NASA Strategic Management Council 22 May 2007: Available for New Work (AFNW) Status Report


Fifth Item of Business: Available for New Work (AFNW) Status Report

Krista Paquin, OPII Deputy Director, presented a status of the workforce planning efforts taking place as part of the Agency's planning, programming, budgeting and execution process (PPBE).

  • Paquin presented key milestones in the Agency's FY 2009 budget development process.
  • She presented "Snaphot 1" data showing the full time equivalent (FTE) level of each center's program and mission support work, including work that is funded, work that is currently forecast, and the total FTE that are available for new work. She stated the "Snapshot 1" data submitted by the centers had not yet been verified by the mission directorates.
  • Paquin stated that the effort continued to make progress, but the number of NASA civil servants available to take on new work is 428 FTE if work is not shifted from centers with excess demand to centers needing work. The FY 2009 available workforce as compared to current onboard levels is 169 FTE or 705 FTE without a shift of surplus work.
  • Paquin closed by presenting next steps: Institutional Infrastructure Analysis (IIA) reports and center "Snapshot 2" data due 5 June (extended to 8 June), and Agency Acquisition Strategy Planning meeting taking place on 25 June. Final budget decisions will be made at the 12 July SMC meeting.

Griffin noted that the challenge remains at the human space flight centers showing demand in excess of supply. He questioned if it had been established that available workforce at other centers could not do the excess work. Paquin stated that it has not been established: she had good responses from KSC and MSFC but noted that JSC was not yet ready to answer that question. Griffin directed that he wants to see real assignment options at the Acquisition Strategy Planning meeting, not tactical assignments that only solve the problem for one year. He told members that the Agency cannot afford project managers who don't trust anybody who is further than the outside of their center's fence. Geveden reminded members to look at the full scope of their organization's work, not just the development work.

Griffin questioned why if the Agency's budget is unchanged at the top line that NASA has to shed workforce. He posed that there can only be one answer: NASA is contracting out more of its work. He stated that he is willing to make hard assignment decisions and that it is not his intent to leave his successor with the type of problems he found when he took over at NASA. Griffin questioned the firmness of the OMB workforce ceiling numbers and found that they are placeholders. He noted that unless NASA addresses this problem now, and does it strategically, the placeholder numbers will become firm, placing centers already experiencing difficulties fully employing their workforce at a further disadvantage.

Griffin remained firm that JSC will not grow to meet excess demand. He noted that he has been clear in his direction to the mission directorates, but that it is clear from the continuing problem that mission directorates and program and project managers are not working to achieve the same goals. Griffin related his previous experience managing military development programs that were dispersed across dozens of organizations across the country before the days of the high-speed internet. He reported that military space projects got done, with no higher failure rate than at NASA. He directed members to tell program managers they have no choice--four or five centers are not going to go out of business enabling a couple of centers to limit work to their own centers and contractors. Griffin praised SMD Associate Administrator Alan Stern for determining to assign future work to the JPL rather than competing it in order to maintain workforce at the laboratory.

No decision, no action required.

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