Happy New Year: FY12 Outlook

Ortiz_ James226x170Last week the Agency Program Management Council (APMC) approved our manifest of reviews for the new fiscal year.  This year we aligned our manifest approval with the beginning of the fiscal year.  This alignment allows us to better synchronize the content of our work, which is primarily driven by the manifest, with the staffing and financial resources of the office.  Our manifest for this year includes significant new program content in Human Spaceflight (Exploration Systems Development Programs and likely review of the Commercial Crew Program) as well as in the reimbursable arena (JPSS).  The manifest also includes high review activity leading to KDPs B, C and D and several Program Implementation Reviews of high-profile Programs such as SCaN, SOFIA, and HRP, to name just a few. At 33 reviews, it represents an 18% increase over the planned manifest for FY11.  The discussion at the APMC also included mitigation strategies to address resource limitations in workforce and financial resources of the office.  These discussions were oriented to seek relief of potential issues with our current staffing approach and to discuss a prioritization approach to deploy our financial resources.  As IPAO is not immune to the budget challenges faced by the Agency and the federal government, we carefully planned our manifest and the approach to deploy our resources including how to adjust our plans to respond to the inevitable changes in review schedules and content.  This year we are also poised to begin reaping the benefits of our streamlining and enhanced delegation efforts as we continue to implement these needed improvements.  IPAO will also continue to support the Chief Engineer by finalizing the update to the SRB Handbook and participating in the NPR 7120 update “roll out” across the Agency.  So happy new fiscal year everybody, we are very lucky in these difficult times to have an exciting year full of challenging work ahead of us. Let’s make the best of it!

James N. Ortiz, PhD
IPAO Director

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