Elements of Engineering ExcellenceThe inspiration for this Contract Report (CR) originated in discussions with the director of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Engineering who asked that we investigate the question: "How do you achieve excellence in aerospace engineering?" Engineering a space system is a complex activity. Avoiding its inherent potential pitfalls and achieving a successful product is a challenge. This CR presents one approach to answering the question of how to achieve Engineering Excellence. We first investigated the root causes of NASA major failures as a basis for developing a proposed answer to the question of Excellence. The following discussions integrate a triad of Technical Understanding and Execution, Partnership with the Project, and Individual and Organizational Culture. The thesis is that you must focus on the whole process and its underlying culture, not just on the technical aspects. In addition to the engineering process, emphasis is given to the need and characteristics of a Learning Organization as a mechanism for changing the culture.
Contractor Report (CR)
Blair, J. C. (Al Signal Research, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Ryan, R. S. (Al Signal Research, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Schutzenhofer (Al Signal Research, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)