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Progress in Improving Project Management at the Department of Energy: 2001 Assessment
hensive project management system with clear definition of the specific roles and responsibilities of all parties associated with a project.
As noted in the interim letter report, the department has taken a number of positive steps since the Phase II report. On June 25, 1999, subsequent to the release of that report, the deputy secretary, as the DOE chief operating officer, issued a memorandum announcing a project management reform initiative. This memorandum directed a number of actions to be taken to improve project management capability. These included the formation of the Office of Engineering and Construction Management (OECM) in the office of the chief financial officer (CFO) and the formation and strengthening of project management support offices (PMSOs) in the three major program secretarial offices (PSOs). On January 3, 2000, the deputy secretary issued an interim instruction to serve as policy guidance on critical decisions by acquisition executives (AEs) and the Energy Systems Acquisition Advisory Board (ESAAB) and on the conduct of corporate-level performance reviews. On June 10, 2000, DOE issued Policy P413.1, which addresses project management accountability, the establishment of project management organizations, project management tools, and training of personnel. DOE Order O413.3 was issued October 13, 2000, to implement the DOE policy document. O413.3 covered department policies on project management; provision for project engineering and design (PED) funding for preconstruction planning; reestablishment of the ESAABs; and other matters related to the management and oversight of DOE projects. Finally, the Program and Project Management (PPM) manual and a companion volume, Project Management Practices (PMP), were released in draft form in October 2000.
The body of this report addresses certain specific areas that the committee believes needed greater definition and follow-up since the Phase II report. Not all the findings and recommendations in the Phase II report are repeated in the body of this report, although the committee continues to endorse them, so this report should be used in conjunction with the Phase II report.
The new secretary of energy, the deputy secretary, and the CFO were briefed on the recommendations of the Phase II report (NRC, 1999) and the 2001 letter report (NRC, 2001). All of these executives expressed their intention to gain control over DOE projects and to change the prevalent project management culture within DOE and its contractors through active management attention and oversight. Although DOE senior management has expressed the intent to achieve early results, it is too soon to see any effects from these management changes, as the new deputy secretary was confirmed only in June 2001. Accordingly, any policies and practices put in place by the new management team at DOE lie outside the scope of the present report, and their assessment must be deferred to