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A project manager can influence their project team to use creativity and flexibility to overcome problems by giving good direction.

In this video clip, Brian Muirhead, who is currently an Engineering Fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explains the importance of creating an environment that allowed his team the time to come up with a robust set of creative solutions.

Video key learning points:

    1. 1.

      A project manager should keep providing direction to the project team to keep them working in the appropriate phase of the project.

    2. 2.

      In the example, Muirhead kept the project team working in the architecture space for as long as possible to develop a robust concept of operations that could then be leveraged to help solve unforeseen problems that arose on the project.

    3. 3.

      A project manager should not rush to requirements. Staying in the architecture space for the appropriate amount of time before requirements development allows the project team time to come up with creative and flexible solutions.

    4. 4.

      One pitfall for a project manager and team to avoid is the tendency to “fall in love with a design” too early on. The project teams should take the time needed to make sure the design is capable enough to handle unknowns that come up later during development.


Related Resources 

APPEL KS Course: Creativity and Innovation Course

APPEL KS Article: Is Your Project Viable?

APPEL KS Courses: Building and Leading NASA Teams

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