Some tweeted comments from the recent House Commerce, Justice, and Science budget markup meeting gave me some ideas for light reading for our esteemed House Appropriators.
Specifically, Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) of SpaceNews tweeted that:
CJS subcommittee chair Rep. Culberson: bill increases funding for SLS and Orion to get the manned space program back as soon as possible.
— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) May 14, 2015
This made me think they could possibly enjoy the following two old business books (or at least the Cliff Notes versions):
- The Goal — This 1984 classic introduces the Theory of Constraints, which demonstrates that applying resources to parts of a process that are not the bottleneck rarely helps improve throughput. Like for instance providing more funding to SLS and Orion when the bottleneck is the ESA-developed Orion Service Module, and the lack of manned spaceflight payloads being funded.
- The Mythical Man Month — I haven’t actually read this one, but like most people and the Bible, I can paraphrase some general points. One of the great insights from this book is that it’s often not possible to expedite a late project by throwing more people and resources at it. Or as von Braun said: “[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with 9 women pregnant, you can get a baby a month.” A relevant example of this is that throwing more resources at SLS and Orion in the hopes that maybe they’ll still fly EM-1 in 2017.
Anyhow, I just wanted to provide these recommendations in case any readers happen to be friends with any of the House Appropriators and didn’t know what to get them for Christmas this year.