Banner 19
Home > Projects > Submarine Operating Centre CWE >

Submarine Operating Centre - Collaborative Working

Transforming the Submarine Refit Programme

The UK MOD Submarine Operating Centre performs a critical role in maintaining availability of the Royal Navy’s fleet of nuclear submarines. The overhaul and refit of a nuclear submarine is an enormously complex and lengthy programme, involving a range of industry and MOD parties.

The Challenge

In 1999, the Submarine Operating Centre needed to prepare for the first major refit of HMS Vanguard – timely completion was critical to maintaining availability of the UK strategic nuclear deterrent – delay was not an option.

Driven by the Maritime Industrial Strategy there was a recognition of the need for greater long term alliancing between MOD and Industry and improved information sharing.


The initial business requirement, driven by the refit in 1999, was to reduce refit time and associated costs. The MOD and its Tier 1 industry partner, Babcock Marine, teamed with LSC Group to establish a fully functional Collaborative Working Environment (CWE) Tool, incrementally expanded over time to satisfy business need:

• A secure portal (allowing single sign on to key MOD and Industry systems)
• Custom built business process automation (workflow) solution – allows the rapid development of new automated processes
• An advanced, secure document management vault
• A comprehensive business intelligence tool (providing a real time digital dashboard)

Customer Benefits

Currently with over 3000 users, the CWE is enabling the Submarine Operating Centre to continue to reap significant business benefits.

• Reduced support costs through the availability of key data sources
• Improved visibility of business performance through enhanced reporting
• Data ‘entered once - used many times’
• Creation of a truly enterprise wide collaborative culture crossing MOD and Industry boundaries
• Improved visibility and accountability of processes

The Outcome

The CWE has improved collaboration and communication between all stakeholders involved in the refit process. Overall submarine refit turnaround has been significantly reduced and cost benefits amounting to a saving of £10m+ over a 5 year period.

This is now formally recognised an award winning solution – winning a Silver Global Excellence Award in Workflow and Business Process Management in 2010 and a UKCeB Excellence Award for Business Improvement and Transformation in 2009.