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Finishing as much work as possible early on is one of the keys to keeping a project on schedule.

You can’t get schedule back on a project once you have lost it. Successful project managers often try to get ahead of schedule, get work done as soon as possible, and compress the schedule.

Stephen Cox is the Launch Control Center Manager for Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) at Kennedy Space Center. He gives several tips in the video clip to help project managers be successful.

Video key learning points:

  1. 1.

    Finish as much work as possible early on during a project rather than wait for later to stay ahead of schedule. You can’t make up for lost schedule so try to get ahead when you have the opportunity.

  2. 2.

    Operations and development teams should work closely together to prevent requirements creep or unknown requirements from slowing down your project schedule. Operations should understand the basic requirements needed for the mission but not push a specific solution so that the design team is free to come up with a solution.

  3. 3.

    Project managers must decide if a requirement change is necessary for the mission.

  4. 4.

    Understand when you make decisions on requirements what the risk is to other elements of your project such as budget and schedule.

  5. 5.

    All requirements don’t have to be there at the beginning of a project. Some requirements come later as you learn more on a project. Some requirements implemented later will be improvements to the project but need to be examined for their impact on cost and schedule.


Related Resources

Videos: Stephen Cox on Launch Control Center

Kennedy Space Center Launch Control Center

NASA APPEL KS Program/Project Management Courses

APPEL KS Knowledge Inventory: Requirements Resources

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