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People-Related Initiatives Underway in A&P;


The deputy director for Analysis and Production sends a message to the A&P workforce regarding upcoming efforts to strengthen language skills, manage space problems resulting from a large influx of new hires, and implement a career development board.


Jan 16, 2004


Feb 05, 2018

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DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL (U//FOUO) People-Related Initiatives Underway in A&P FROM: Jim Allen SID Deputy Director for Analysis & Production (S2) Run Date: 01/16/2004 FROM: Jim Allen SID Deputy Director for Analysis & Production (S2) (U//FOUO) Note from SIGINT Communications: Jim Allen sent the below message to the A&P workforce recently; we thought it would be of general interest to SID: (U//FOUO) I've told you that people are at the top of my priority list, and I have been working to translate that priority into actions that will strengthen our workforce and your ability to perform mission, now and in the future. Although it is too soon for most of these actions to have yielded meaningful results, I want you to know they are underway. The most significant are: (U//FOUO) Strengthening the Intelligence Analysis career field : I have asked Deborah Maklowski, our Senior Intelligence Authority, to develop an assessment/diagnostic tool for Intelligence Analysis in order to increase our understanding of the technical health of analysts and analysis. In a sense, it is an updating of the best aspects of what we formerly called "professionalization." I have asked her to consider as a starting point the work done within our Language Community under the leadership of Renee Meyer, Senior Language Authority, to identify skill levels and link them to missions. Among the many outcomes for the Language Skill Community, one of the most significant has been recognition that mission increasingly demands 3/3 language proficiency, which requires funding and other significant changes. From my perspective, it allows for informed decisions about operational readiness, training and professional development, and incentive pay, and from language analysts' perspective, it allows them to better assess their strengths and weaknesses so that they can focus their development efforts. It is absolutely clear to me that intelligence analysts across the board deserve similar status. Deborah is only just beginning. This won't be easy, and the metrics won't be perfect, but this will be important to the future of our discipline and those who practice it. (U//FOUO) Managing space : The biggest surprise I've had since my return to NSA Headquarters has been the severity of the space problem here. We have space problems other places, too, as I saw and heard during my visit to GRSOC last week. I am distressed by the conditions in which many of our people are working despite the best efforts of our partners in I&L . There are things we can do over time to alleviate the situation, but with a large number of new people coming on board over the next couple of years; we are in a jam (literally). I have asked to work with Chiefs of Staff, SID staff, and I&L to first try to define the situation, now and as we expect it to unfold, and to develop options. I don't even know what a miracle in this area would look like, but I'm not expecting one. We'll do what we can. (U//FOUO) Strengthening team chiefs and branch chiefs : I have immense respect for those who function as team chiefs and branch chiefs, even if those terms are not currently recognized officially (I think they are now on the books as "technical leaders"). More than ever - especially as we bring on board large numbers of new people - managers and leaders closest to the mission and the people who perform it are vital to our success. Regardless of whether we can restore the titles (we are engaging HR to try), I will work with NCS to provide the training and with A&P management to identify opportunities to help team and branch chiefs to do their jobs. (U//FOUO) Implementing a Career Development Board (CDB) : I have decided that the Senior Leadership Team will review all GG-15's and all division chief positions and above, to include Technical Leaders, on a regular basis to ensure optimal utilization of talent within the organization. My intention is to expand to include GG-14's as soon as practical. I would also like to include people from outside A&P, as appropriate, and ideally would like to work this as part of a larger SID process. The purpose of the CDB is to remedy what has been previously a vacancybased process - people have been able to move into jobs mostly as a result of openings
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occurring through natural processes, limiting our flexibility (which is especially debilitating for people returning from the field). In order increase our flexibility and ensure movement through and thus experience in - certain positions, we might consider finite "tour lengths" for some positions at headquarters. We also need a more rigorous mechanism for identifying candidates for high-priority positions, schools, and developmental programs. As the name indicates, the CDB has a direct bearing on careers, but I do not see it primarily as a personnel function. It is rather a management function focused on organizational health. (U//FOUO) Balancing slating and competitive announcements : As implied by the CDB, I am comfortable with more slating than may have been the norm. It needs to be balanced, however, with the right amount of competitive announcements that will elicit candidates and attract people into A&P. The "right amount" will be a judgment call - I have asked Chief of Staff, to help me with guidelines. I have slated a number of people in my first few months, partly because of the urgency of the situations. Everyone should be assured that through a combination of CDB and competitive announcements, no one in A&P will be without opportunity for meaningful challenge and professional growth. (U//FOUO) Strengthening the roles of Technical Directors (TD) and Technical Leaders (TL) : One of the reasons that I oppose the change in titles of branch and team chiefs to "technical leaders" is, of course, that we already have TD's and TL's. They are a vital part of our organization and have made immense contributions on every front. Because I have been so impressed by their knowledge, skill, insights, and creativity, I want to make sure we are making best use of them. One obstacle to that, at least in my mind, is what I perceive as a lack of definition with respect to titles, roles, and relationships. I certainly do not think we should force rigid uniformity, but I do think it would be helpful to be clear in our terminology (e.g., TD vs. TL vs technical expert) and in mutual expectations. Jack Israel, the A&P Technical Director, has taken the lead; you'll be seeing more on this soon. (U//FOUO) That's a brief description of the most important things I've generated with respect to people. You are the reason NSA is the envy of the world - I am conscious of my responsibilities to you. "(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)." DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108