Status Report

Langley Senior Staff Retreat: Center Director Memo

By SpaceRef Editor
February 10, 2004
Filed under ,

To: (All Employees at Langley Research Center)

From: “Roy D. Bridges, Jr.”

Subject: CD COMM # 2004-6 Langley Senior Staff Retreat

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 15:02:37 -0500

CD COMM # 2004-6

Langley Senior Staff Retreat

February 10, 2004

To: All Government and Contractor Employees at Langley Research Center

In a CD COMM to you last week, I promised to share the outcomes of the
Senior Staff Retreat held February 4, 5 and 6 in Williamsburg. I called the
retreat to formulate the actions necessary to realign Langley with
President Bush’s new Exploration Vision for NASA, and to address critically
related issues of budget, workforce realignment, and skill rebalancing.

As you know, we accepted the challenge to implement the President’s
Management Agenda (PMA) that requires significant change in the manner NASA
– and all federal government – does business. We have a number of PMA
initiatives underway, but we aren’t finished. Our success to date was
instrumental in the President trusting that NASA was ready to take on the
exciting new challenge of his Exploration Vision. I intend to do my utmost
to meet both of these challenges, and toward that end, I am updating you as
promised – and asking for your support and input. We worked an ambitious
agenda at the retreat, driven by the understanding that failure to act
decisively now imperils our future. As a result, many actions were taken,
and they are outlined here.

New LaRC Vision and Mission

As you know, the President’s new initiative is one of space exploration.
But included in NASA’s mission portfolio is also the continuing work in
aeronautics and earth science which received strong support from the
administration as the Exploration Vision was crafted. To ensure we
recognize and integrate all these factors, we drafted a new statement of
Langley’s contributions to the NASA Vision. This statement will serve as a
guide for all of our actions:

“Langley will reinvigorate and expand our space and science capabilities to
advance NASA’s Exploration Vision and refocus critical elements of our
aeronautical and atmospheric science heritage to revolutionize atmospheric
flight and research”.

To fulfill this new focus for Langley, we formed multidisciplinary “Kick
Start” teams that will begin work February 13th with a very short fuse for
completion – June 1, 2004.

These are the teams:

Exploration Team (“Team Ex”): This team will identify ways for us to align
with the President’s exploration initiative, and will have offices at
Langley and Headquarters. It will have a Return to Flight subteam to assure
we do all in our power to accomplish this critical first step.

Earth Air Transportation Team (“Team ET”). This team will identify ways to
advance the Agency’s aeronautics commitment and maximize our contributions
to the overall NASA Vision and Mission, including exploration.

Architecture Team (“A Team”). This team will identify ways to contribute to
the new Exploration Vision specifically, using our world-class systems
analysis capabilities. In this regard it is supportive of all of our kick
start teams; however, we want a strong focus on providing this capability
to the new Office of Exploration Systems (Code T).

Planetary Atmospheric and Flight Science Team (“Team PF”). This team will
identify ways to assist the Agency in the exploration initiative using our
expertise in atmospheric sciences and flight. Simply put, how do we apply
these capabilities to explore Mars and other bodies with atmospheres, such
as Titan?

A New Business Processes, Tools, & Techniques Team has been formed to
develop enabling business tools and techniques to support the Kick Start teams.

We also created the following additional teams to transition to a “go to”
culture at Langley that will enable us to be a crucial player in the
Agency’s future endeavors:

New Lab, Human Capital & Facility Transformation Team. This team will make
long-term estimates and plans of future workforce and infrastructure
requirements for aligning with the Agency’s new Vision.

Center Reorganization Team. This team will complete development of Center
reorganization plans by June 1 with an implementation goal by the end of FY
04. The reorganization will serve two functions: align the Center with the
new NASA Vision, and provide a stepping stone structure to the longer-term
requirements identified by the New Lab, Human Capital & Facility
Transformation Team.

Culture Change Team. This team will develop methods to implement the
cultural enhancements as defined by Safety and Mission Success Week, the
“Diaz Team” report, and the Langley retreat. This will be an ongoing,
long-term activity, but with some near-term actions to get us started.

SQMC Integration Team. This team, comprised of Langley’s core governing
body, the Strategic Quality Management Council (SQMC), will ensure that all
of the teams are coordinated and on schedule. We have appointed Cindy Lee,
Associate Director for Program Integration, to lead the day-to-day
integration effort for the SQMC.

The draft charter for all of the teams was developed at the retreat, and
will be finalized in the days ahead. We hope that all of the teams have
participation from across the Agency and from NASA’s strategic partners. At
Langley, the teams will consist not only of technical members, but also of
people from the business functions. The team leaders have been tentatively
identified and will be announced, along with members, as soon as they are

And here’s the kicker: All of these teams will complete their work by June
1 of this year – less than four months away.

As you see, we are setting a challenging course. The timeframes for action
are extremely near-term … because if we do not act now, Langley will be
left behind, with unacceptable consequences. It is essential that everyone
understands this, and takes to heart the “need for speed” in planning. Much
work is ahead, but I am confident that given Langley’s legacy of technical
excellence, integrity, and success, you will both understand and respond.

Stay tuned. More is to come. To learn more, attend the all-hands Town Hall
meeting that is scheduled for 1:00 pm, February 13, at the H.J.E. Reid
Conference Center Auditorium and the Pearl Young Theater.


Roy D. Bridges, Jr.

SpaceRef staff editor.