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NASA’s ASK Magazine gives program and project managers, engineers, and scientists a way to share expertise and lessons learned with fellow practitioners. This is only one way ASK helps share knowledge as part of NASA’s Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership.

Stories recounting the real-life experiences of practitioners communicate important practical wisdom and best practices that readers can apply to their own projects and environments. By telling their stories, managers, scientists, and engineers share valuable experience-based knowledge and foster a community of reflective practitioners. The stories that appear in ASK are written by professionals just like you, primarily from NASA, but also from other government agencies, academia, industry, and international partners.

Many of these stories are heard firsthand at Academy events, such as Masters Forums, Knowledge Forums, and Masters with Masters. This pullout includes more information about the Academy and its offerings, and how you can become more involved in sharing knowledge with us at ASK.


The Academy’s training curriculum enables NASA’s technical workforce to develop NASA-specific expertise and capabilities in project management, systems engineering, and engineering. It is intended to supplement an individual’s academic and professional work experience. The curriculum draws extensively on best practices and the knowledge of NASA subject-matter experts to ensure it addresses the needs of the agency’s practitioners. All courses are developed following established instructional design processes, and include rigorous annual audits, revisions, and incorporation of participant feedback. Courses are highly interactive, featuring case studies, group discussions, and individual exercises.


About the Academy

The Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership is NASA’s agencywide resource for professional development of its project managers and engineers.

NASA’s missions demand a technical workforce with the ability to design, develop, and execute one-of-a-kind projects in aeronautics research, space exploration, and scientific discovery. These challenges are unique—and the solutions are often “firsts” or “onlies” that require innovation, knowledge, and learning. Projects have to meet the highest standards of safety and technical excellence while facing increasingly tight constraints in terms of cost, schedule, and sustainability. The majority of NASA’s missions today include international partners, making project leadership a more dynamic challenge than ever before.

The Academy’s activities promote learning on three levels: individual practitioners, project and engineering teams, and across the organization. It enables individual learning through its integrated curriculum and formal development programs, team learning through performance enhancement services, and organizational learning through knowledge-sharing activities. Discover more about the Academy at


Performance Enhancement


Since most learning at NASA takes place within project teams, the best opportunity for facilitating project success is at the team level. The Academy offers team support in areas including team building, technical training, process development, planning and scheduling, program control and analysis, systems management, risk management, and software management. Through mentoring, coaching, consultations with expert practitioners, focused workshops, and large group sessions, these activities facilitate immediate improvements as well as enhance long-term team capabilities.

Knowledge Sharing


The Academy’s knowledge-sharing activities promote excellence in project management and engineering by using the power of stories to build a community of practitioners who are reflective and geared toward sharing. By facilitating agencywide knowledge sharing through forums, conferences, award-winning publications, case studies, and multimedia offerings, the Academy helps ensure that critical lessons and knowledge remain accessible. The Academy’s knowledge network extends beyond NASA to include expert practitioners from industry, academia, other government agencies, research and professional organizations, and international space agencies.

Formal Development Programs


Since NASA practitioners report that 90 percent of learning takes place on the job, the Academy facilitates on-the-job experiences and developmental assignments through its Systems Engineering Leadership Development Program (SELDP) and Hands-On Professional Experience (Project HOPE). These formal development programs provide early- and mid-career professionals with hands-on opportunities for learning that accelerate their professional development and readiness to lead.

Special Pullout: Academy Sharing Knowledge (click image to download PDF)


Connect with ASK and the Academy

Looking for a way to share your own stories and experiences with us? You can always reach us online at We also look for stories at these Academy events.

Masters Forums


The Masters Forum program was designed to enable NASA and the program’s participants to share project management best practices and lessons learned, cultivate a community of reflective practitioners, build cross-center relationships, and develop the leadership expertise of the agency’s veteran and emerging project managers and engineers. Thought-provoking presentations and dynamic group discussions allow attendees to network with influential leaders from government agencies, universities, private industry, and international partners. Many stories from these events are shared with a broader audience through ASK Magazine, the ASK the Academy e-newsletter, and videos published online on the Academy’s web site and YouTube channel.

Knowledge Forums


Knowledge Forums are small, engaging, one-day events that address different aspects of knowledge acquisition, capture, and transfer. The forums feature leading experts and practitioners from government, industry, and academia who deal directly with knowledge-related challenges. Participants interact with panelists to share stories and experiences in open discussions related to the evolving field of knowledge management. Emphasis is placed on informal discussions and networking in order to cultivate a strong and innovative knowledge community. Summaries from each forum, as well as resources on good storytelling and lessons in leadership, are published on the Academy’s web site.

Masters with Masters


Masters with Masters is a series of web-based learning videos that bring together two master practitioners to reflect on their experiences, lessons learned, and thoughts about upcoming challenges. The goal of this series is to engage master practitioners in conversations that bring insights to the surface and promote reflection and open sharing as a regular practice at NASA. All Masters with Masters events are recorded before a live audience and include time for questions and answers. The videos are archived on the Academy web site, and select clips are posted to the Academy’s YouTube channel.

NASA’s Project Management Challenge


The Project Management Challenge is an annual seminar designed to examine current program/project management trends and provide a forum for sharing knowledge and exchanging lessons learned. By attracting stakeholders from all experience levels, we help establish an important link between NASA’s world-class experts and the emerging leaders of tomorrow.

Have something good to share, but you aren’t sure where to start? The following articles were published in ASK after face-to-face conversations at these Academy events. We hope they will provide you with some inspiration.

Learn more about the Academy at

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