Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Never repeat the summer of 2004!

ADSR Emailgram
July 11, 2005
-Terry C. Wallace, Jr. (terryw@lanl.gov)

Last year on July 16, the Laboratory Director took the extraordinary step of stopping all work at LANL. The rationale for the stand down was that LANL lacked formality and accountability, which resulted in work being done that did not meet safety, security and compliance requirements. The suspension began one of the most difficult and traumatic periods in Los Alamos' history, and echoes of the stand down and subsequent corrective actions still effect all of the staff. Today, I find that Divisions within SR are quite conscious of doing their work quite safely. Although there have been accidents, very few have been due to personal behaviors. Even though I really dislike the term "culture" (the word has somehow become a negative bludgeon at LANL), the key for LANL is to embrace the business practice of continuous improvement in our safety culture. The concept was popularized in Japan 20 years ago where it is known as "kaizen." Continuous improvement in safety (and compliance) means that we should continually review our practices, and everyone contributes to suggestions for improvement. It cannot be done from top-down directives (although all management has to be totally committed to the process), and must be integrated into how we view our work. I do believe that is happening within the lab. I also realize that many work processes that have been implemented in the last year have worked against the staff taking ownership of safety. I believe that we have an opportunity to balance processes and behaviors, and that LANL is capable of being the most productive and safe science factory in the complex.

One of the consequences of the stand down is that all the subsequent actions have become fodder for investigation and analysis. Nothing is richer for investigation than the cost of the stand down. The costs, in terms of charges to G&A, programs, and missed milestones have been investigated by several congressional committees, NNSA, and now in the next few weeks, by GAO (Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress charged with examining matters relating to the receipt and payment of public funds). The GAO is now focused on understanding the impact of the stand down on programs from a milestones/deliverables and schedule perspective (the focus is not financial). ADSR will be briefing the GAO audit team on the following topics:

(1) Explanation of the science programs (what we do, who is the sponsor, and general background).

(2) Discussing FY04 activities - major accomplishments and impacts to program due to the stand down - Were milestones missed? Was a recovery plan necessary? Did we move milestones to FY05? etc.

(3) Discussing current program status in FY05 - Is there any continued impact from the stand down? What is being accomplished? etc.

It is my hope that this will be the last of these audits and we can focus on the future. It is inevitable that LANL will again be in the news with negative comments from the audit.

Through commitment, leadership, and dedication, I believe that we will never repeat the summer of 2004.

Comments:
How could the admiral have chosen any date that would have better shown the gross divergence between UC Then and UC Now?
 
Through commitment, leadership, and dedication, I believe that we will never repeat the summer of 2004.

Through better leadership is how a repeat of last year's disaster will be avoided. Director Nanos, with the complicit approval of UC, did more damage to LANL last year than any other person or event in LANL's history by using faulty reasoning and poor judgement in deciding to shut the entire laboratory down.

Terry, I approve of your attempts to put a positive spin on lat years events, but in the end you come across sounding like another management apologist.

Nanos was wrong in his decison to shut us down last year. Until you can admit that, you remain a part of the problem.
 
Nanos beats Wen Ho Lee by five furlongs, and noses out Klaus Fuchs by three lengths.
 
I have to tell you, part of the Wallace post is humorous....I have known the guy for 15 years, and he is NOT the poster child for the STOP program. There is nothing Terry likes better than taking his bike to Camp May and riding as fast as possible down. He also likes to jump out of planes, and I believe I saw him cross the road to Hot Rocks against the light. Good Guy -- just strange to hear about behavior based safety from him.
 
Yep, I've know him about 15 years also, and find it unlikely that he was the originator of the ADSR gram. Much more likely that he had it written by one of his staff.

He comes from the academic side, not a bastion of kaizen.
 
Rosenberg, Hannsen, and Fuchs

Are the names of some traitorous pukes

To these names we should add

G.P. Nanos, it's sad

That this fool was in charge of our nukes
 
Ross Lemons (DADSR) did a change of station in Dave Beck's office at Forrestal. I'd lay odds that Ross learned the term Kaizen there.
 
How ridiculous -- Wallace wrote the ADSR email. I work in the SR office, and he writes all his messages without talking to Ross or Kathi. What is the point here about Wallace?

New topic please.
 
One of the points here is that Wallace, while probably one of the better upper managers at LANL, is nevertheless bound by the UC stricture which forbids any LANL manager from admitting that horrible mistakes were made by UC in the past year.

Wallace probably believes what most of the rest of us know: UC has demonstrated that they are not capable of running LANL.

But he cannot say so publicly.
 
You guys crack me up -- I login occassionally just to see whatzup. I work for SNL, and if you think that a LM manager is going to write a letter to his/her staff and say "hey, LM really screwed up" you are really naive. LM will not even LET a manager send a weekly newsletter that is not vetted by the spin masters.

Soon, we will be working for same boss, and it is not so bad. But there will be no blog....
 
Anonymous at 7/13/2005 07:51:35 PM, making the statement that "there will be no blog" is a fool. Just try and stop us!
 
There is Soooo much libelous material here. UC is restraining the legal dogs from ripping your throat out--for now, but you should consider that a temporary restraint. Note that anonymity is also temporary.

But have a good time!
 
Ohhhh....no-o-o-o...UCOP is coming...(gulp)...after us? They're finally...gonna _do_ something? (Sweet Jeeesus!...H'ep me!)
 
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