As you all know, IPAO is undergoing a set of a perfect storm conditions related to our workload. The confluence of unfilled staffing vacancies, a challenging manifest with lots of new work, and the release of new project/program management policies are putting a stress on the organization’s staff. Since we are a resilient group we are responding with a coordinated effort on several fronts. As any well run program would do, we are re-planning, looking for efficiencies, and de-scoping. We have already put several activities “on the shelf” to concentrate our resources on execution. We are also bringing onboard a select and very able new group of IPAO personnel from across the Agency that is anxious to pitch-in – Let’s welcome them and assist them with coming up to speed. We are also looking very carefully at how we are deploying our more experienced staff to optimize opportunities for mentoring while addressing the detail planning for reviews of new and challenging programs. Just as important, we are looking closely at our products with an eye to streamline. The combined effect of all of the above should give us the breathing room we need to execute the manifest, but in case it does not, we are also developing options to prioritize the manifest and we are formulating alternatives to propose deferral or delegation of certain lower priority reviews.
As with any challenging situation, this storm will also pass, but it takes the commitment of the whole office working together and supporting each other to weather it. Please take special care to watch out for each other during this time.
As always I welcome your thoughts.
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to the Agency’s independent review function. .
James N. Ortiz, PhD