SLAC Today logo

From the Director: The SLAC Management Plan

(Photo - Persis Drell)
(Photo by Harvey Lynch.)

Over the last three years, the way in which we manage SLAC has changed in many ways. Starting last spring, the associate lab directors and I felt it would be good to write down and codify our management strategy. Our plan is completed and we are soliciting input from the broader laboratory. I encourage you to read the plan (SLAC internal) and give me your feedback.

The document is, by design, short. We tried to keep it to less than 25 pages and that set the level of detail we included. The first chapter is "What is SLAC." I have received the most comments on this section of the plan—many of them very helpful—so you might expect this will change as we review and include the input we have gotten so far. Most comments so far address expanding or rephrasing the list of core capabilities that are currently given.

The second chapter describes the main elements of the organization at SLAC: the key management functions and organizational units. The real meat of the plan is chapter 3. It might be the least fun to read, but in chapter 3 we go through in some detail how we are actually operating the lab. What is the governance process? How do we link the mission and vision of the laboratory all the way down to the performance expectations for individual workers? What are the various funding sources and mechanisms?

Chapter 4 describes the assurance process that helps keep us all on track as a laboratory and gives confidence to Stanford and the Department of Energy that we are doing our jobs. It describes our self-assurance processes, the Stanford Board of Overseers, and the DOE oversight process and how they fit together.

The final chapter addresses continuous improvement: How do we ensure that we keep getting better? How are new programs born?

I hope you will read the plan and I welcome your feedback. I know that the exercise of writing the plan was good for me and for the ALDs. It allowed us to codify our practices and in the process we have a much crisper idea of how we want to manage. I'll look forward to your comments either by email or in workgroup meetings in the coming week.

—Persis Drell
SLAC Today, December 3, 2010