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Writing audit findings: Be reasonable

Description: A customary approach to auditing and reporting deficiencies is to keep a running list of those that are found, evaluate the severity of each, and based on the evidence, document findings or observations or concerns in an audit report. The report is issued and the auditee is normally requested to address root cause'' as part of their corrective action. This paper describes a root problems'' approach to documenting audit findings that is designed not only to put the QA auditor in a more favorable light, but to more effectively enable the auditee to identify root cause and meaningful corrective action. The positive results of this approach are considerable. You will have fewer findings but those you do have will be substantial. You will cite requirements that sound reasonable and make arguments difficult. If some of the supporting deficiencies (examples) prove to be incorrect, you will still have ample support for the original finding. You will be seen as reasonable individual who can help lead the auditee towards identification of root cause without taking away part of the responsibility. You even have a fair chance of fostering a sense of commitment to quality improvement on the auditee's part. This in itself, is its own reward.
Date: May 1, 1992
Creator: Girvin, N.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proofreading: for want of a nail

Description: This report presents only the text of a tape-slide half-hour unit that outlines beginning approaches to proofreading. The presentation was designed primarily for typist-compositors needing first-time or review training. The presentation stresses value and need for accurate proofing, and highlights some basic techniques, special danger areas, copy mark-up, and distinguishing between Greek and Roman alphabets.
Date: January 1, 1980
Creator: Garner, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Examining human-system interactions: The HSYS (Human SYStem) methodology

Description: HSYS is a model-based methodology developed to examine the many factors which influence Human-SYStem interactions. HSYS is built around a linear model of human performance, called the Input-Action model, which describes five sequential steps: Input Detection, Input Understanding, Action Selection, Action Planning, and Action Execution. HSYS is structured in an hierarchical tree which presents a logical structure for examining potential areas where human performance, hardware or other system components are less than adequate. The HSYS tree consists of five major branches which correspond to the five major components of the Input-Action model. Initial validation was begun by studying accident reports via HSYS and identifying sources of error. The validation process has continued with accident investigations in operational settings. 9 refs., 3 figs.
Date: January 1, 1990
Creator: Hill, S.G.; Harbour, J.L.; Sullivan, C. & Hallbert, B.P. (Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (USA))
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Learner characteristics involved in distance learning

Description: Distance learning represents a strategy for leveraging resources to solve educational and training needs. Although many distance learning programs have been developed, lessons learned regarding differences between distance learning and traditional education with respect to learner characteristics have not been well documented. Therefore, we conducted a survey of 20 distance learning professionals. The questionnaire was distributed to experts attending the second Distance Learning Conference sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory. This survey not only acquired demographic information from each of the respondents but also identified important distance learning student characteristics. Significant distance learner characteristics, which were revealed statistically and which influence the effectiveness of distance learning, include the following: reading level, student autonomy, and self-motivation. Distance learning cannot become a more useful and effective method of instruction without identifying and recognizing learner characteristics. It will be important to consider these characteristics when designing all distance learning courses. This paper will report specific survey findings and their implications for developing distance learning courses. 9 refs., 6 tabs.
Date: January 1, 1991
Creator: Cernicek, A.T. & Hahn, H.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Integrating quality assurance and research and development

Description: Quality assurance programs cannot be transferred from one organization to another without attention to existing cultures and traditions. Introduction of quality assurance programs constitutes a significant change and represents a significant impact on the organizational structure and operational mode. Quality assurance professionals are change agents, but do not know how to be effective ones. Quality assurance as a body of knowledge and experience can only become accepted when its practitioners become familiar with their role as change agents. 8 references.
Date: February 15, 1985
Creator: Dronkers, J.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The audit checklist: Your key to audit success

Description: As the old saying goes, If you have no objective, any road will take your there.'' So it is with the audit checklist. The checklist is the primary tool for providing order to Quality Assurance audit activities. With a well-planned and well-defined checklist, success is achievable. Without a checklist, the auditor has a disjointed, disorganized activity and no place to document his or her failed efforts. A number of formal quality programs which include audits as one of their program elements require the audit to be performed using a checklist or procedures to document what the auditor reviewed and what he or she found. It is the intent of this paper to provide the reader with the some insight as to the value of the checklist; the varieties of checklists that can be constructed; the pitfalls of improper application; and the success that can be achieved when the checklist has been properly researched, developed, and deployed.
Date: February 1, 1992
Creator: Maday, J.H. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Performance relationship diagrams

Description: By describing a business function's cost drivers and graphically depicting the interrelated cost drivers serving as controls and resources to them, a visual performance model can be provided. A graphical technique, called performance relationship diagraming, has been devised that logically describes these cost drivers and their interrelationships. 2 figs.
Date: November 1, 1991
Creator: Cary, M.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bendix Kansas City Division technological spinoff through 1978

Description: The results of work of Bendix Kansas City Division are made available in the form of technical reports that are processed through the DOE Technical Information Center in Oak Ridge. The present report lists the documents released by the Division, along with author and subject indexes. Drawing sets released are also listed. Locations of report collections in the U.S., other countries, and international agencies are provided. (RWR)
Date: February 1, 1979
Creator: Barnes, H.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hello out there. Are you reading me. [Audience identification]

Description: Audience identification is the first step in purposeful writing. Yet we find little written information that helps us in determining the makeup of an audience, what it needs to know, and how we can use that information to produce a meaningful publication. A large national laboratory reaches diverse audiences with different types of publications. Representative communicators who produce manuals, press releases, public relations publications, in-house publications, journal articles, and technical reports share their methods of identifying and writing for audiences and pose some thought-provoking questions about audiences and the lack thereof.
Date: January 1, 1982
Creator: Lindberg, H.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interview or inquisition: Successful communication techniques (Or what does ethics have to do with it, anyway )

Description: Auditing and being audited can be a very stressful event. The auditor has to be sensitive to the anxiety of all auditees and should do everything possible to put the auditee at ease and help the audit process to proceed smoothly. In this paper, the human factors associated with auditing are discussed and methods of communication and other interfacing techniques are discussed which, hopefully, can act as stress reducers. The bottom-line'' of any audit should be to provide feedback to the auditees that will help validate or improve their process and management system. Reducing the stress and enhancing communication will help to better achieve this goal. Although some evidence during an audit is gathered from records and documents, a significant portion of audit time is spent interviewing the audited organization's personnel. Therefore, much of this paper deals with interview techniques. It is up to the auditor to establish an initial atmosphere of trust and open communication. The goal is to obtain as much valid information as possible in the shortest time possible. Auditors should emphasize that they are there to audit the systems or program, not the person. Auditors should help the auditees' line management view the audit not as a search for the guilty,'' but an audit that will identify problems and assist in correction of existing or potential system problems. It should be the clearly defined policy of any audit program that there be no surprises involved with the evaluation. An ethical audit is not the place for cloak-and-dagger tactics, for witch hunting, or for the identification of situations that are then sprung at a critical and embarrassing time (a gotcha'').
Date: February 1, 1993
Creator: Pratt, R.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The pre-audit assessment: A homework assignment for auditors

Description: The role of the quality assurance audit is evolving from compliance verification to a much broader assessment of programmatic and management performance. In the past, audits were poorly understood and caused fear and trepidation. Auditees turned an audit into a cat-and-mouse game using coverup strategies and decoy discrepancies. These games were meant to give the auditors what they want, namely a few findings that could later be easily corrected. At Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), I observed auditing become a spectator sport. Matching a compliance-oriented auditor against a crafty group of scientists provided hours of entertainment. As a program manager, it was clear these games were neither productive useful nor cost effective. Fortunately, over the past few years several concepts embraced by total quality management' have begun to emerge at PNL. These concepts are being adopted by most successful organizations, and based on these concepts new tools and ideas are emerging to help organizations improve productivity and quality. Successful organizations have been and are continuing to develop management strategies that rely on participative approaches to their operations. These approaches encourage the empowerment of organization staff at all levels, with the goal of instilling ownership of quality in every staff member. As management philosophies are changing, so are the responsibilities and expectations of managers. Managers everywhere are experimenting with new tools to help them improve their operations and competitiveness. As the quality audit evolves, managers and other customers of the audit process have developed expectations for the auditing process that never existed in years past. These expectations have added complexity to the audit process. It is no longer adequate to prepare a checklist, perform the audit, and document the results. When viewed as a tool for verifying performance, a quality audit becomes more than a compliance checklist.
Date: February 1, 1993
Creator: Marschman, S.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ERIP application instructions

Description: This report provides background information and instructions to assist applicants in writing Energy-Related Inventions Program (ERIP) applications. Initial feedback fro usage for the new instructions shows that the best instructions would not be read and followed by all applicants. Applications from more than thirty applicants who have received the new instructions indicated that few had read the instructions. Based on this feedback, the instructions have been further revised to include a title page and table of contents. A warning was also added to advise applicants of the potential penalty of delayed review if these instructions are not followed. This revision was intended to address the possibility that some applicants did not see or bother to follow the instructions which followed the background information about ERIP. Included are two examples of ERIP applications which have been prepared for handout at workshops or mailing to applicants. Writing of example applications was time consuming and more difficult than expected for several reasons: (1) Full disclosures can be lengthy, very detailed, and technical. This contrasts with the desire to prepare examples which are comparatively short and easy for the non-technical person to read. (2) Disclosures contain confidential information which should not be published. (3) It is difficult to imagine that applicants will study examples when they do not bother to read the basic instructions.
Date: January 2, 1992
Creator: Watt, D.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Procurement orientation course. Handout materials for DOE project officers

Description: This material begins by discussing the two basic types of contracts used by DOE, firm fixed-price contracts and cost reimbursement contracts. It then takes up in turn the topics of noncompetitive justification and justifications for acceptance of unsolicited proposals, procurement leadtime, preparation of technical evaluation criteria and conduct of technical evaluations, contents of the procurement or assistance plan, and preparation of the statement of work. (RWR)
Date: unknown
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cost and schedule control systems criteria for contract performance measurement. Implementation guide. [Contains glossary]

Description: This document provides uniform guidance for implementation of the DOE Order 2250.1, Cost and Schedule Control Systems Criteria (CSCSC) for Contract Performance Measurement. Its purpose is to assist both DOE and contractor representatives in fulfilling their responsibilities for meeting CSCSC requirements. Compliance with the contractual requirements for work definition, cost and schedule control, and performance reporting should provide increased assurance that a contractor's progress is sufficiently visible to indicate status reliably and to provide the basis for timely and meaningful management decisions. 8 figures. (RWR)
Date: May 1, 1980
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Audit unto others hor ellipsis

Description: My first encounter with a quality assurance auditor is reminiscent of an old Dodge commercial. You remember The old sheriff, masked in mirrored sunglasses, paunch hanging over his gun belt, prophesying, You're in a heap o' trouble boy '' Well, my auditor could have been kin to the sheriff; they had the same posture, attitude, and mirrored sunglasses. Plus, my auditor wore a black leather vest and sported a Buffalo Bill'' goatee. While certainly memorable, both gentlemen were far from pleasant. I'm fairly certain that the compliance auditor of old deserved this perceived association with his law enforcement counterpart. Both believed in enforcing the letter of the law, or their interpretations of it. Neither seemed capable of exercising interpretive powers, but instead relied on winning through intimidation, possibly with an eye toward claiming some version of a monthly Quota Award. Is the auditor of today any better perceived Because this first encounter of the worst kind'' made a lasting impression on me, I have dedicated considerable time and effort trying to avoid being perceived as another sheriff when I conduct audits. In my auditing career, I am determined to capitalize on each opportunity to turn negative situations, as experienced by the auditee, into meaningful opportunities for improved performance. I want to treat the auditee the way I want to be treated when I am being audited. (author)
Date: May 1, 1992
Creator: Maday, J.H. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Computer-based knowledge extraction tool: a step in the development of a cognitive skills tutor

Description: Los Alamos National Laboratory, under the sponsorship of the Army Research Institute, is developing an experimental computer-tutor to be used as part of the Armor Officer's Basic Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The tutor's objective is to train students to apply the types of cognitive processing strategies needed to more effectively organize their knowledge for application in planning and conducting tactical operations. The tutor is being developed through an iterative process with the first phase being a knowledge extraction computer-based tool. Student knowledge organization in this domain will be obtained through collection of online and offline performance data. The tool is designed to obtain the knowledge organization through a motivating, realistic tactical operations exercise. 18 refs.
Date: January 1, 1986
Creator: Stoddard, M.L.; Kern, R.P. & Emerson, J.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Performance enhancement program: Managers guide to marginal performance interventions

Description: The marginal performer -- an employee who is not meeting performance standards established in the performance appraisal process -- is a fact of life that most supervisors eventually have to face. Screening of job applicants can reduce the number of employees with skill or performance difficulties, but problems can arise even with the most carefully chosen employee. They can also develop in people who were once productive.
Date: January 1, 1990
Creator: Bivins, C.S. & Phillips, R.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The application of computers to learning in the Command and General Staff College (CGSC): A front end analysis study: CGSC analysis, Task A

Description: The US Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) is organized in five schools, one of which, Command and General Staff School (CGSS), is not formally established. These schools provide instruction to officers, noncommissioned officers, and civilians through 4 primary courses and approximately 20 shorter courses. The primary courses are CAS/sup 3/ (Combined Arms and Services Staff School) Phase I Nonresident Course, CAS/sup 3/ Phase II Resident Course, CGSOC (Command and General Staff Officers Course), and SAMS (School of Advanced Military Studies). The shorter courses are primarily provided through SPD (School of Professional Development). Task A analyzed the curricula of the primary courses in terms of organization and cognitive level with the goal of providing the project team sufficient understanding of the College to seriously address the issue of the application of computers to learning in Task G.
Date: January 1, 1988
Creator: Thorn, C.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Long-range prediction of network traffic

Description: A method of making long-range computer system workload predictions is presented. The method quantifies the effect of qualitative changes in computing by identifying assumptions and by considering the effect of a change on individual users. The method is illustrated by an example involving message traffic in a large computer network.
Date: January 1, 1981
Creator: Alexander, W. & Brice, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Complexity measures applied to an applications case study

Description: Maintenance of large applications programs has become the most costly function of many Management Information Systems. As a result, recent research has attempted to objectively determine the qualities of low maintenance software. Related research has been directed toward quantifying the complexity, or unmaintainability of existing software. This paper will reference a case study of a large MIS software application and will discuss current maintenance problems and associated costs. A mathematical model will then be presented which correlates quantifiable complexity measures with actual maintenance costs. Finally, a method for projecting cost savings from the reduced complexity of software will be suggested.
Date: January 1, 1982
Creator: Brice, L. & Connell, J.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Research and development of methods/utilities and rules for managing cooperation for performance improvement in government offices

Description: On September 1, 1991, Defense Programs (DP) within the US Department of Energy entered into a research grant with Management Systems Laboratories (MSL) of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), to study Tools, Methods, and Rules for Managing Cooperation for Performance Improvement. Continuous performance improvement is a gradual, systematic process. The idea is to do a little better each day by knowing where you are, where you want to be, what you have to do to get there, whether or not you have done it, and how to resolve problems doing it. And, although many management decisions are made along direct lines of authority, much of the work of an organization can be achieved only through cooperation (people sharing information and coordinating effort). Therefore, continuous performance improvement requires working cooperatively to do a little better each day. We are researching the most effective configuration of tools working through what we believe is a closed set of nine methods. These methods are: setting expectations, charting, defining indicators and standards, collecting and logging data, converting data to information, organizing and presenting information, reviewing status and progress, self-management, and appraising. We believe that these methods form a closed set because they reflect the management activities of formulation (planning),execution (doing), and verification (evaluating). If these activities are carried out effectively through the methods, the manager can achieve visibility and control.
Date: March 1, 1992
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gilbert Newton Lewis: his influence on physical-organic chemists at Berkeley

Description: A review is presented of the historical contributions of Gilbert N. Lewis to science and a discussion of the influence of Lewis on the research of the members of the physical-organic staff at Berkeley, including Melvin Calvin, during the twenties, thirties and forties. Some specific examples are discussed. Also, the effect of Lewis, his science and administrative concepts in the creation of excellence in a department of chemistry are reviewed.
Date: March 1, 1982
Creator: Calvin, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department