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February 27, 2009 Vol. 2 Issue 2


What is the most effective way to utilize a Standing Review Board to increase a project’s likelihood of success? Four NASA veterans offered their perspectives at PM Challenge.

The Standing Review Board (SRB) process, which took effect with the NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements (NPR 7120.5D) in March 2007, gives project teams a chance to gain objective perspectives on their progress. In the two years since its establishment, four SRB veterans discussed the value of the process and their lessons learned.

The panelists included: Orlando Figueroa, Director, Applied Engineering and Technology, Goddard Space Flight Center; Stephen Jurczyk, Deputy Center Director, Langley Research Center; John Klein, Technical Staff to the Director for Engineering and Sciences, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Robert Sieck, Chairman of the ARES Standing Review Board, Kennedy Space Center (retired). Michelle Calloway, Associate Director, Independent Program Assessment Office at Langley Research Center, served as the moderator.

Klein noted that because the Standing Review Board comes from a NASA center outside a project’s home center, its members have a degree of independence. “You can just honestly sit there and say, “This is a disconnect,” he said.

Jurczyk said the most common disconnect he witnessed was between the project’s cost estimate and the independent cost estimate. “The main obstacle was reconciling the cost estimate from the project with the independent cost estimate.”

Klein emphasized that the board should be viewed as an asset. “You need to think about what you want the review board to help you with,” he said.

Figueroa echoed the same point. “They (the SRB) are there not as detectives or police. They are there to contribute.”

Sieck suggested that projects should seek to provide SRBs with a concise summary of critical information and key issues. “Assume that your SRB are slow students, and put away your 500-page document,” he said.

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