Back to Top

Carefully designing a customer-facing management organization can build strong working relationships that help complex missions and programs succeed.

NASA’s John Hamley and Vince Bilardo have held a variety of program management positions during their careers. During a conversation with former NASA Chief Knowledge Officer Ed Hoffman, Hamley and Bilardo discussed the challenges of managing a complex project and shared lessons learned and their thoughts on collaboration between centers. The video clip from the 2013 conversation highlights solutions for complex multi-partner and multi-customer programs.

Video key learning points:

  1. 1.

    Find common ground on how projects are managed when two government agencies are working as partners.

  2. 2.

    A complex program where two federal agencies are collaborating on a program should be treated as a partnership and not a customer-supplier relationship. Agencies are independent and accustomed to making their own decisions.

  3. 3.

    When working on a large complex program within an agency with multiple customers, developing an understanding of each customer’s requirements is vital to success.

  4. 4.

    Establishing good communication between your projects/programs and customers is important for good working relationships. It is helpful to develop a management organization structure that is customer-facing to allow program and project managers to clearly communicate to each customer in a complex program.


Related Resources

NASA APPEL Course: Leading Complex Projects (APPEL-LCP)

Managing NASA’s Complex Space Flight Programs: The Apollo Experience

ASK Magazine Article: Mars Science Lab: The Challenge of Complexity

Masters with Masters 19 Full Video: John Hamley and Vince Bilardo

Masters with Masters Video Playlist


About the Author

Share With Your Colleagues