Operations Excellence Council minutes: Dec. 13, 2018
The Operations Excellence Council provides a senior management forum focused on delivering leading-edge science, and developing a strong commitment to, and culture around, research and operational excellence throughout the laboratory. The council supports timely, transparent and effective decision-making on operational programs. It communicates customer feedback, needs and priorities, and reviews lab performance targets and metrics.
Denise Price, Director of Audit and Oversight, suggested using extra caution this holiday season with lithium ion batteries. These batteries are used for many toys and have been known to heat up and explode.
Mel Knoderer, OTD Administrative Secretary, shared that someone fell outside of Building 203 while cutting through the grass while carrying numerous items. The lesson learned is to use the sidewalks to avoid trips and falls.
Jeff Purnell, Chief Financial Officer, encouraged the council to be mindful when it rains or snows; he noticed puddles of water at the top and bottom of the stairwells during the last snowfall. PMO Interim Senior Director Karen Hellman mentioned more floor mats can be provided if needed.
Honorarium Process Update
Purnell updated the council of the new honorarium process (i.e., approval process for individuals who are invited to visit the Lab, with the Lab reimbursement of travel and other associated expenses). All honorariums must include a W-9 form and be sent, securely, to accounting. The visitor will not need to complete the form again unless their personal information (name, address, etc.) changes. Senior Attorney Mark Langguth acknowledged the procedure is in place, but not yet as a policy. Jeff and Mark will collaborate to have this policy formalized by the end of January. Jeff will work with Communications and Public Affairs to work on a communication plan. Council recommendations included available training, a flowchart, and use of a one-pager including the guidelines instead of a memo distribution.
Designed Engineering Program
Michael Romero, ESHQ Deputy Division Director, discussed a working group being established to develop a lab-wide process to address the lack of a formal design installation process. Michael encouraged the council to review the group composition and suggest any additions to ensure adequate representation. Several incidents and gaps are related to quality assurance; critical decision points or implementation steps will be communicated through the OEC concurrence.
Hazardous Work Registry
George Srajer, Deputy Associate Laboratory Director for Photon Sciences (PSC). shared the high-risk work that will be conducted during the lab closing for the directorate. An existing flag assembly will be replaced with a new actuator for the Advanced Photon Source Upgrade. A high risk on operations is due to a portion not being used in more than 20 years and elevated radiation is a possibility; work control documents are in place.
Kim Sawyer, Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations/Chief Operations Officer, requested to be included in calls or notifications to U.S. Department of Energy program managers regarding safety incidents.
ESHQ Interim Senior Director Gail Stine discussed the acid spill incident the previous night; storing materials in containers has been an issue. A communications campaign is underway for awareness. Kim would like to share this with chief operations officers at other laboratories.
Maria Curry-Nkansah, Chief Operations Officer for Physical Sciences and Engineering, discussed the Dow DuPont teleconference that took place last week, which included 20 Argonne staff members and 20 Dow staff members. Argonne is working with the University of Chicago on onboarding new personnel into laboratory spaces.
ASD Division Director John Byrd requested clarification regarding communication between sensitive counties. MSC Division Director Valerie Taylor indicated international travel to sensitive countries is an important issue; her division has started the travel process early and they have a backup plan in case travel is denied.
The electrical safety program will have an independent assessment for all of the electrical corrective actions. Denise Price added that experts from four other labs will participate during the assessment.
Kim Sawyer and Kim Mandekich, Director, Security, Travel and Emergency, will participate in a Foreign Visits and Assignments meeting that includes topics such as sensitive technologies. A debrief will be provided to the Operations Excellence Council at its next meeting.
Kim Sawyer and Jeff will meet with financial leaders and program directorates to go through any outstanding Workday issues. Meanwhile, Jeff will put together a plan for reconciliation items. An independent review of financial programs will be conducted in January.
Future Meeting Topics
Future meeting topic requests included KPMG/Post Doc Review (Denise), Customer Service (Gail), Design and Safety Process (George)