David L. Pells

PellsPaper (6): Program Management Improvement Team: a Best Practice Based Approach to Process Improvement and Program Governance at the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Abstract: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) within the U.S. Department of Energy maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. NNSA’s Office of Safety, Infrastructure and Operations (NA-50) is responsible for enabling safe operations, ensuring effective infrastructure and providing enterprise services to NNSA programs and national laboratories to meet the 21st Century needs of the NNSA Nuclear Security Enterprise.

NA-50 plans, directs and oversees the maintenance, operation and modernization of infrastructure and facilities at eight national labs, a vast and complex enterprise of 41,000 employees, 36 million square feet of buildings including 400 nuclear facilities, 2,000 miles of roads, 9.1 trillion BTUs of energy use, and 15.2 million tons of hazardous materials, on 2,160 square miles of land. With an annual budget of approximately $1.5 billion, NA-50 plans, funds, directs and oversees hundreds of projects each year. In September 2015 NA-50 established a Program Management Improvement Team (PMIT) to enhance program, portfolio and project performance through the identification, development and sharing of best practices and to help ensure the achievement of cost-effective, timely, measurable and quality results in support of the NNSA mission. The PMIT is comprised of a small cadre of private industry program management experts who meet with NA-50 federal program managers quarterly to discuss and share successful leading-edge program management practices. This paper will describe the purpose, activities and results to date of the NNSA’s PMIT.

BiographyDavid L. Pells is the President of PM World Services, Inc., a program/project management (P/PM) services firm based in Texas and of PM World, Inc., a project management information services and publishing firm. He has over 35 years of P/PM-related experience in a wide variety of industries, programs and projects, including engineering, construction, energy, transit, defense, security and high technology, and project sizes ranging from thousands to many billions of dollars. David is a Fellow and past member of the Board of Directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®). He was founder and Chair of the Global Project Management Forum (1995-2000) and the American Project Management Forum (1996-1998). Mr. Pells was awarded PMI’s Person-of-the-Year Award in 1998 and highest award, the PMI Fellow Award, in 1999. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (UK), Project Management Associates (India), and Russian Project Management Association. Mr. Pells has a BA in business administration from the University of Washington and an MBA from Idaho State University, USA. He lives in Addison, Texas, USA.

Career highlights include: Executive Advisor for multi-billion $, multi-national Global Threat Reduction Initiative for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), US Department of Energy (DOE); Senior advisor to Sandia National Lab, Los Alamos National Lab, Savannah River National Lab and Oak Ridge National Lab on nuclear security and other programs; Executive advisor on multi-billion $ transit programs in Dallas and Seattle; Member of mobilization team & first manager of project management systems for Superconducting Super Collider (green-field, 10-year, $10B+ project for US DOE); Program manager, project management process improvements, and advisor on several of DOE’s largest projects at Idaho National Laboratory (INL); Project controls engineer on large international construction projects; Program controls on two major projects for US Department of Defense; Project controls & project management support for design/construction of nuclear reactor, environmental restoration program, Space Nuclear Reactor Project, New Production Reactor Program, low-level radioactive waste storage program for DOE at INL; executive advisor for multi-billion $ nuclear power plant project in Finland; and currently a program management advisor for NNSA. David is also managing editor of the PM World Journal and managing director of the PM World Library.