Following Cyclone Yasi in 2011, the critical Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Tobruk was unavailable at this time of crisis. A top-level review found that systemic issues, including inadequate risk management, compliance and assurance. There was also a lack of clarity on who was accountable for the seaworthiness of the fleet of maritime assets across Defence.
Navy set out to re-think how to approach seaworthiness by designing the Defence Seaworthiness Management System (DSwMS). DSwMS is an outcome focused regulatory framework that aims to guide capability managers on how to design, build, use and maintain their maritime assets to achieve their mission, whilst minimising the risk of harm to people and to the environment.
The DSwMS team recognised changing people’s thinking and behaviours was critical for success. For this reason, the team adopted an iterative approach to design, implementation, tools, frequently testing and responding to barriers.
The DSwMS represented a new way of thinking requiring members of the regulated organisations to traverse a new style of regulation and demonstrate compliance to achieving the outcome based regulations. We captured this new framework and used it to structure a new collaborative information management system to support the implementation of the new regulatory framework.
We used our Mentum Systems agile design thinking approach to match the DSwMS need to iteratively deliver new releases that were designed to make a step change in the way the organisation worked. We initially supported this process by developing a pilot solution to explore and validate the governance design and use of a suitable technology platform. After the pilot solution’s success, we were worked with Navy to develop and oprerationalise the SwIMS solution within four months, including user training.
The successful delivery of the SwIMS is regarded as a key capability supporting the adoption of the DSwMS. The use of DSwMS has been successful to the point where Chief of Navy has stopped the onerous Seaworthiness Boards in preference to using the DSwMS and SwIMS to enable dynamic risk management in a dynamic environment.
For more details about the Defence Seaworthiness Management System please read: http://www.defence.gov.au/publications/docs/SeaworthinessMgmtSystemManual.pdf
AIRCDRE (Retd), Royal Australian Air Force, former Director General Strategy & Planning – AF
Rear Admiral Adam Grunsell, Head of Maritime Systems, CASG