Solutions Sought for Administrative Distractions

By Rear Adm. Herm Shelanski
Director of Assessments, OPNAV N81

The Chief of Naval Operations’ Reducing Administrative Distractions Team website has been active now for more than a month. We’ve made a lot of progress collecting thousands of our Sailors’ (Active and Reserve) and civilians’ comments on what distractions exist. We are now entering Phase II where we are soliciting a deep dive of solutions for a hand full of the distractions that Sailors identified:

  • 3M – Streamlining or eliminating much of the paperwork
  • ATFP – Standardizing the training and qualification process
  • CAC – Exploring additional capabilities of the card
  • NavyWiki – Developing a “one stop” shop for Navy instructions and forms
  • GMT – Looking at ways to enhance and improve this training
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Karlian Brown, from Clarendon, Jamaica, files training information in the V-1 Division office aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) in the Pacific Ocean, July 16, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jacob D. Moore/Released)

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Karlian Brown, from Clarendon, Jamaica, files training information in the V-1 Division office aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) in the Pacific Ocean, July 16, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jacob D. Moore/Released)

 

We ask that if you have ideas to improve one or more of these areas, please log in to the RAD website and get involved with the discussion. We know these areas are important to all Sailors and civilians and there are some great ideas being suggested to determine which of these distractions can be eliminated, reduced, automated, converted to electronic media, or otherwise made more efficient or more user-friendly and less administratively intensive.

RAD was born after Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert received feedback from the fleet that Sailors were spending too much time on administrative tasks and not enough time on his No. 1 tenet of “Warfighting First.” We made it our priority to hear from the fleet and find solutions to problems.  In early July, we stood up the RAD website and we stood up a RAD team.

The team consists of nearly 40 Navy personnel from a broad spectrum of specialties: commanding officers, senior non-commissioned officers, chiefs, petty officers, Reservists and civilians.  This group of dedicated Navy personnel understands the enormous administrative burden placed upon you daily and is determined to reduce it by conducting a detailed review of the distractions and solutions.

One Navy group that RAD would really like to hear more from is our Reservists. This group has the added benefit of being exposed to many administrative improvements in their civilian jobs. We would like to hear from our Reservists regarding “best practices” that their civilian employers may have implemented to make their workplace more productive. RAD wants to explore and see if some of these improvements can be incorporated into the Navy.

Infographic current as of Aug. 8, 2013

Infographic current as of Aug. 8, 2013

 

As I write this blog, RAD website input and feedback continues to be tremendous. Since the website stood up, you have submitted more than 1,200 ideas and 7,000 comments.

Your ideas also have been thoughtful, professional and pertinent, and they’ve run the gamut from simple to complex. Your input is a testament to the tremendous professionalism of our force and how driven you are to bring forth positive change.

So, I want to personally thank you for your great response.

Another good news story with RAD is how it has helped identify and assist several ongoing Navy initiatives to solve problems. Following your idea submissions, the RAD team reached out to Navy program “owners” and was told by many that the Navy is already working solutions for certain problems.  Two examples of this are “My Navy Portal” to consolidate a number of websites under one login and a new online personnel evaluation system to replace NAVFIT 98A. Both of these improvements are being pursued by Navy Personnel Command and RAD input is being closely monitored to assist in developing the best final solution.

It is exciting to be part of RAD. I cannot promise that we will be able to fix all of the problems that you identify, but RAD is going to work diligently on fixing the ones we can as quickly as possible. I ask that you continue to provide thoughtful input and solutions. In doing so, we can work together to focus more on what our CNO has asked – “Warfighting First” – and less on administration.

Editor’s note: Participate by visiting the RAD website