PMA-280 Missile Systems Team



The Tomahawk Weapons System Program Office (PMA 280) is responsible for the procurement, development, and sustainment of the Tomahawk Weapons Systems—the U.S. Navy’s surface and subsurface launched, long-range, precision strike standoff weapon.


After a year of working from home, the PMA-280 Missile Systems Team leader wanted to use his annual offsite to reframe his team’s “new normal” as a high performing and collaborative virtual culture.

Remote work requirements caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had significantly reduced collaboration, the free flow of information and the most basic workplace rituals, like introducing new teammates or sharing ideas in casual conversations outside of meetings. He realized the need to reenergize and engage the team, introduce new teammates, connect his remote workforce, celebrate the team’s victories and share and orient the whole team to use newly available digital tools.  And he wanted to make the experience empowering, productive and entertaining.

Missile Systems engaged Throughline to create and deliver a one-day experience, a pivotal offsite that conquered technological challenges and achieved the leader’s strategic goals: to reinforce the mission by celebrating the teams’ achievements, collaborate and align to optimize the “new normal” workplace, and have some much-needed communications to renew and uplift his team.

Our first step was to listen and gather feedback on exactly what the teams wanted and needed. Based on insights from interviews and surveys we conducted, the Throughline team focused on creating an experience that addressed three areas:  

  1. Defined and ensured baseline equipment requirements were met to ensure optimal virtual participation while ensuring adherence to security and meeting protocols.
  1. Constructed a precise agenda, a “state of play” to share and acknowledge the great work, introduce new people, and give everyone a chance to share their ideas for the “new normal” in 9 separate facilitated breakout sessions
  1. Facilitated the day allowing for meaningful dialogue and interaction—going deeper into the topics surfaced in our surveys of the team: Digital Toolbox Demo, Employee Engagement, Communicating in a Remote World and Work-Life Balance.  

"I felt more connected with my team in the last 45 minutes during our virtual breakout session than the last year of working remotely."  
- Offsite Attendee  

"Hope we do this more often!"  
- Offsite Attendee


The virtual offsite was a home run. Leaders and team members felt refreshed and energized. New team members felt connected to their co-workers and the annual offsite met the original goals of fostering full transparency of the Deputy Program Manager’s goals and vision for the program and the work each group does in support of the mission. The day also helped continuing to build trust across the geographically dispersed team.

Execution of our full day virtual offsite was the closest we’ve come to a ‘normal’ workday since the Pandemic began. Team building in a virtual face-to-face environment was refreshing.

- Mr. Tom Matthews PMA-280 Tomahawk Weapon Systems Deputy Program Manager

Culture & Change
System Design
Training & Learning
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