The latest from Charles Pellerin

  • Managing Project ‘Social Risk’

    Are you tired of overruns, missed milestones and costly failures? During my years as a NASA program director (and later as a consultant), the people with whom I worked sure were. The issue is the tension between cost/cost growth and risk reduction. As someone once said to me, “We will begin to lower costs when we give project managers medals for cheap failures.”

  • Don’t Put Good People in Bad Places

    As NASA’s director of astrophysics in 1990, I launched the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit with a flawed mirror. The subsequent failure review board named the root cause as a “leadership failure.” Was it possible that something we had never thought about, much less talked about, had trumped the work of many of the best technical people in the world? I did not give this much thought at the time. The aftermath of one of the most colossal screw-ups in history consumed me, along with looking for a way to fix the telescope.