The Navy’s plans to upgrade and modernize how it tracks its physical fitness assessment scores have suffered a setback as the software it planned to use for only its second assessment in the COVID-19 era has been delayed.
“The previous contractor has not delivered PRIMS-2 as scheduled,” a Navy message released on Nov. 24 announced. PRIMS-2, which stands for Physical Readiness Information Management System 2, was set to be another upgrade to the outdated IT infrastructure that plagues many aspects of military life.
As a result of the delay, the upcoming physical assessment cycle will be done on paper. The Navy’s message directs commands to hold on to the paper records as well as document sailor’s scores on their fitness reports or evaluations.
Lt. Cmdr. Adam Cole, a spokesman for the Navy, explained in an email to Military.com that the delay was because the Navy “discovered increased requirements after development began relating to user experience functionality and backend technology needed to store a complex set of fitness, medical, and personal data.”
“Anytime a large organization like the U.S. Navy initiates a process to replace a legacy system to a more robust and cloud-based technology solution, there are expected challenges,” Cole added.
The hope is that the new software will make it easier to make changes to the Navy’s fitness program and be more streamlined. One recent change has been a new cardio option for sailors – the ability to perform a 2,000-meter row in addition to the usual 1.5-mile run, stationary bike, treadmill run or 500-yard swim.
However, the delay was made particularly noticeable by the fact that this is only the second time the Navy has had a physical fitness assessment since the COVID-19 outbreak began in 2019 and the only one that will be held in 2022. Typically, the Navy holds the test twice a year.
The message notes that the software rollout delay was one of the reasons, in addition to the continued pandemic, why there will only be one test next year.
Cole says that the software, which was originally planned to be available this summer, is now on track to be delivered “by early 2022.”
“The Navy has been on a journey to update nearly all of its legacy HR systems for the past several years,” Cole explained. Although PRIMS-2 has been hit with delays, Cole noted that their recent rollout of MyNavy Assignment - a system that gave sailors increased transparency and ability to pick orders – was a success story.
Cole emphasized that the Navy “is committed to transforming its IT infrastructure throughout the spectrum of all aspects of the Sailor’s career, everything from pay to promotion.”
-- Konstantin Toropin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.