Communication is often referred as the “bloodline” of an organization. This is definitely true in IPAO where our staff is distributed in a multitude of ways. Just think about it, we are obviously geographically distributed as we have offices across several field centers but we are also distributed along the lines of the work we engage; some would say that the work in science robotics missions is “miles” apart from the work in human spaceflight. We also have two groups in IPAO that perform very distinct although complementary functions in programmatic assessment and review planning and execution. On top of all of that, we are going through a time of considerable transition with organizational and leadership changes taking effect as the agency is addressing the need for increased austerity.
So our need for communication is great and the IPAO management staff has recognized it and is taking to heart your suggestions to improve the timely communication within the office. As an example we have taken steps to bring current topics of interest to the staff meetings and we are ensuring the notes and materials are available when people are not able to attend. We are also taking advantage, as often as practical, for you to hear the perspective from leadership as Geoff and/or I candidly discuss the issues we are tackling at any given time.
But as much as we try, we are limited by what we don’t know you want to know. This information is critical in ensuring we are communicating and so we need you to engage and ask the questions you may have or identify topics you want to hear about. There are many ways for you to do so and I welcome any you may prefer. You can engage at the staff meeting (including suggesting topics), at DSR, or you can email or call me. Please don’t hesitate to do so. The same applies to other information you may think is useful to the rest of the office. I also appreciate your response to our request to improve the inputs on the weekly report as this is another important communication vehicle to keep everybody appraised.
As with any other blog topics, I welcome your thoughts.
James N. Ortiz, PhD