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By Todd Post

What makes a successful team? This issue our contributors look closely at the subject and come up with several answers. Working on team chemistry is the “Activation Energy” Dr. Owen Gadeken’s story is about. Scott Cameron thinks it’s getting to know people one to one. Tony Maturo says it’s getting the most out of your support staff. Dr. Michael Hecht finds the best people he can and builds the team around their talents.

Teamwork is a theme we explore often in ASK, but never so directly as in this issue. You’ll not only find formulas for building successful teams, you’ll see examples of ones in action, strategies for how project managers can motivate their teams, and expert advice on how to choose who to work with and who not to work with.

It seems like all the stories make one common point: everyone on a team counts. Few project managers can pull off a project alone, and when the whole team is performing to everyone’s potential, the chances of pulling off a successful project go up exponentially.

If that doesn’t seem like enough by itself, listen to this… Discerning fans of ASK will note the last two issues our Special Feature was “There are no Mistakes, Only Lessons.” We have not abandoned this feature, but for now we want to broaden our repertoire. This issue we add a new Special Feature, “My Metaphor,” starting with Paul Espinosa’s article “My Big Wall ” about his rock-climbing adventures on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. If you think getting to Mars is work, read what it’s like to scale a 3,000-foot rock face.

This issue we’re also welcoming two new members to our Review Board, Hugh Woodward and Jody Kusek. Hugh and Jody are our first reviewers from outside NASA, and we are delighted to have them on our team. Read their bios on the ASK Review Board page and see why we feel privileged to have them on our team.

Hope everything is copasetic with you and your team. But if it’s not, be sure to take notes on this issue of ASK.

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