Project Management - Traditional and Systems Development Cycle (SDC)
Traditional and systems development cycle project management will be used to manage the construction of lunar and planetary facilities. These facilities will require a tandem civil and aerospace approach.
Ideally, project managers are physically present at job sites through project evolution or at least have continuous, reliable, representative feedback. Project managers continuously depend on others to perform. A capable and reliable workforce is paramount but rarely 100% reality. The vagaries of suppliers, delivery services, the weather (i.e., solar flare radiation arriving at lunar construction), and much more can add challenge to earned value and schedule synchronization. The PM's eyes and ears need to be there in some form throughout the project to measure the pulse regularly.
The PM creates conduits of communication used to keep - among other parameters - earned value on target. All other things being equal, large scale projects are completed early with superior results as a result. In general, everyone wants to do a great job. Establishing and implementing accurate intercommunication links with project personnel is a key skill.
As brilliant as NASA engineers and scientists tend to be, hitting earned value on schedule has historically been problematic. Their systems are large, complex, and cutting edge. Compromising safety standards to meet a schedule or budget is patently not an option. NASA engineers and managers that I have worked around - and with - at JSC have managed the most complex system projects amazingly well. I am optimistic that as a whole, NASA will improve significantly in this department. As that occurs, our scope in space exploration achievement will soar.
Space programs involve a hierarchical process at all levels. Bottom-to-top-to-bottom cycles to see, hear, and communicate will develop as part and parcel to survival. When this happens between centers, contractors, and suppliers in that finely tuned rhythm called space program management, NASA will never look back. Space programs are hard and tackling the hard stuff is what humans do when we're at our best. We can do that and we're trying to go to the next step of 'hard' without environmental mayhem repeat. Excellent program management will not necessarily lead the way but it will allow us to reach the next level.
If you explore our WWP page, managed robotics and AI to augment human capability is brushed upon there. These wonderful tools will become ever more helpful in mind boggling ways to be sure. But there is no substitute for human flexibility. Just as astronauts are a human capability without substitute in spaceflight, the best of the best PM's are that capability without substitute in programs and projects - as long as they use their natural senses to see, hear, and communicate from start through finish.
Earth and Space focuses on PM and PM assistance in the aerospace, marine, and construction industries as well as construction oversight. The only program that we manage is our own but we assist program managers. The 'we and our' parts herein are in progress :-)