Back to Top

Learn to ask good questions to gather important details about a project.

In this video clip, Jimmy Kenyon, who served as the Director for the Advanced Air Vehicles Program for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, gives insight into the importance of asking good questions to gain an understanding of a project and discover issues the project might run up against.

Video key learning points:

    1. 1.

      Asking good questions can help to develop a better outcome or drive change for a project. Asking the right questions can help a project team and program manager learn more about the project and push the project team to take ownership over the project’s direction.

    2. 2.

      Don’t ask questions just to get an answer. Ask open-ended questions so that you can get a deeper understanding by listening to the explanation, which may help you uncover other issues that might not be mentioned in a brief answer.

    3. 3.

      Be patient and listen during project reviews before asking your tough questions. If you ask your questions before the project has a chance to explain, it may stifle further explanation that could have given important insight. The timing of the question can be as important as what the question is when you are trying to learn about a project.

    4. 4.

      Don’t worry about asking questions about a topic with which you aren’t familiar. If you don’t ask the question, you might miss something important.

    5. 5.

      An important part of leadership is asking good questions and letting the project team sharpen their thinking by coming to the answers rather than telling them how to do something.


 Related Resources

NASA VPMC Session: 7 Habits of Highly Effective (NASA) Systems Engineers (Asks Good Questions)

NASA APPEL KS Communication Courses


About the Author

Share With Your Colleagues