Strategic lab agenda

Jack Anderson

At Fermilab we must effectively and efficiently align scientific research efforts to meet our customers’ and collaborators’ most critical needs while building capabilities to meet future lab requirements. These demands are complicated by inevitable resource constraints that raise challenges—the most critical being the alignment of plans and budgets to support our future.

To address this challenging environment, we have developed a comprehensive, labwide strategic agenda to help organize internal strategy discussions and priority-setting. The agenda provides a framework for an integrated, five-year plan that supports the three frontiers of particle physics along with the facilities and operational capabilities needed to ensure success.

The new Strategic Fermilab Agenda was developed over a six-month period beginning this fiscal year as part of the annual planning and budget process. It has evolved through critique and scrutiny during management workshops and in review with our primary customers, and it aligns with Fermilab’s most critical current and likely future challenges.

Why is the lab agenda important and why should you become familiar with it? First, it provides a relatively straightforward view of the complex landscape that we work in—what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Second, it illustrates how we can achieve the lab’s high-level, long-term goals. Third, it provides a structure for constructive management debate and decisions as we focus on planning for the future. The plan comes with a caveat: It is not intended to address everything that the lab does but instead focuses on major initiatives that are critical to our future successes.

The agenda provides a clear line of sight from long-term, strategic objectives to the organization’s current-year initiative plans. The agenda’s initiative plans are in various stages of development and serve as concise actions that focus on critical outcomes and milestones. Although initiative plans are not complete, we have started using the plans as an organizing construct while they are being finalized. The agenda is a tool that will clearly improve and mature with time and discussion.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the lab agenda.