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  • Lessons Learned for Mission Success
    Lessons Learned for Mission Success

Skill Level: Open to all.

The goal of this two-day course is to provide, through the examination of lessons learned derived from pertinent case studies, multiple opportunities for participants to exercise and improve their decision making and critical thinking skills through facilitated group discussions.

The learning methods include lecture, discussions, and the use of case studies to illustrate and elaborate upon salient topics.

Before You Attend

This course requires pre-reading, which will be provided upon registration. This may include case studies, articles, and or chapters from relevant books. Pre-reading will align all attendees and prepare them for conversations and topics covered in the course.

This course is designed for seasoned NASA project managers and members of the technical workforce who are responsible for the planning, execution, control and closeout of NASA programs and projects.

Related Resources

Resource Category

Overview of NASA Lessons Learned Information System –
SMA-QE-WBT-215 (NASA Only)
EVM Implementation Handbook, Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) Handbook, and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) Handbook Handbook
Schedule Management Handbook Handbook
Systems Engineering Handbook Handbook
Project Management Handbook   Handbook
Risk Management Handbook   Handbook
Cost Estimating Handbook   Handbook
NASA Risk-Informed Decision Making Handbook   Handbook
NASA Technical Standards   Handbook
Significant Incidents & Close Calls in Human Spaceflight Website

NASA NPDs and NPRs can be found on NODIS.

  • NPD 7120.4 - NASA Engineering and Program/Project Management Policy

Program/Project Management

  • NPR 7120.5 - NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements
  • NPR 7120.7 - NASA IT Program and Project Management Requirements
  • NPR 7120.8 - NASA Research and Technology Program and Project Management Requirements
  • NPR 8590.1 - Environmental Compliance and Restoration Program
  • NPR 8820.2 - Facility Project Requirements


  • NPR 7123.1 - NASA Systems Engineering Processes and Requirements
  • NPR 7150.2 - NASA Software Engineering Requirements
  • NPR 7120.10 - Technical Standards for NASA Programs and Projects

APPEL Library Resource

NASA Galaxie Library NASA Galaxie Library
All supplemental resources are NASA accessible only unless otherwise noted.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Evaluate their own decision-making processes and identify inherent limitations and biased reasoning
  • Comprehend and appropriately apply the use of multiple decision-making approaches
  • Manage teams that are facing complex decision-making scenarios more effectively, and employ more effective communication methods within and between teams
  • Create simple concept maps to visualize their decision-making thought processes and readily spot lessons learned
  • Recognize the importance of clearly defined roles and responsibilities in complex decision- making scenarios
  • Learn the difference between making “good” versus “informed” decisions when facing uncertainty
  • Identify the characteristics of a high reliability organization and how they help manage complexity and avoid disasters