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Setting up an efficient governing structure is an essential skill leaders and managers use to be more effective on their programs or projects. 

In this video clip, Greg Robinson, who serves as James Webb Space Telescope Program Director, talks about the importance of efficient governance for programs and projects and gives examples of how a manager can set up a governing plan to promote efficiency. 

Video key learning points:

  1. 1.

    Program managers govern effectively when they set up a structure, set up a strategy, and allow people to execute within their own domain.

  2. 2.

    To efficiently manage large programs, determine the really important information you need to do your job and focus on that.  Identify the least amount of information needed and figure out the lowest number of times you need to monitor that information to reduce reporting burdens.

  3. 3.

    As a program manager, try to stay above the level of detail that a project manager requires.

  4. 4.

    Set up a structure with roles, responsibilities, accountabilities, strategy, and timeframes for information flow to manage your program without interfering with the everyday work of the projects.

  5. 5.

    A manager can develop skills to help with leading a program or project.  These skills can be gained by taking courses on leadership as well as finding good mentors that can share their leadership knowledge.

  6. 6.

    Information may not always arrive at a convenient time.  Program managers should consider how best to provide context in reporting for their own management.


Related Resources 

Virtual Project Management Challenge: 7 Habits of Highly Effective (NASA) Program Managers 

NASA APPEL KS Course: Program Management Series 

NASA APPEL KS Course: Strategic Thinking for Project Success  

NASA APPEL KS Course: Tactical Skills for Creating High Performance Teams  

Small Steps, Giant Leaps Podcast: James Webb Space Telescope 


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