NASA Workforce/Institutional Transformation Status as of 14 February 2005

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2005

This is the weekly status from the NASA Associate Administrator, Office of Institutions and Management.

Click on image to download 468K Powerpoint presentation

Download this presentation, and then look at the last two slides. You are in for a surprise. Click on them - they are embedded Excel spreadsheets. One of the more interesting tabs "After Two Buyouts" seems to show a plan (below) whereby thousands of people (7,992) would exit the agency between FY 2006 and FY 2010 as the result of buyouts. If these charts are to be believed then there will be virtually no civil servants left at ARC, DFRC, GRC or LaRC.

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total all FY
ARC 71 322 289 324 368 414 1788
DFRC -16 16 100 93 92 101 386
GRC 26 370 570 556 547 551 2620
LaRC 72 340 609 614 570 566 2771
MSFC 129 474 555 480 477 467 2582
GSFC -61 -138 -139 -140 -140 -141 -759
JSC -54 -115 -116 -116 -116 -116 -633
KSC -32 -73 -74 -74 -74 -74 -401
SSC -2 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -27
HQ -30 -61 -61 -61 -61 -61 -335
Total 103 1130 1728 1671 1658 1702 7992

Editor's note: Response from Glenn Mahone, Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs:

"The chart used in your story 'NASA's Stealth Buyout Plans' is a preliminary internal working document. It depicts one scenario among many generated to bound and manage NASA's FY07 work-force planning uncertainty. The data presents one hypothetical situation at a given point, after two of many human-capital management tools under consideration (buyouts and internal transfers) have been applied and results estimated.

"Given this is an internal working paper, we will not discuss the specific numbers, except to correct the following error. The number 7,992 is the result of an addition formula erroneously left embedded in this preliminary worksheet. The data in the rows is not cumulative.

"The chart has no meaningful interpretation outside the particular set of assumptions examined within it. We have produced and will continue to produce many such worksheets including many different scenarios, sets of assumptions and results to date, over the next several months. We will not be responding to specific questions on numbers used in this process of tracking our progress on work force planning and developing options as a result of that progress."

Editor's note: This chart was also included in the original presentation - but was not part of this article when Mahone issued his comments:

Actions To Enable Transformation Discussion Will this help in the near term? Will this help in the long term? Potential Risks Risk Mitigation Lead For Action Implementation
Buyouts Centers have requested more flexibility in how we conduct buyouts -- don't limit areas for buyouts, instead identify buyout threshholds in needed skill areas Yes Yes High Performers leave Retention Bonuses OIM
Job Fairs Centers needing civil servants actively pursue civil servants at other centers who need work Yes Yes Job Fairs, and timing of them, may send the wrong signals to the workforce and to key external stakeholders Consider Agency-wide Job Fair, with careful crafting of the "before, during and after" messages sent to both internal and external stakeholders OIM, with Center Directors
Brokered Transfers This could include AA's working together to identify where work might be moved from one Center to another, or Center Directors working together to propose to AA's where work could be moved from one Center to another. Potentially Probably Not This near term solution may send the wrong signals to the workforce and to key external stakeholders, and it may result in implementation inefficiencies Expect to use this tool on a limited basis, and clearly define up front the conditions of transfers --what work, for how long, etc. Mission Directorates, with Center Directors
Pursue RPMA "low hanging fruit" Actively pursue proposed closures and/or consolidations identified by the Phase 1 RPMA To a limited extent To a greater extent Many of the areas identified will take time to implement. Many of the areas identified may cause external stakeholder concern Continue to pursue, while maintaining an open dialogue with external stakeholders. Factor into the decision making process overall cost/benefit considerations. Consider options to offset stakeholder concerns. OIM
Pursue new legislation Actively and aggressivly pursue To a limited extent Yes Stronger internal coordination required; potential exists to rely too heavily on this as a solution, only to find that it either doesn't pan out, or takes too long to enact Implement more active internal management and tracking; Clearly understand extent to which our assumptions depend on legislation being enacted, develop contingency plans consistent with assumptions being made Legislative Affairs. With OIM
Involuntary inter-Center reassignments Determine needed skills vs. available skills, implement involuntary reassignments to place skills where they are needed Yes Yes May impact workforce morale, will likely cause external stakeholder concerns; will require funds to support PCS's Pursue on a limited basis, clearly communicate process and results to internal and external stakeholders. Consider options to offset stakeholder concerns. OIM, with Center Directors
Coordinated RPMA/NOMET Phase 2 efforts Aggressively pursue alternative management organization options, aggressively pursue facility closure/transfer options. Work the two efforts in concert. Assure that a full range of options is considered. No Yes Will impact workforce morale, will cause stakeholoder concerns, will take time to implement Maintain open and active dialogue with internal and external stakeholders; fully engage Center Directors so that they "own" the solutions OIM
Review of Existing Contracted Work Evaluate existing contracted work to determine if any of it could appropriately be implemented by civil servants. Yes and No Yes and No While this may address the concern for the civil servant workforce, doing so will likely create concerns among the contractor workforce, which may result in contractor morale problems and/or protests, and external stakeholder concerns. Could result in hi Implement on a limited basis, coordinating closely with legal and procurement to assure appropriateness of actions taken. Carefully evaluate costs/benefits in making decisions to pull work in. OCFO/Procurement, with Center Directors
Review of Projected, Uncommitted Work Evaluate projected work which is currently not committed contractually. Understand the timing for planned selection decisions, and how that may serve to mitigate current workforce issues. Work to minimize the gaps between when decisions are planned vs. Potentially Potentially While this may address near-term concerns for the civil servant workforce, some options taken to bridge the gaps may send negative signals to the external community, which may result in external stakeholder concerns. Options to bridge the gap may provide Will require concerted and coordinated effort on part of Mission Directorate AA's, OCFO and OIM. If gap-bridging options are identified, they must be carefully implemented with decision gates and options that allow us to stay on a course that is, over th OCFO/Procurement, with Mission Directorates
Core Competency Health Assessment Come to closure on agreed upon NASA Core Competencies, and proceed immediately with health assessment, so as to inform reviews of existing contracted work, and projected uncommitted work. To a limited extent Yes Centers may turn to this as their "panacea," and thereby not pursue other tools as aggressively as they could. Objectively determining what consitutes a "critical mass" of work will be challenging. External stakeholders may not agree with NASA as to wha Assure that all tools are being aggressively pursued. Appropriately vette approaches for determining critical mass. Use roadmaps/advisory structure to validate Core Competency decisions, making adjustments where warranted. ADA/SI, with Mission Directorates and OIM
Update Personnel Files Proceed with preparations for updating personnel files -- recognizing that, if we have to use involuntary workforce reductions as a measure of last resort, this action must be complete. No To a limited extent The fact that we are updating personnel files sends the unintended and inaccurate signal that involuntary reductions are a foregone conclusion. Careful attention is needed in communicating to both internal and external stakeholders the work associated with preparing for the potential of implementing this tool of last resort. OIM
Manage Tactical Program/Project decisions Actively manage program/project decisions which, while serving the immediate needs of allowing a program/project to get through FYO6 (taking work out of Centers that have artificially high G&A's), may exacerbate a Center's ability to compete over the long Yes No Will impact programs/projects that conduct work at the Centers currently facing significant workforce transitions. Mission Directorates will need to factor this into their implementation plans. Mission Directorates
Areas highlighted in gray indicate actions that are "new" and/or which have greater clarity on who is assigned as the lead.

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