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    Mandell.humboldt Mandell.humboldt Presentation Transcript

    • 2012 NASA MANAGEMENT CHALLENGEHUMBOLDT C. MANDELL, JR., Ph.D.THE PATHOLOGIES OF THE CONVENTIONALWISDOM OF NASA PROGRAM PLANNING ANDMANAGEMENT
    • MANAGEMENT PATHOLOGIES COULD BERUINING NASA’S FUTURE Human space exploration development times have increased monotonically for fifty years Costs have increased proportionally Causes: At least 6 pathologies  Frozen, inefficient management culture  Excessive overhead  Cost estimating, budgeting, and control processes  Risk aversion and institutional pessimism  The myth that new technologies are required to perform advanced missions  “Not invented here” aversion to ideas from outside Result: May be putting itself out of business
    • THE TREND OF PROGRAM LENGTHYEARS FROM START TO FIRST OPERATIONAL FLIGHT Development Time, Years 20 16 12 8 4 1950 1960 1970 1980 Year Started
    • COST AND SCHEDULE TRENDS CAN NOT BESUSTAINED Programs longer than 10 years are:  More expensive than they need to be  Almost impossible to plan: Situations and technologies change too fast  Hard to sustain politically (> 2 presidential terms)  Hard to keep public interest A plan longer than 10 years is no plan at all  E.G., 2004 Vision for Space Exploration If it can be done, it can be done in 7 years  Apollo lunar program was 6.8 years from start to human landing
    • NASA PLANNING INSTABILITY Every president since JFK has appointed at least one space advisory group  Members usually prominent veterans of politics and/or high-technology program management  Most do not have the necessary intimate knowledge of the inner workings of NASA and its pathologies.  Often reflect the pessimism of the past (“it will take 30 years to get to Mars”)  Sometimes unrealistic in expectations of the future (nuclear fusion reactors, VASIMR engines) and dismissive of internal NASA ideas  Often contain members with vested interests in specific outcomes (2004 study dominated by moon advocates)  Sometimes politically naïve  Seldom produce a unified, affordable single focus for NASA programs  Some enemies!
    • RESULTS OF NASA PLANNING INSTABILITY Resulting recommendations have almost never come to fruition  Sometimes unworkable recommendations  Resistance by the NASA culture  Usually ignored by the President and Congress, who have had higher priorities As a result of this and other pathologies, NASA future plans have been tenuous, at best, and unstable for at least the past two decades: e.g.:  Space Exploration Initiative Cancellation in 1992  Space Station Near Cancellation in 2003  Constellation Cancellation in 2009  STS Cancellation in 2010
    • WHY ARE NASA PROGRAMS SO LONG? A Small agency dominated by one or two programs Annual costs, peak annual funding are the primary constraints So, Funding growth can not be accommodated by higher annual costs, moving money around. And programs get longer. This has created the expectation that future programs will take just as long or longer And this gets built into the culture of NASA and its oversight agents (OMB, Congress).
    • WHAT ARE THESE PATHOLOGIES?
    • PATHOLOGY 1: THE NASA MANAGEMENTCULTURE Born in the days of the Apollo Lunar program, The NASA culture is not appropriate for today‟s missions:  Totally enculturated ways of doing business: excessive specs and operating procedures  Based on plentiful resources and expensive multiple approaches to technology, use of money to mitigate risk  Rare knowledge and skills, which are today more plentiful (but will become more scarce with time)  Racing past detailed definition in the haste of the Cold War  Violation of basic systems engineering practices (some not invented then)  Starting programs before uncertainties resolved (e.g., EPS, TPS)  Combining of public and private sector work forces (no one‟s responsibility)  Technically forbidden  Overlooked in the interest of national urgency  But the practice persisted  Violates “Unity of Command” basic management Management culture is the LARGEST cost driver!
    • PATHOLOGY 2: EXCESSIVE OVERHEAD The combination of urgency and pork politics produced TEN NASA installations All ten are still in operation Feeding this infrastructure takes about ¼ of the NASA budget About the amount of money required to do a very nice human mission to Mars For political reasons, unneeded installations will be difficult to close!
    • PATHOLOGY 3: COST ESTIMATION, BUDGETING,AND COST CONTROL PRACTICES NASA costs are as much as 6 to 10 times as much as private sector Some of this is because of how program management and budgeting have evolved Unnecessary costs result from the way NASA handles estimation. For example:  Cost model estimates raised by growth factors:  BUT: model estimates already have growth built in  Costs always grow from the INITIAL estimate, which adds more growth to future cost model data
    • EXTRA GROWTH FACTORS CAUSE FUTURE COSTGROWTH 21.81.6 31.4 21.2 CER ESTIMATE 1 ORIG. EST. W/O EXTRA0.8 1 GROWTH0.6 ORIGINAL EST WITH EXTRA GROWTH0.4 1: RESERVES ADDED BY THE0.2 ESTIMATOR TO ACHIEVE ACCEPTABLE RISK 0 2. RESERVES ADDED BY THE CER DUPLICATE FINAL POLITICAL PROCESS ESTIMATES GROWTH RUNOUT FACTORS COSTS 3. EXTRA COST CARRIED TO NEXT GENERATION CER‟S
    • BUDGETING PATHOLOGIES THREE YEARS (OR MORE) FROM ESTIMATE TO APPROPRIATION (E.G. „71=„73 $) PROGRAMS ARE DESIGNED TO PEAK-YEAR FUNDING CONSTRAINTS, NOT OPTIMUM COSTS CONSTANT VERSUS “THEN YEAR” DOLLARS NO MORE SUPPLEMENTALS GROWTHS MUST BE ACCOMMODATED WITH SCHEDULE SLIPPAGES ASSUMPTION OF ELASTICITY OF PROGRAMS  SCHEDULE SLIPPAGE TO MEET ANNUAL CONSTRAINT IS EXPENSIVE!
    • PATHOLOGY 4: INSTITUTIONAL PESSIMISM ANDRISK AVERSION At the end of the Apollo Lunar program many of the original risk takers left for more excitement With notable exceptions, left a work force where many were more focused on security than adventure Then, Challenger and Columbia losses had profound effect upon agency psyche  NASA and Contractors  Congress  The Presidents
    • RESULTS OF A RISK AVERSE CULTURE “Conventional wisdom” that Mars would take 20- 35 years (moon had taken 7 from a cold start) False Prophets: For example: “Moon is a necessary precursor to Mars” (to reduce risk):  In reality, the Moon is a poor analog for Mars  May cost as much or more to send humans to Moon as to Mars Enemies: People threatened by Human Exploration programs will add their voices, using sometimes false premises (e.g., Steven Weinberg) Leaves a climate averse to major new programs
    • PATHOLOGY 5: THE MYTH THAT NEWTECHNOLOGIES ARE REQUIRED NASA management has often held out hope that spending money on technology will reduce cost and risk Some new technologies may indeed reduce cost and/or risk But few if any true breakthroughs are evident today or on the horizon Almost everything we can do in space can be done safely and affordably with today‟s technologies  Far advanced from the technologies that took us to the moon, in every system
    • PATHOLOGY 6: “NOT INVENTED HERE, NOT THEWAY WE DO THINGS HERE” Many brilliant people have brought forth ideas to NASA Some ideas have been so powerful that they have prevailed: for example:  Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (John Houbolt)  In-Situ Resource Utilization (Robert Zubrin) But some have fallen by the wayside  Management Improvement ideas  Richard Reeves  Larry Ross  Jack Lee  Mike Griffin
    • CONCLUSIONS If the US is to be a player in the future human exploration of the solar system, NASA must:  Overcome at least these six pathologies  Especiallyinstitutional risk aversion and pessimism  Excessive NASA overhead  Set affordable, ambitious, even risky, early goals (e.g., human Mars expedition in a decade)  Implement new and bold management cultures, based on the sound research of recent years  Work more closely with the international
    • CONCLUSIONS And Must Restore Political Support  Make NASA relevant to solving some urgent national problems  Demonstrate that they can do the job affordably  Prove to the political world that they have re- invented the agency
    • CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IS THE ENEMY "Everything that can be invented has been invented," -- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899 "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible," -- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895. "Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances." -- Dr. Lee DeForest, "Father of Radio & Grandfather of Television. "There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923 "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943 "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., "640K ought to be enough for anybody." -- Bill Gates, 1981
    • AND “Human space exploration can never be justified”  Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate, The University of Texas, 2009
    • “IF YOU DO WHAT YOU ALWAYS DID, YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU ALWAYS GOT” W. EDWARDS DEMING
    • REFERENCES 1. NASA HQ: “President Bush Announces New Vision for Space Exploration, remarks by the President on US Space Policy.” Washington DC, January 14, 2004 2. Levine, Arnold S., Managing NASA in the Apollo Era: Washington DC: NASA 1982 3. Anderson, Jr., Frank W., Orders of Magnitude. Washington, DC, NASA, 1981 4. McNamara, Bernard, Into the Final Frontier: The Human Exploration of Space.Ft Worth, Texas, Harcourt College Publishers, 2001 5. Mandell, H.C. Jr., and Griffin, Michael D., “Management as the Enabling Technology for Space Exploration,” 43rd Congress of the International Astronautical Federation, October 1992 6. Mandell, H.C., Jr., “The Human Exploration of Mars.” Austin, Texas, The University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research, Feb 13, 2004. 7. Mandell, H.C., Jr., and Duke, Michael B., “Benchmarking Processes for Managing Large International Space Programs,” 44th Congress of the International Astronautical Federation, October 16, 1993. 8. “Space Exploration Programs Management Plan,” NASA Johnson Space Center, Exploration Programs Office, Houston, Texas February 1993