I tremendously enjoy visiting our non-LaRC locations. It gives me the opportunity for more direct interaction with our extended IPAO staff. As I talk with them, it is clear that there is significant value in “catching up” with the latest happenings in the office, the most recent events in the Agency’s policies and with the Programs and projects with which we are engaged. I also get significant insight from their perspective in the operation of the office as highly distributed organization. Recognizing that one-third of the office is distributed, frequent and timely communication is essential to the smooth operation of IPAO. We have two main activities that provide us opportunity for interaction: the Director’s Status Review (DSR) and the weekly staff meeting.
I will address the staff meeting in this blog. The weekly staff meeting provides a frequent opportunity for interaction. Its main purpose is to exchange the most current information and announcements and to synchronize the office’s calendar of activities. Periodically, we extend by a half-hour to run the IPAO forum intended to raise the awareness of the staff on a Program or project being reviewed or a topic of interest in programmatic analysis. To make the meeting as effective as possible the full participation of everyone attending is a must. In order to take full advantage of the short time we spend together, and to fully embrace the participation of those at remote locations, we need to devote our full attention to the discussion and avoid “multiplexing” during the meeting by doing e-mail or other work, also we need to congregate around our communication equipment so our comments can be heard by all. An hour a week is a small commitment we all should make to maintain and strengthen the lines of communication and teamwork in the office. I appreciate your attention and support to this matter.
As always, your feedback is appreciated.
James N. Ortiz, PhD