2011 NASA PM Challenge Managing People in an Unsettled Environment Scott Cameron, Director Grant Thornton Global Public Se...
2011: An unusually challenging year • NASA is dealing with a significant programmatic shift • Agency budgets face unusual ...
“The more things change, the more they remain the same”, anonymous French proverb • NASA managers still have to:    – Acco...
Does it feel like rebuilding a spaceship in mid-flight, while navigating through an asteroid field? • Thoughts to consider...
Planning for change: analysis • Collect as much intelligence as possible from official   sources          – Know what the ...
Planning for change: analysis • Understand and follow the processes and timing of cycles   driving change          – Inter...
Planning for change: adaptation • Understand the timeline    – Initiation    – Completion • Understand the intent behind t...
Guiding the workforce: communication •      Communicate openly •      Communicate frequently •      Communicate honestly •...
Guiding the workforce: communication • Characterize the future state for employees • Don’t under-play difficulties • Do ad...
Supporting the workforce: general principles • Be willing to make good tough decisions rather than   abdicating to bureauc...
Supporting the workforce: tactics • In chaos there is opportunity! Does the change create   openings to pursue previously ...
Supporting the workforce: tactics • Consider modifying contracts to save cash or re-direct effort • Get rid of poor perfor...
Supporting the workforce: tactics • If you have to RIF, then          – Work closely with knowledgeable NASA human        ...
Preserving capability to perform • Do:    – Be clear on needed competencies in staff    – Conspicuously invest in the futu...
Preserving capability to perform • Do NOT:          – Eliminate training that will help with the transition          – Eli...
Be ready to perform: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it.“ – Yogi Berra • Publicize actions of early adopters • ...
What to take seriously • Official Administration pronouncements • FINAL Congressional action • Labor relations responsibil...
What not to expend energy on: “Believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see.” -- Mark Twain • Most press covera...
Final words • “That which does not destroy us makes us stronger.” --   Friedrich Nietzsche • “Change is the law of life. A...
Questions© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Cameron.scott

14,311 views

Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
14,311
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
3
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
12
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Cameron.scott

  1. 1. 2011 NASA PM Challenge Managing People in an Unsettled Environment Scott Cameron, Director Grant Thornton Global Public Sector February 9, 2011© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved. Grant Thornton. All rights reserved. Used with permission
  2. 2. 2011: An unusually challenging year • NASA is dealing with a significant programmatic shift • Agency budgets face unusual downward pressure • No cost of living increases for federal employees for two years • Prospect of no performance bonuses for SESers • Politics more virulent than usual: – Presidential election year “silly season” looming – Party control at issue in both houses of Congress • Federal workforce is one year older and one year closer to retiring in droves© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. “The more things change, the more they remain the same”, anonymous French proverb • NASA managers still have to: – Accomplish NASA annual goals – Develop another budget request – Manage the NASA workforce – Oversee large NASA contractor workforces – Be responsive to NASA political leadership that will probably be gone in a year, one way or another – Be sensitive to Congressional wishes – Attend to the long-term health of NASA© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Does it feel like rebuilding a spaceship in mid-flight, while navigating through an asteroid field? • Thoughts to consider today – Planning for change – Guiding the workforce – Supporting the workforce – Preserving capability to perform – Be ready to perform – What to take seriously – What not to expend energy on© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Planning for change: analysis • Collect as much intelligence as possible from official sources – Know what the Administrator is saying on the record • Press releases • Communications to employees • Testimony before Congress© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Planning for change: analysis • Understand and follow the processes and timing of cycles driving change – Internal NASA budget process culminating in OMB submission – OMB budget process culminating in President’s Budget – Congressional budget process culminating in enacted appropriations bill (or maybe a Continuing Resolution) – For other agencies: litigation, regulations, major acquisitions, authorizing legislation© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Planning for change: adaptation • Understand the timeline – Initiation – Completion • Understand the intent behind the change – Cutting staff? – Cutting spending? – Change in direction? • Create a vision for the new end-state© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Guiding the workforce: communication • Communicate openly • Communicate frequently • Communicate honestly • Communicate respectfully • Employ chain of command but ensure consistent messaging • Don’t blind-side your boss • Use more than one means of communication • Don’t try to fake it with employees • Don’t talk to the press without a handler© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Guiding the workforce: communication • Characterize the future state for employees • Don’t under-play difficulties • Do adhere to NASA policy • Find and share the positive • Stay out in front of the news to preserve credibility and dampen rumor mill • Expect to repeat yourself • Don’t forget the non-employee workforce • When new developments arise, share© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. Supporting the workforce: general principles • Be willing to make good tough decisions rather than abdicating to bureaucratic processes • Stay close to a good HR consultant • Follow any applicable labor relations policies • Be honest with people about their individual futures • Be active, not passive (metamorphosis, not hibernation) • Don’t try to protect people from the truth© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Supporting the workforce: tactics • In chaos there is opportunity! Does the change create openings to pursue previously unachievable goals? • Plan for the workforce you’ll need on the other side of the change, & tailor all activities to retain or create it • Do Multi-Sector Workforce analysis • Use targeted early outs (VERA) • Use targeted buyouts (VSIP) at beginning of fiscal year only© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. Supporting the workforce: tactics • Consider modifying contracts to save cash or re-direct effort • Get rid of poor performers through Performance Improvement Plans • Reassure star performers • Manage vacancies carefully but try to avoid across the board freezes • Practice active outplacement by helping place good people with skills you don’t need in other NASA or external positions© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. Supporting the workforce: tactics • If you have to RIF, then – Work closely with knowledgeable NASA human resources staff – Capitalize on the RIF rules to place desired people in key positions; don’t acquiesce in losing your most recently educated younger superstars – Target geographically – Target functionally – Get it over with ASAP© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. Preserving capability to perform • Do: – Be clear on needed competencies in staff – Conspicuously invest in the future to signal renaissance, not extinction – Hire new people who can catalyze the transition to the target future state – Work hard to keep best in-house talent engaged – Carry out succession planning – Improve alignment of organizational and individual performance management so employees focus their efforts on highest NASA priorities – Aggressively eliminate unnecessary contractor support to conserve cash© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Preserving capability to perform • Do NOT: – Eliminate training that will help with the transition – Eliminate travel that will help with the transition – Eliminate awards – Allow yourself to have or show a negative attitude – Forget to take care of your own needs© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. Be ready to perform: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it.“ – Yogi Berra • Publicize actions of early adopters • Develop plans to include – Work breakdown structures – Schedules – Updated position descriptions – Possible reorganization (be judicious!) – New technology – New acquisition strategy – Change management plan – Communications plan© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. What to take seriously • Official Administration pronouncements • FINAL Congressional action • Labor relations responsibilities© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. What not to expend energy on: “Believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see.” -- Mark Twain • Most press coverage • Editorials • Posturing by local members of Congress, and local or state government elected officials • The employee rumor mill • Efforts to undercut Administration policy© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. Final words • “That which does not destroy us makes us stronger.” -- Friedrich Nietzsche • “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy • “It ain’t over till it’s over.” -- Yogi Berra© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Questions© Grant Thornton. All rights reserved.

×