of Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport is to provide advanced technical capabilities for test and evaluation, in-service engineering, maintenance and industrial base support, Fleet material readiness, and obsolescence management for undersea warfare. Delivering innovative solutions to support the Warfighter today and tomorrow!

Describe how the initiative is cutting edge.
The Advanced Skills Management (ASM) System is a task-based, web enabled training management system. It provides organizational management of the Qualifications, Certifications, Licenses, and Training activities, of over 170,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. ASM is the only Department of the Navy training management system that provides a task based level of detail. ASM has been designated as an Authoritative Data Source by OPNAV N1, and is fully accredited for use in the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), afloat and standalone environments. The importance of this system cannot be overstated. The use of this training management system directly results in a significant number of improvements to critical training needs management, directly relatable to increased retentio by ensuring qualifications are met in a timely manner to ensure appropriate personnel have the training required of their position, efficiency of getting the job done, realized cost savings of having a single, easy to use tool for this management with minimal operating maintenance for the end users, etc.

For example, to receive a Master Level Qualification in MK 48 weapons handling, the qualifications can contain on the job training, courseware completion, oral exams, written exams (that can be taken in the tool), and individual tasks signed off at each level. This tool has been in existence since 2003 however, the latest software upgrade provides course management and planning tool enhancements directly within ASM to eliminate additional time spent managing rosters using a variety of other programs.

This major software enhancement was delivered ahead of schedule and under costs. The enhancement of this application sets the benchmark as there is no other similar system for training management standard for other Department of Defense software agencies.

Indicate how it is linked to the organization’s mission.
Delivering innovative solutions to support the Warfighter today and tomorrow! That is the vision of NUWC Division, Keyport and that vision has been realized by the ASM Integrated Product Team (IPT) time and again! The ASM IPT identified their mission as providing a customizable, web-based training solution that enables users to assess individual readiness using real-time information to help ensure combat-ready forces.

The latest software upgrades have a direct linkage to both the organization’s vision and the team’s mission by improving on the customizable aspect of the training application and giving users quicker response times to requirements notifications, scheduling, and reports generation.

Elaborate on outcomes resulting from the initiative and the impact that the initiative had on the organization:
Recently, the ASM IPT was tasked by the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) to design and deliver a major Class Management software upgrade to support Naval Construction Force (NCF) schoolhouses. The software upgrade provides course management and planning tools directly within ASM to eliminate additional time spent managing rosters using a variety of other programs. It replaced outdated class scheduling procedures that were being accomplished manually, using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. With this upgrade, ASM users are now able to schedule both informal and formal courses that meet skill attainment and/or readiness requirements, establish course rosters based on command training quotas, notify commands and individual Sailors regarding their schedule of courses, and graduate an individual from a course, automatically providing skill attainment reporting within ASM for training staff use.

Not content to just meet the mandated requirement, the ASM IPT completed the software upgrade and additional functionalities ahead of schedule. Through their efficiencies, the customer was able to utilize a $205K cost savings and apply it towards the development of additional functionality and reporting capabilities. As of February 2017, there are 153 classes documented in ASM with 3,129 total graduating students. A survey was taken of NCF units to assess efficiencies from the Class Management enhancement to ASM. As a result and in accordance with guidance from NECC, the software upgrade was projected to result in an approximate $2.3M total annual savings. This project was estimated and funded at $1.6M with a strict one year execution schedule. During project execution, the ASM IPT identified innovative and much more technically efficient approaches to Class Management that were introduced into the software release, while still meeting all of the original Information Assurance (IA) security and system performance requirements.

The additional enhancements also reduced future software maintenance and upgrade costs, and improved user efficiency. The ASM IPT’s collaborative and innovative approach saved precious acquisition funding, and provided significant cost avoidance through reduction of the warfighter’s administrative burden. The ASM IPT’s professionalism, teamwork and stellar work ethic reflect the high standards that NUWC Division, Keyport is known for and is particularly impressive when considering the relatively short time frame for achieving significant system improvements.

Cite proof of your claims. For example, if you used needs assessment or competency based instruments include those or reference where they may be found such as a web address, news article, or a journal.
Direct customer contact and dialogue, coupled with first-hand knowledge and understanding of customer requirements form the basis of the needs assessment. This has a direct impact on continued product development in order to determine improvements and increased applicability of the ASM System across the Fleet.

An email message from one of the users of the new Class Management functionality, Mr. Tom Stanley (NCG 1, N71) stated, “For the short time that NCG 1 has been utilizing the Class Management function within ASM I have had many positive comments concerning how easy it is once people get used to working with it, graduating classes is extremely easy and working from the class templates to develop new classes has been very simple to do. In addition, we have worked on unit lead training and built the classes, assigned the students and graduated them all with no issues. As the troops continue to utilize it and understand the ease of scheduling, quota management and putting students into the classes more time savings will be seen. Thanks for all of your hard work and efforts to make this function a huge success.”