Status Report

NASA HQ IFM Newsletter 29 March 2005

By SpaceRef Editor
April 4, 2005
Filed under ,


Welcome to the Letter from the 5th Floor – the latest from the 5th floor at Headquarters, the home of the IFM Program. So I am reminded of a conversation with a good friend of mine, as the two of us (and a bunch of friends) were traveling on the TGV on our way to the south of France. At the time, I was consulting to the US Forest Service, helping them implement a new budget system. This was during the summer of a rather severe series of forest fires across the U.S. and my friend O-man asked what I was doing for them. “Strategy work,” was my reply. Then, with a big grin, he mockingly started to sniff rather loudly, asking the train carriage in general, “Can anyone smell smoke?” and he then proceeded to shamelessly rib me about holding what I thought were very important strategy workshops when all of the forests in the country were aflame! To this day, he still finds an excuse to weave it into the conversation when we catch up, much to my chagrin. He kinda had a point. Why am I reminded of this? Well it’s a good lead into the first of things to report from the 5th Floor…

Inspector General announces audit of the Integrated Asset Management (IAM) Project:

The IG maintains its record-breaking run on the investigation of the IFM Program by announcing yet another audit, this time they are going to assess the adequacy of NASA’s early planning for requirements and life-cycle operations for the IAM Project; specifically focusing on (amongst other things) ensuring we have effective procedures for planning and monitoring the development of the module, identifying all users, and making sure we have the right set of user requirements obtained following the right set of processes.

Regardless of the fact that we involved over 200 subject matter experts from across the Agency to form core and extended teams, who did nothing else over a six month period but identify and document functional requirements and business processes, ably assisted Accenture, a top firm of systems integrators hired through a heavily fought competition and held to a fixed price performance-based contract, we nevertheless obviously left some whiff of doubt that we in some way left the acrid aroma of fraud, waste, or abuse.

What leaves a little pungent pong is that I cannot figure out why they’re doing this before we have authority to proceed after the completion of a Non-Advocate Review (NAR) as is the procedure for major programs. But what hums a little more as the smell of a fresh audit bounces around the olfactory glands is that under our current funding stream, after the severe cuts in FY05 and FY06 Corporate and Center G&A to fund overruns in Return to Flight activities….there is no IAM Project as we originally planned it! The scope of the project has been significantly curtailed. Brilliant! Let’s audit the planning for something that’s not going to happen! ….can anyone smell smoke?? Or is it the smell of that old mackerel under the car seat à la Grumpy Old Men?

Goodbye to a member of the Program Office:

No chance…you’d be so lucky…not me yet! Rather Tanja Darden, one of our consultants with Booz Allen & Hamilton, is off to join a competitor. Please join us in thanking her for all of her hard work and to wish her all the very best in her future endeavors.

i-View is to be used to support IFM Program budget process:

New this year, the IFM Program Project and Center budget analysts will be using the i-View Budget Room to collaborate and manage the budget submit process. This we think will give greater visibility to the process (for all to see) and save a bunch of time and effort too.

Heads up! Our business manager Susan Taylor has already indicated that Center submits are due on April 10 and the review process will commence with the Program Executive Officer, Patrick Ciganer, in late April. If you think you might need a user ID and password to log on, or indeed just a little more information, then please contact our business manager Susan Taylor at This is going to be the only place to get the latest IFM Program budget information!

Well that’s about all, and as always feel free to drop a line.

Cheers, Owen

SpaceRef staff editor.