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November 25, 2008 Vol. 1, Issue 11

The new release of the Governance and Strategic Management Handbook (NPD 1000.0A) reflects important changes in the way that NASA functions as an organization.

As its title says, the handbook concerns two subjects — governance and strategic management. Governance is the structure that determines who makes what decisions, and the process for making those decisions. There are four key governance principles covered in the handbook: lean governance through three agency-level councils; clear roles, responsibilities, and decision-making authority; strategic acquisition; and checks and balances. Important changes to the governance section include:

  • The roles and responsibilities of the Associate Administrator (a position that didn’t exist when the last version of the handbook was issued).
  • Clarification about the roles and responsibilities of NASA’s senior management, such as Center Directors and Mission Directorate Associate Administrators.
  • Clarification about the checks and balances provided by Technical Authority, Programmatic Authority, and Mission Support Authority.
  • Details of process-related checks and balances, such as independent life cycle review, and the Dissenting Opinion process for full and open airing of issues.

Strategic management refers to the processes by which NASA establishes its missions and goals, aligns organizational plans to those goals, and ensures that NASA meets both its internal and external stakeholder expectations. As a federal agency in the Executive Branch, NASA is subject to external requirements as expressed in public laws and presidential directives. The internal principles and processes for strategic management are set out in the new Governance and Strategic Management Handbook (NPD 1000.0A), the NASA Strategic Plan (NPD 1001.0), and The NASA Organization (NPD 1000.3). At a fundamental level, these concern formulating agency-level strategies and plans, transitioning from plans to implementation, and then measuring and monitoring performance in a way that creates a continuous feedback loop. New developments in this area include:

  • Changes to the planning, programming, budgeting and execution processes.
  • Changes to the strategic resources planning process, including details on the strategic acquisition process.
  • Updated guidance on program/project and mission support planning, including alignment with requirements from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Download the new Governance and Strategic Management Handbook (NPD 100.0A). (PDF)

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