guest blogger john hare
Many people have a phrase they use about making things happen. ” We need to convince the president that space is crucial.” “We need to make those NASA guys do the right thing.”(Everybody having a different right thing) One from an older generation, “I’ll break them of the habit.” And so on. Quite often people think in terms of making the results happen. The phrase they use tells a lot about the type of people you are dealing with, and if they are going to find a good way of dealing with things. My phrase is “Create a situation in which the desired result falls out naturally.”
To me, the NGLLC is a good example of the approach I like. Prize money is put on the table and two different teams build operational vehicles that do the job, with one more on their heels, that I know of. Total cost is a couple of days interest on the money already spent on the Aries I Griffinschaft. Total NASA overhead and risk on the competition would be hard to estimate, but probably about the cost and risk of the coffee for a day in the head office. Low cost, no risk, and now there are multiple VTVL RLV teams incubating on their own dime now. Creating a situation in which other people would put up all the development sweat and risk is a sweet deal, especially compared to the supervised contracting model where they try to make the contractor deliver to a constantly changing spec.
Just today I ran accross a method of getting NASA costs under control without trying to force them to do it in a particular way. We create a situation in which another government agency desires to control NASA expenses in their own best interest.
We let the IRS be in charge of making them justify all expenses, just like they do when they audit our businesses. The agents will be looking for ways to justify their jobs, expanded department section, and therefore promotions. Poor jokers won’t stand a chance.