This report has been prepared by the workshop rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The planning committee’s role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. The views contained in the report are those of individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all workshop participants, the planning committee, or the National Research Council.
The workshop addressed the broad subject of best practices in assessment, with a focus on elucidating two key aspects of organizational assessment: (1) evaluation of the technical quality of an organization’s R&D work and (2) assessment of the effectiveness of the organization in addressing its mission and the needs of customers and stakeholders. Appreciating the importance of individual differences across organizations, the committee set as a desideratum for the workshop the identification of a variety of assessment questions and methods for addressing them, which might then constitute a tool kit of assessment questions and methods that could be tailored for application by individual organizations.
During the morning session of the workshop, six distinguished individuals each provided a presentation. The collective expertise of the presenters, listed below in the order of their presentations, spans the management of R&D activities within congressional, federal, industrial, and academic environments (see their biographical sketches in Appendix D). The audience of workshop participants consisted of approximately 100 representatives of organizations within those sectors (see Appendix B for the list of participants).
• James H. Turner, Counsel and Director of Energy Programs at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and former chief counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology;
• John C. Sommerer, Head, Space Sector, and Johns Hopkins University Gilman Scholar, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory;
• J. Stephen Rottler, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Science and Technology, Sandia National Laboratories;
• William F. Banholzer, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, The Dow Chemical Company;
• Roy Levin, Distinguished Engineer and Managing Director, Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley; and
• Gilbert F. Decker, Consultant, former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition.
During the afternoon session of the workshop, attendees formed seven separate groups, six of which included one of the morning presenters. Each group discussed best practices in assessment, with attendees sharing their insights and experiences. At the conclusion of the workshop, a rapporteur from each of the groups provided a brief oral summary of the group’s discussion.