A Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic engineer designed a tailored mobile engineering process for the Sea Warrior Program mobility team, resulting in the development of 24 mobile applications, including the recent Physical Fitness Assessment Calculator, which launched May 7.
Emily DiSalvo, the Sea Warrior Program mobility team assistant program manager for engineering, provides engineering support, engineering rigor and independent engineering assessments for mobility projects.
“One of my first roles with the team was trying to figure out how to take the complex systems engineering and acquisition process from DoD Instruction 5000.02 and tailor that so it was more appropriate for smaller-scale mobile applications,” DiSalvo said. “We quickly found that these mobile apps do not need the same level of rigor that a larger acquisition program or tactical system would require.”
Using a six-phase tailored mobile engineering process that includes three systems engineering technical reviews, DiSalvo and her team streamline large requirements into simpler, in-depth processes to quickly and effectively move apps to production.
“It was important to us to have a process that still maintains the systems engineering rigor, but keep that rigor at the appropriate level so it aids and guides us, rather than slow the development of the mobile apps,” DiSalvo said.
The Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition process for larger acquisition systems typically has lifecycles of three to five years or more, but the mobility team can develop a mobile app in just a few months using the tailored mobile engineering process. As a result, the Sea Warrior Program has fielded two dozen mobile applications that have been downloaded more than 345,000 times in the last three years.
“Emily and the Sea Warrior Program mobility team take the most critical parts of the systems engineering lifecycle and apply it to Navy mobile app development in a very efficient manner,” said Paul Walter, SSC Atlantic ashore systems engineering competency lead. “They are combining the best aspects of systems engineering and agile software development processes to deliver timely app solutions to our Sailors.”
The mobility team delivers apps that allow the Navy to take advantage of mobile devices for Sailor self-service functions by increasing the reach of training and information. Ranging from general military training resources and financial literacy information to uniform regulations and professional development career tools, the apps are available to Sailors on their personal devices.
In April 2016, DiSalvo used the tailored mobile engineering process to assist the mobility team with the launch of the Navy App Locker, a mobile app and accompanying website that allows Sailors to identify official apps developed by the Navy and proceed directly to commercial app stores via trusted download links. The site, available at www.applocker.navy.mil, currently hosts more than 70 Navy mobile apps, including 24 Sea Warrior Program-developed apps.
“Mobile work, in general, is so different from anything else Sea Warrior Program or the Navy does, so there’s really no precedent in terms of what to do from a systems engineering perspective,” DiSalvo said. “We were given the opportunity to run with it, and the result is this repeatable process.”
The Sea Warrior Program manages a large portfolio of business applications, systems and initiatives delivering critical capabilities used by active and Reserve forces, civilians, retirees and Navy families 24/7 around the world. The Sea Warrior Program portfolio includes My Navy Portal, mobile apps, Navy eLearning, distribution systems, Navy Pay and Personnel System, and Authoritative Data Environment.
SSC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber and information technology capabilities.
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