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NASA Strategic Management Council Meeting: Uncovered Capacity

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2007

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Source: NASA Strategic Management Council Meeting Minutes 1 November 2006

Uncovered Capacity:

Looking ahead at the transition from the Shuttle and International Space Station to exploration, if there is no change in the way NASA does business, more and more of its work will go to contractors. Griffin is not looking to increase the number of NASA civil servants, but wants to ensure that in the future NASA civil servants are more involved in architecture and technical work.

Griffin cited the 2003 Defense Science Board report led by Tom Young which revealed that the Defense Department had managed deliberately to give away all of their technical excellence and could no longer effectively manage contractors. He doesn't want NASA to head down that path. He directed leaders to think carefully about how to handle new hardware developments in the out years.

Griffin noted that the Uncovered Capacity Reduction Team efforts were necessarily tactical, not strategic. Mission directorates have the requirements, the budget and the authority to assign work to NASA's ten centers. Headquarters mission directorate staff must have the technical skills to ensure that programs run at centers are sharing the work across the Agency. This does not mean that every center will have a major Constellation program element or robotic flight project; there are not enough major programs at NASA for every center to have one. It does mean that a project manager at one center will report to a program manager at another center, but that does not mean that one center works for another center.

He directed his leaders to communicate this message to their people.

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