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  • 1. Project Management Facilitation ROI Customer A NASA Research Center of ~50 team members working on a mission plan funded for ~$100M+. Situation The project team consisted of technical resources with unit development experience, but very limited understanding of large projects with end-to-end mission responsibility. There was a general lack of knowledge regarding foreign etiquette and culture, which was a required core competency in successfully working with international partners. Problem There was a lack of mission-level understanding of the process leading to Integration, Test and Validation (IT&V) and the team was unprepared to face Integrated Baseline Review (IBR). Project leaders were not ready to adequately defend and run a highly visible and relatively large NASA project at the center. The team was unprepared for the upcoming Mission Critical Design Review (MCDR). Specific weaknesses were in Requirements Decomposition. Response Over a 12-month period, CSM implemented ~10 performance enhancement sessions to address the issues discussed above. These sessions consisted of Mentoring for the Integration Baseline Review, Mentoring to Project Team Leads, IT& V Workshops, French Culture I&II, Mission Assurance Planning, and Consultation and Mentoring Assistance for MCRD review. Results The project team developed a mission-level plan per the schedule, overcame the cultural divide with partners, and “passed” the Mission Critical Design Review. An initial investment of $125K with CSM enabled the project team to avoid potential cancellation of the mission ($100M) and meet all milestones within schedule. “The communications with our international partners improved dramatically, enabling us to agree on schedule, deliverables, and maximize value based on CSM intervention.” – Deputy Program Manager ©2006 The Center for Systems Management, Inc.
  • 2. Project Management Facilitation ROI Customer A NASA Research Center project team of ~35 members working on a mission plan valued at ~$100M. Situation The project was experiencing difficulties in team building, defining team member roles, and functional responsibilities. The team lacked expertise in Requirements Decomposition, Document Tree Structure development, Mission Integration, Test and Verification (IT&V) Plan development, and Software Review Management Plan for Flight. Problem The team was unprepared for the upcoming Mission Critical Design Review (MCDR) due to lack of experience with mission-level end-to-end planning and documentation. Pending failure would cancel the mission only one- third of the way through. Response Over 20-months, CSM implemented 15 performance enhancement sessions to address the above issues. These sessions consisted of PDR/MCR Planning Sessions, Requirements and DOORS Sessions, Performance Measurement System Sessions (I&II), Team Building Support, Configuration Management Session, PDR Rehearsal Support, Risk Management Plan Review, IT&V Plan Support, Reliability Analysis & Training, Orbital Mechanics Sessions, and Mission Critical Design Review (MCDR) Rehearsal Support. Results The project team overcame its deficiencies and “passed” the Mission Critical Design Review, on time and within schedule. The overall cost of the interventions was less than $90K. “We could not have completed our IT&V Plan on time without assistance from CSM… Dave coached our IT&V personnel and the IT&V Plan was created on time. I must say, Dave was a god send.” – Project Manager ©2006 The Center for Systems Management, Inc.
  • 3. Project Management Facilitation ROI Customer A NASA Flight Center project team consisting of ~40 team members and 12 key management personnel working on a program level reporting system. Situation The client had several program/project level responsibilities including defining the cost and schedule needed to meet customer technical requirements, defining implementation options to meet those requirements, and acting as the interface with hardware developers to effectively manage the delivery of solutions. No effective program/project reporting methodology or system and a disparity of critical knowledge among civil servants and contract employees. Problem There was minimal communication on project performance and the clients effectiveness to its various stakeholders, non-uniform reporting requirements for projects, and lack of program performance metrics. The team also needed help in identifying training requirements for all project personnel to be efficient in project execution. Response Over a 2-month period, CSM define a reporting system that best communicated project performance and office effectiveness to all those involved with the project. The identification of training requirements utilized several strategies including: interviews to determine current tasks and team training expectations, identification of constraints on the final training solutions, the use of formal training, mentoring and job-aides, and the recommendation for a certification program. Results The consultations and assistance provided by CSM, helped ease the transition process and laid the framework for the establishment of a project status reporting system for a cost of less that $60K. “The CSM staff have taken on our office organization very effectively and efficiently – their input has been very valuable.” – Project Manager ©2006 The Center for Systems Management, Inc.
  • 4. Leadership & Mentoring Facilitation ROI Customer A NASA Research Center Strategic Council of 12 key members seeking strategic, mentoring, and leadership intervention. Situation A strategic Council identified internal needs to develop operating guidelines, active participation by all key stakeholders, and a long-term strategic plan to achieve their goals. Problem The Strategic Council needed immediate assistance in the areas of strategic support, business administration problem solving, and team leader mentoring. They also need immediate solutions for the following six issues; a charter endorsed by all members, guidelines for membership and rules of operation to identify and prepare analyses on strategic issues, a methodology to identify and discuss common interest on strategic issues between meetings to maximize the agreement and efficiency of meetings, a strategic plan with a roadmap, preparation and facilitation for each Strategic Council meeting, and a set of guidelines on how agreements from the Strategic Council meetings would be implemented. Response Over a 9-month period, CSM delivered four key leadership and mentoring programs to the leadership council including: Facilitation and Team Building, Development of Strategy for Solidifying Program Relationships, Action Planning Workshop, and Mentoring Management Team Members. Results This support from CSM helped the team address their critical issues in a timely manner and overcome major obstacles that the project faced. The investment was less than $50K. “Your team came to assist us on short notice. This truly reflects the goal of just-in-time support to projects and programs. We appreciate the professional help provided to the management team and are extremely pleased with the overall support by CSM.” – Systems Management Office ©2006 The Center for Systems Management, Inc.
  • 5. Project Management Facilitation ROI Customer A NASA Flight Center project team consisting of ~50 individuals working on Safety and Mission Assurance. Situation A functional organization with a core discipline had previously developed personnel through on- the-job-training over a period of years and was subject to attrition and the inability to backfill subject matter experts, resulting in an organization of “generalists”. Problem With the loss of “experts”, they had limited knowledge and guidance on how to establish a successful career development path with competency, certifications, and a definitive plan for Project Managers, Lead Systems Engineers Lead Subsystem Engineers and Project Business Managers. Response Over a period of 2-month, CSM developed a training plan to solve the task of defining the training and work experience needed for lead members of project teams. The plan utilized several strategies including interview sessions and the formulation of a “roadmap” for SMA employees. Results The delivery of a training plan with identified skill sets and core competencies for specific specialties has enabled the organization to successfully develop career paths for personnel. The overall cost of the intervention was less than $75K and provided a model for other centers. “The CSM team has done a wonderful job in helping us to put together the training plans. We want to build more plans covering other specialties, with the assistance of CSM.” – Deputy Director ©2006 The Center for Systems Management, Inc.
  • 6. Project Management Facilitation ROI Customer A NASA Research Center program team consisting of ~50 team members supporting a $100M project. Situation The project team was very inexperienced with national level planning, scheduling, writing requirements, and NASA Headquarter and inter-agency cooperation. Problem It lacked multi-center and national level planning, including the Department of Homeland Security, NOAA, Department of Agriculture and others. Short-term deficiencies included non-compliance with President’s Management Agenda and the Office of Science and Technology Programs (OSTP) guidelines for Research and Development programs. Lack of analysis on a national level and sufficient ROI would cancel the program. The team was not prepared to submit the UAV Formulation package to the Office of Management and Budget and for appearing at independent management reviews as prescribed by NASA Headquarters. Non- compliance would cancel the program. Response Over a period of 6-months, CSM delivered key services and support to the program for both long and short- term issues as follows; Facilitation of WBS and Budget Planning Sessions, Facilitation and Development of Technology Roadmap, Formulation Strategy meeting, Program Structure meeting, and Development of Technology Initiative Strategy. CSM organized and focused the project, and helped it meet its goals, scheduling deadlines and requirements. Results This program advanced into the well-structured stages of its plan. As a result of the $200K expenditure, the Inter-agency cooperation and Memoranda of understanding (MOU) with NOAA, DOD, and DOE was increased by 10-times to a $1,000,000,000 program. “The Initiative Planning team received high praise for developing the most well constructed augmentation request package for all those submitted this year – thanks to the NASA APPL performance enhancement team.” – Business Unit Chief ©2006 The Center for Systems Management, Inc.
  • 7. Project Management Facilitation ROI Customer A NASA Research Center program team of ~100 team members working on seven individual projects and a program office worth ~$250M over a 5-year period. Situation The program team was “loosely put together” through a matrix organization and 80% of the team had no formal project management training. There was very little sense of belonging to the program and awareness of NASA’s Program/Project Management Development Process There was lack of understanding in the areas of scheduling, budgeting, and cost estimating and a modest understanding of how to mitigate and manage risk for a technology development project. Problem The program team members felt demoralized, due to uncertainty in funding and lack of long- term commitment by the NASA HQ and the Research Center. A Cost Validation and a Non-Advocate Review were pending and the program was not going to pass resulting in delay or potential cancellation of the program. Response Over a 1-year period, CSM proposed a set of 7 Performance Enhancement sessions to address the above problems. These consisted of on-site classes, workshops, team building, as well as consultations/mentoring (both on site and off site). Results The program “passed” the Cost Validation Review (conducted by Office of Aerospace Technology CFO) with flying colors. The total expenditure was less than $200k. “We hit a home run and did a great job on the Cost Validation Review – We could not of done it without you!” – Assistant Program Manager ©2006 The Center for Systems Management, Inc.
  • 8. Project Management Facilitation ROI Customer A NASA Research Center project team of 70 members working on a turbine development effort Situation The project team was a loosely coupled matrix organization with little sense of belonging. The team members were demoralized due to uncertainty in funding and lack of long-term management commitment. Roughly 80% of the program team members had no formal training on project management with specific lack of understanding in scheduling, budgeting and cost estimating. There was only modest understanding of how to mitigate risks and how to manage risk for a technology development project. Problem A Cost Validation Review was looming and the Program Manager knew that the project was not ready. Failure would result in a two month delay or the potential cancellation of the project. Response Over the course of a year, prior to and following the review, CSM delivered six workshops to address program control and risk management areas. Additionally, the project conducted team building exercises and received 60 days of consulting from our Systems Engineers and Organizational Development team. Results The team passed the Cost Validation Review with minor comments and based on the review presentation received a $50 million budget increase. Because of the $125,000 expenditure, the $250M project avoided the cost of a two month slip (~$1.5 M) or complete cancellation “We hit a home run.” – Assistant Program Manager ©2006 The Center for Systems Management, Inc.
  • 9. Communications and Team Building ROI Customer A NASA Research Center team of 25 engineers and scientists upgrading an operational flight metering product Situation The project team consisted of multiple government agencies and contractors that were geographically dispersed. Interagency squabbling, both at high and low levels of the project team, was rampant. Problem The team was having trouble with communication methods, and as a result, the team was not achieving its performance objectives. Deliberate, pointed (bordering on hostile) communications were leading to team member frustration. Response A total of four days of intervention during two sessions. The first was a facilitated workshop that established team members roles and responsibilities, identified acceptable communication methods and provided general team building practices. Following the session, all members utilized the agreed to tools. The second session, held three months later, discussed accomplishments, lessons learned, and areas for continued improvement. The team then celebrated the outstanding progress on work goals identified during the previous session. Results The defined roles and responsibilities dramatically reduced confusion over the various agency's deliverables. As a result, duplication of effort was eliminated. Though not measurable, the team’s moral and cooperation was clearly improved. Resulting churn from “rumor mongering” disappeared and the team unity was palpable. Overall cost of the interventions was less than $10,000. I have never had a whole team be so positive about something they did together – ever. – Deputy Program Manager ©2006 The Center for Systems Management, Inc.