In October 1989, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) conducted the Ship Design for Producibility Workshop with broad participation from the Navy, Shipbuilders, Ship Design Agents and Academia. The Workshop was one of NAVSEA’s first Total Quality Leadership (TQL) initiatives and was subsequently expanded by NAVSEA’s Chief Engineer (CHENG) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (DASN) for Ships into the Ship Design, Acquisition, and Construction (DAC) Process Improvement Project. In addition, the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) initiated a number of thrusts in Concurrent Engineering and Increased Throughput. The authors describe one of these major process improvement initiatives, NAVSEA’s 3D “Product Model” Strategy to extend throughout the enterprise-wide process of warship development a primary focus on the bridge between ship design and shipbuilding. The Workshop and subsequent process improvement initiatives have had a profound impact on the Naval Ship Design Process. Yet, as reported to Congress in 2002 by the Secretary of the Navy, the unbudgeted cost growth and increased cycle times for Detail Design of new warships have “reached an untenable level”. This necessitated the October 2004 ASN (RDA) policy memorandum on Integrated Digital Data Environment (IDDE). To realize transformational innovations in our ship designs, as well as transformational innovations in the entire warship development process, the National Naval Responsibility in Naval Engineering (NNR-NE) was recently established by the Navy. To support NNR-NE the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) created the Center for Innovation in Ship Design (CISD). A summary of some recent CISD Innovation Cells and how CISD can contribute to breaking down the existing organizational cultures and institutionalizing a collaborative product development environment are also discussed. As we begin a new century, it is appropriate that our naval ship design and shipbuilding community review its progress, look at the cross-cut principles of leading change, determine what it takes to bring about dramatic cultural transformation, and discuss the critical need for Navy, Shipbuilder, Design Agent and Academia leadership to continue developing a new collaborative product development environment which fosters a sea change in the whole naval ship development process.

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