NASA HQ IFM Newsletter 11 April 2005

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Welcome again to the "Letter from the 5th Floor," your guide to what's been going on from the 5th floor at Headquarters, the home of the IFM Program. For those of you at LaRC, check out this month's IAM Journal, it's an easy read, and I think a good example of a multi-media communication with many folks making a contribution that shows pictures of real people, providing the right mix and level of information, and not taking itself too seriously (including a great skit.) Unfortunately you have to be at LaRC to get to the LaRC IFMP website, but Lynn Waters should be able to email you a copy if you're OK, here's what's been going on...

Survey says, "Speak up, speak out, and register your opinion!" :

Another plug for this from last week, the Competency Center is set to conduct its Customer Satisfaction Survey in mid-April. While your time is valuable, it turns out, your opinion is equally so (now there's a novelty...) No, we're not getting together on a stage for a Mister Rogers-like fireside chat, rather we're sending out a survey to hear directly from our customer - YOU! Please do not be shy - we need your feedback to accurately gauge our performance and to improve what does not work - all feedback will be anonymous. We run these surveys from time to time as a matter of course, though the results of this one will will be rising up to the Agency Program Management Council (PMC) tentatively scheduled in May. Bernadette Buzzell will spearhead the execution of the survey, while Neil Rodgers, also of the Competency Center, will help to assess performance as it relates to each operational application. Thank you in anticipation of your response to the survey...we're looking forward to hearing from you.

House Science Committee continues their tour of IFMP:

The House Science Committee visited with GSFC CFO Nancy Abell and her staff last week to take a look at IFMP systems in action, particularly focusing on our operational systems and financial management. Nancy gave completely unfiltered feedback (as the Program Office stayed in Washington for this one!) and voiced the realities of life under IFMP at GSFC...warts and all. Nancy and her staff have been tracking and prioritizing the major issues and problems for some time now, and forming local tiger teams to solving them; nevertheless, the immediate realities for the finance, resource, and the more vocal scientific and research communities were neither lost nor forgotten. It's easy for us to say that we are about a third of the way through of what I see as a decade of change, given the breadth, depth, and sophistication of what we have done and plan to get done; it really is going to take that long for us to implement new systems and to get our processes and organizations straight. Easy to say, but I hope some of it sticks with those in the trenches advancing battle by battle. If nothing else, the folks at GSFC at last got to meet the generals last week...

Information Delivery Components for IAM:

We're still keeping the IAM project warm and humming, despite the recent sweeping of the grim reaper's scythe through the Program's budget, the detailing away of the IAM project manager, and no real decision made yet on our future. Leaves us in the somewhat odd position of having the GAO as our bedfellow for wanting to see the IFM Program through as originally designed. The IAM Project (still alive, and Monty Python's "Come here...I'll bite your legs off!" scene comes to mind...) has recently incorporated the Information Delivery Functional Design Workshops, led by Joan Brewer, into the Process Team Activities for the remaining Information Delivery Components. The Process Team Leads are going to review all of the documented functional designs and to identify the best possible standard SAP report that will meet the identified requirements. They will also provide recommendations for any additional standard SAP reports based on their knowledge of the system and the new processes. Follow-up workshops will be conducted after Conference Room Pilot to review the functional designs and the additional standard SAP reports that have been identified to determine if they will adequately satisfy the IAM requirements.

iView continues to attract users:

We're gradually on-boarding folk to iView, and we have an initiative to move Center by Center to adopt more users. I've been sponsoring iView in response in part to counter criticism that SAP is not the most user-friendly of environments; so now there's one place to go for all IFM Program applications, and with only a single sign-on needed to get access to them. You'll also find other Agency-wide applications and other useful information such as SOLAR, Employee Express, BW standard reports, and the weather (and any other RSS feed goodies from the web.) And for those traveling on behalf of the Agency may find the skies a bit friendlier with iView's new Travel Dashboard - allowing travelers to monitor the progress of documents and vouchers as they move through the travel and financial systems and to print a boarding pass directly from your desktop before departing for the airport.

Here's the schedule of when your Center is getting some unique attention to bag a few more users...MSFC and SSC April 12, HQ, NMO, GSFC and DFRC April 19, ARC and KSC April 26, GRC, JSC and LaRC May 3. Get in touch with your local IFMP office for more details. Gene Sullivan's the main man here in the Program Office.

I hope they paid their bills before leaving!:

The Competency Center hosted a very successful Accounts Payable Workshop on March 23 and 24 in Huntsville, led by Undrell Battle (Accounts Payable Lead). Some topics hit upon included Vendor CCR/SAP Discrepancy Report, Reconciliation of AP Subsidiary Ledger to the Trial Balance and 1099 Lessons Learned. The new AP queries being rolled out with the April SAP release were also introduced. All Centers sent representatives to the meeting and took advantage of the opportunity to work with CC personnel face-to-face. Based on evaluations and Center response, all who attended - Charlene Guin, Ann Parker, Lena Andrews, Sigrid Burge, Kaethe Buford, Becky Black, Lori Shavatt, Daniel Gyermeh, Karen Petery, Teri Green, Chascydy Lewis, DeAnna Oglesby, Michele Rollins, George Tung, Romulo Ferrer, Anita Lile, Patricia Bright, Vicki Hagerman, Marty DeCore, and Vicky Moore - found the workshop to be a rousing success! Good work...

eTravel conducts post mortem with unsuccessful (and successful) vendors:

Check this out, our very own Bobby German made it into the Washington Post today... Unfortunately, there must be a loser too. Susan Richards is the eTravel Contracting Officer and played the role of the Selecting Official during the acquisition. Susan guided the acquisition team through the selection of a new vendor, and continued to support the team as part of the acquisition process. In addition, all vendors are offered an opportunity for NASA to debrief them after the selection has been made. All three eTravel vendors requested to be debriefed including the winner EDS, and Susan coordinated the debriefs to all vendors. Thank you Susan for your help along the way and your stellar efforts.

That's all for this week. This rag and other news items are posted on iView and are also available on the world-wide web at

As always feel free to drop a line anytime.

Cheers, Owen

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