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Why are Individuals So Important To the NASA Project Teams?

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People are the most important thing NASA has got as asset, they are things that make a program so successful, these people are form the social capital of the organization. Indeed, the most important builders of these social capital networks in organizations are the experiences people have working together overtime. In an organization like NASA, where most work is project work, being part of a series of project teams with overlapping but changing membership creates opportunities to form lasting relationships that are career-long sources of knowledge and assistance and also opportunities to spend time with people involved in similar work at conferences and workshops that help build these personal networks. So the individuals are very important to the personal development of each member and to the development of the team work. Another individual that is very important in NASA is the project manager, in this specific organization, this person is the one who tell their team members what needs to be done and when it needs to be finished however they leave the how up to them. Therefore there is a kind of freedom and more initiative from team members.

There is no successful project without the project managers because it’s the leader. Thus, the PM must understand all aspects of the project, its goals, requirements, challenges and risks. He must deal with people and problems continuously and must evaluate the risk involved with each decision. He must then be respected by all team members and earn this respect, even though he can have a hard time motivating the kind of coordinated and cooperative effort needed to achieve success. What is the lessons learned program and how might it relate to better project management at NASA? Successful organizations develop systems to share information from past successes and failures as part of their knowledge management practices. NASA defines these lessons learned as knowledge or understanding gained by experience. This experience may be positive, as in a successful test or mission, or negative, as in a mishap or failure. Sharing lessons learned can reduce risk, improve efficiency, promote validated processes, and improve performance in ongoing and future NASA projects. NASA’s policy on lessons learned requires the collection, validation, assessment, and codification of lessons learned submitted by individuals.

Lessons Learned Information System (LLIS) is a data base that collects information concerning all the mistakes made in missions before or simulations is designed to be searchable and available across the Agency to the broadest extent possible, it is managed by the Lessons Learned Steering Committee, it is composed by NASA member centers and it has operational responsibility for the system. The usefulness and value of LLIS is contingent on managers and engineers routinely consulting and submitting information to the system. The LLIS contains a growing database, with lessons added on a regular basis in order to keep an update of all the lessons that should or must be learned so as to complete a future mission safely, and the approved lessons ready to be added to the system that are fist indexed? In addition to that, there are a lot of simulations in order to know how it is going to go. Sometimes it could seem amazing and perfect the way it is choreographed but actually things go wrong. So the lessons learned program helps to learn from every session not to do the same mistakes and it makes them more efficient.

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