Sandia LabNews

‘A better place to work and serve our mission’

National Security Programs develops strategy collectively

To plan its future work, the leaders of Sandia’s National Security Programs pulled in ideas from across their centers and programs and aligned its strategic plan closely with the Labs’ 10-year target objective to unleash innovation and high-velocity engineering.

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MOST IMPORTANT — Associate Labs Director Deborah Frincke said the plan chose “milestones that we are collectively passionate about.” (Photo by Lonnie Anderson)

The National Security Programs’ plan was developed over six months of conversations and built on inputs from all parts of the organization, focused on its mission: to provide trusted, threat-informed pathfinder technologies for national security. The division and portfolio promote coordination between core NNSA capabilities and advanced defense, analysis and intelligence technologies.

Strategic planning provides a sense of direction to the organization’s diverse and vital missions, said Associate Labs Director Deborah Frincke. The half-year-long planning process helped outline actionable milestones for fiscal year 2023.

“Our strategic plan builds on what matters most to all our people,” she said. “The strategy reflects the most important things that the nation and Sandia need us to work toward collectively.”

Executive strategy professional Francine Briones, who designed the collaborative strategy development process, said no one person created or wrote the FY 23 Strategic Plan. 

“It is a reflection of the collective vision of the leadership team, guided by input from the broader organization,” she said.

Milestones require collaboration

The plan documents the purpose, vision, strategic goals and annual milestones for the National Security Programs division and program portfolio.

“Our FY 23 milestones are the top seven things that require collaboration among our organizations, and they are intended to complement both the overarching Sandia strategic plan and our individual plans,” Deborah said.

The strategy emphasizes the need to be threat-informed and highly connected to the mission, to create time and space for over-the-horizon innovation and to make the division a great place to work. By design, the strategy does not include every division capability or portfolio mission, because those specific plans live within the various programs and centers. Instead, the strategy highlights the most important, crosscutting focus areas toward which all the organizations need to work. It’s a strategy that the leadership team hopes will inspire everyone and foster contributions from every part of the division, one of the Labs’ largest.

Division leaders serve as champions for each milestone and will work with a team on a set of actions. Teams will report progress monthly to ensure the division and portfolio are headed in the right direction.

“Strategic plans should be there to energize and engage, not sit on a shelf,” Deborah said. “We chose milestones that we are collectively passionate about, milestones that will make National Security Programs and Sandia a better place to work and serve our mission.”