Outlook for the rest of 2015 and into 2016

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As we meet for this Director Status Review (DSR) I wanted to reflect on a couple of important topics: our people and our manifest.   First and foremost is our people. As it was mentioned at our Dec 2014 DSR, we are embarked in a significant workforce transition directed to enhance the stability in our civil service review manager workforce and to strengthen our civil service programmatic analyst staffing. The details of the transition will be covered during the meeting and please know that we are on plan to bring this talent into our civil service competent.   Also, as part of the regular career tempo some of our team members have/are transitioning into retirement, are moving to take on other challenges outside of the organization, or are completing the detail assignments in IPAO. The combined effect is significant changes in personnel with the ripple effect into assignments.   As with other periods of change there are disruptions to the organization and the SRBs but there are also lots of opportunities to take on new and challenging assignments and to work with new people.   I appreciate everybody’s continue support and patience while these changes are implemented as they will continue into the following calendar year.   As we will also discuss during the meeting, we are continuing our efforts to understand our working relationship to address areas where adjustments can be implemented to enhance the overall level of satisfaction of our workforce; this is an activity that also includes OoE.

As for the content of our work, I think it is interesting to observe that the composition of our manifest is evolving into a larger number of reviews involving more complex missions such as Europa and Asteroid Robotic Retrieval Mission, Landsat 9, the re-engagement with JWST, amongst others.   These missions given their complexity, require more involved discussions and elaborate planning. I don’t see that many “standard” Cat 2 entering our manifest. Even the PIRs seem to be less “standard” as they seem to be planned more and more as highly customized “topical” reviews such as the upcoming SCaN PIR.   We have also seen recent “acceleration” of lifecycle reviews and a few that have “popped” into our manifest in unexpected ways.   We will need to remain vigilant and flexible to engage in support of these efforts as we manage the workforce transition mentioned above and as we also respond to OoE direction to improve the execution of our procurement and travel dollars.   This is what makes life in IPAO challenging.

Let me hear from your thoughts

With regards,
James