On SRB Written Reports

Ortiz_ James226x170I know that running SRB teams and performing programmatic analyses is a laborious and stressful endeavor. You invest several months of hard work, nominating the chair, review team members, vetting each team member, negotiating the Terms of Reference (TOR) for your review, holding the site review, compiling findings and recommendations, performing the peer-reviews, and going through debriefing process including the quick look report, the project debrief and the briefing to the Center, Mission Directorate and Agency PMC… but what remains after all of that? The answer is the SRB written report. The written report is the narrative that describes all the hard work performed by the SRB that resulted in the assessment of the Program or project. It is the one record that is kept by IPAO to tell the story to all stakeholders, present and future, in enough detail so they get the complete picture of the who, how, when, and what resulted from the review. Some of you have questioned the value of such a product and have offered the briefing package as a replacement, but the briefing package is an inadequate product to tell the story. The briefing package presents a brief summary to an audience that is very familiar with the plans and rules of engagement for the review and that is mainly interested in the review outcome and recommendations. Another argument I heard recently is that the written reports are put on a shelf and just collect dust (electronic dust these days since we went to an all electronic archival system). Let me just say that over the last month SMD requested access to our reports to support a study of the effectiveness of their AO system and that a recently published report was immediately forwarded by the Mission Directorate to the IG at their request.

So this is a very important product and one in which we need to show the standard of excellence in IPAO. As you have seen, we have put the spotlight on our written reports recently to make sure that our reports have a standard appearance and feel that meets the needs outlined above. I appreciate your contribution to this effort. This is an important part of the legacy we leave behind!

As always, I welcome your thoughts.
James N. Ortiz, PhD

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