Monthly Archives: October 2010

On the Role of the Principal Review Manager…

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Ortiz_ James226x170 This blog is the first in a series of suggested topics you identified in your response to my call for IPAO blog topics. I thank you for your input and I will work trough the remaining seven topics on the list as we move forward.

The role of the Principal Review Manager (PRM) has been one of the most talked-about topics since I joined IPAO two years ago. It has been a source of multiple organizational discussions and we have tried to better define it and adjust the operation of this important position. The fundamental function of the PRM is very straight forward: the PRM is a senior member of EAG whose function is to facilitate the review activities of one or more of our mission directorate review portfolios. The challenge is the implementation; in other words, determining what is involved in “facilitating” the review activities of a mission directorate and defining the lines of authority, responsibility, and accountability between Review Managers (RMs), the EAG supervisor, and the PRM. Let me start by describing what is involved in facilitating the review activity. Facilitation involves proactively coordinating the manifest of reviews with the mission directorate, including addressing issues with significant changes to the manifest once it is approved. Facilitation also includes proactively addressing systemic (or cross cutting) issues in the planning and execution of review activities involving the mission directorate; as such, the PRM is the “the process improvement agent” as it relates to that mission directorate and is expected to lead the PALs and other improvement activities. The PRM also facilitates SRB activity by maintaining an awareness of periodic Program/project performance review activity conducted at the mission directorate level (and center when appropriate) and sharing that awareness with other IPAO personnel such as RMs and PAG analysts working independent reviews of these Programs or projects.

The PRMs also facilitates activities within IPAO. The PRM facilitates the transition of new RMs into the fold by providing expert advice and support as required to ease the transition and to transfer corporate knowledge. PRMs participate in the review of products and documentation such as TORs, briefing packages, and final reports for their assigned area.

In a nut shell, the PRM has authority, responsibility and accountability for the functions outlined above. Also, as you can see from the description provided above the PRM is a leadership position and PRMs lead by influence in their interfaces with RMs, other IPAO personnel, and mission directorate personnel. Supervisory authority responsibility and accountability for RMs and PRMs rests with the EAG supervisor. Authority, responsibility and accountability for planning and execution for a particular review rest with the assigned RM. PRM and RMs need to have a very close working relationship with RMs supporting the PRM in leading the planning and process improvement activities for the mission directorate and with RMs benefiting from the expert support and guidance provided by the PRM. I hope this description helps in our general understanding of the PRM role.

As always, please let me hear your thoughts on this subject.

James N. Ortiz, PhD