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A program/project manager should spend time building relationships and interacting with their team in the work environment.

In November 2018, NASA’s then associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, William H. Gerstenmaier, and associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen, discussed lessons learned from large NASA projects. One lesson stressed the importance of focusing on people and building relationships with the project team members to increase project success.

Video key learning points:

    1. 1.

      Program and project managers should pay close attention to their team and interact with them in the work environment so they can pick up cues in terms of how the team works. A manager can learn who the key players are on the team and who would know the answers to important questions about the project.

    2. 2.

      Project team members notice when managers and leaders interact with the team and try to help the project succeed. Team members remember interaction and support from their leaders and will go above and beyond to get the project to succeed.

    3. 3.

      A project leader can build a strong team by communicating openly and honestly with them and listening to the team member’s feedback.


Related Resources

NASA VPMC: Lessons Learned from Large NASA Projects (full video)

NASA APPEL KS Article: Critical Knowledge inSight: Building Team Cohesion

NASA APPEL ASK Magazine Article: Good Team Design

NASA APPEL VPMC: Building Effective Project Teams for Mission Success

NASA APPEL KS Article: Nurturing Trust

NASA APPEL KS Courses for Building and Leading NASA Teams


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