Status Report

NASA HQ IFM Newsletter 24 May 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
May 24, 2005
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Welcome to the “Letter from the 6th Floor,” the home of the IFM Program. Yes, note the name change, to reflect that we have now moved to the 6th floor of 18th & M Street right smack  downtown in the Nation’s capital. My thanks to all of those who responded to my request for ideas for a new name for the Letter given our move (I even appreciated the piquant wit and thinly disguised invective that arrived…you know who you are!) And we’re very happy here too…though I have gained quite a few pounds due to the proliferation of fine eateries in the neighborhood and the gym in the building remaining un-used by myself to date. OK, onwards and upwards, here’s what’s been going on…

He ain’t acting no more: I’m delighted to report that after over a year acting in the role, Bobby German has now officially been appointed our Program Director. Given that Bobby has assumed the role of PD for such a long period of time now, his promotion has appeared to be seamless to all. He may have joined the upper echelons of government executives, but he still cleans out the coffee pot at the end of the day. I hope you’ll join me in congratulating him and wishing him the very best. Bravo sir!

IFMP Program works with the new leadership to baseline schedule and budget: Our schedule and budget have been on the table for some time now – at least since the beginning of this year, if not earlier – and our customers and ourselves continue to push for key decisions on the future of the IFM Program. We are working very closely with our functional owners Rex Geveden, Tom Luedtke, Jeff Sutton, and Gwen Sykes in a series of project reviews with Liam Sarsfield, a consultant reporting directly to the Administrator charged with (amongst other things) taking a hard look at the IFM Program. I think we are nearly there on getting our schedule and budget base-lined. Just a little more patience needed from all though, and we commit to letting you know of decisions as they arise (hopefully within the  month.) Our thanks to all of those that have been able to keep focused on our work during these quite challenging times.

IFMP PEO completes IFMP Center budget reviews: Our thanks to all the folks at the Center that prepared and participated in budget reviews overseen by Patrick Ciganer, and the budget team of Susan Taylor, John Bosco, Louise Hamaker, and Brad Morgan, with Amber Sutton providing the grilling on eGov initiatives. Although the IFM Program does not have authority over Center implementation budgets, it’s good to get an Agency-wide view of the Centers’ approach to implementation and for us to be able to provide some guidance and input to the Center G&A budget formulation process. Once again, our thanks to all those who participated, including Gene Sullivan for making i-View the collaboration tool what it was…much appreciated of all.

IFM Program briefs House Science Committee staffers (again): It feels kinda like the movie “Groundhog Day,” except we never seem to fall in love…but just maybe there’s now just a little bit of begrudging admiration between the protagonists in this show (like I said…”maybe.”) A week or so ago, we briefed the usual line-up of Bill Atkins, Ken Munro, and Kristi Karls on the state of the IFM Program. Though there was another staffer chap (whose name I did not catch, unfortunately) that though he was more like their Andie MacDowell to our Bill Murray – he’s on the minority side, so his point of view did not count. Ah well…and as they say in Punxsutawney, “Tomorrow’s another day!”

Gartner completes independent report on the health of the IFM Program – goes public at the CBPL Summit: The genesis for this effort was the Office of the Inspector General commissioning a “root cause analysis” of Core Financial and other aspects of the IFM Program, started last year by our auditors Ernst & Young. I’ve reported on this effort in past Letters. We have always believed we were successful with implementing Core whilst taking to heart post go-live struggles, and working with the Office of the CFO to find solutions  – but we have continued to field criticism on all fronts (even today almost a full couple of years since the last wave of Centers went live.) So, we decided to take another introspective of what we were up to, and hired Gartner, the industry’s leading independent observer of business systems implementations, to give us their viewpoint on where we were in the Enterprise Resource Planning systems implementation lifecycle. The report will be briefed by the analyst team at the CBPL Summit (see below), and you’ll hear more about it here too…

It is time to register for the 2005 IFMP Core Business Process Lead (CBPL) Summit, 14th-16th June: The summit is the one time in the year when the Center leads for IFMP operational systems get together to share information and to work collaboratively on common issues. For the record, I did such a great job of speaking at last year’s CBPL Summit that I’ve not been invited back. I like to think that it’s because here in the IFM Program we are responsible for the design, development, and implementation of new business systems – and that CBPLs really need to hear about operational issues. But maybe it was because I was just a crap speaker. Anyway, I shall not dwell upon this obviously, for fear of soliciting confirmation. Ah-hem…moving swiftly on…this year, folks at the Kennedy Space Center have graciously agreed to host the summit. We have invited four CBPL groups for IFMP operational systems…Core Financial,  Travel Manager, BW Reporting Leads, and ePayroll, and we have also invited the Center Change Management Leads too. We have three very full days on the agenda – so get organized and get your travel sorted out! Neil Rodgers and Bernadette Buzzell are the points for further info…

Are you a program, project, resource, or financial manager?…then you need to pay attention to this: The Project Management Information Improvement (PMII) project, led by Barbara Fisher, is well underway.  PMII is enhancing the Core Financial system to provide better project management information for decision-making. This will be accomplished by aligning the technical and financial work breakdown structures (WBS) and implementing a single data management structure. THIS IS A BIG DEAL if you are involved with planning or executing a budget! (And who isn’t?!) Most Centers participated in the PMII Process Team Kickoff in late April and Core and Extended team members continue to participate in Reports, Interfaces, Extensions, and Forms (RIEF) workshops to provide input into the functional and technical design. The PMII team is very excited to be wrapping up the Blueprint Phase by May 13 and entering the Realization Phase (aka getting stuff done.) As was the case in the last couple of fiscal years, we have to configure our Core Financial accounting system to be able to execute the new FY06 budget structure – and the fiscal clock is ticking! The PMII Realization Kickoff is scheduled for May 24, 2005 and will include attendees from the Core and Extended team members. For further information about the PMII project, please e-mail the project team at

Integrated Asset Management (IAM) Project Team develops Benefits Realization Plan: Despite the continued uncertainly over the future of the IAM Project and the difficult working environment this has created, the folks continue to plow on in sterling form. Work is currently underway on the development of an Agency Benefits Realization Plan for the IAM Project, carried out by Dale Hupp (the project’s Benefits Champion) and Gloria Ayers (the project’s Benefits Analyst.) The Release 1 Design Phase for this effort will continue through June, at which time the expected benefits will have been identified, key metrics tied to those benefits will be developed, a benefits scorecard format will be created, the related roles and responsibilities will be detailed, and the processes to be executed will be defined post-Go Live. Those metrics will be key indicators, based on industry best practices, which are designed to give us insight into our realization of the expected benefits.

As always feel free to drop a line, and my apologies to those that have and I have not replied to…I will get around to it, I promise!

Cheers, Owen

Owen F. Barwell
IFMP Program Office
300 E St SW
Washington DC

SpaceRef staff editor.