2010: The Year Ahead

Ortiz_ James226x170Welcome back to the IPAO Director’s blog after a two month hiatus while waiting for the new IPAO website to come on line.

This year promises to be more challenging than last year for IPAO. We, along with the rest of the Agency, are reacting to the changes in direction as a result of the President’s 2011 budget. In mid-January, we started discussing contingency plans as part of the planning and approval of our 2010 review manifest. Now, we are implementing that plan while remaining flexible and responsive to the needs of the Constellation Program while they refine their plan to move forward.

Although the year is still young, we already have several achievements under our belt: We published the SRB handbook; and as a result, we were able to close several outstanding actions we had open with the IG. We need to remain vigilant as we execute our independence processes to make sure we stay within the “straight and narrow” path outlined in the policy, while always learning new lessons on how to implement it. We also conducted the second round of Pause and Learn (PAL) sessions with SMD, and we have identified several efficiency improvements to the review processes that we are bringing forward for approval at the upcoming Convening Authorities PAL. We also identified several areas that we need to improve regarding our analyses and we are committed to address them. More will be communicated as we complete that effort.

After several months of intense work, we have rolled out Phase I of our new and improved IPAO website. Check it out! Phase I is a face lift, but the upcoming release of Phase II will have new functionality to help us do our work more effectively, such as automating the production of the weekly reports. Also, we just completed our support of the PM Challenge 2010 with the second year of the “Independent Review in Action” track – briefings, panel, and booth. I am very proud of how the IPAO rallied together to support this effort and by the professionalism demonstrated by all who participated. Thank you! I know, we have to “spiffy up” the booth, but we already have a volunteer signed up to lead that effort.

So, we had a good start this year and by working together, remaining flexible, maintaining our focus, and communicating amongst ourselves and with our stakeholders, we can look forward to many more achievements!

I am always interested in your thoughts!
James N. Ortiz, PhD

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