The PI-Mode of Project Management

Keywords NASA The PI-Mode of Project Management

Basedon a preliminary analysis of the mission, NASA will study the
feasibility of using a GSFC-developed spacecraft or a spacecraft procured from
industry. Goddard will cooperate with the investigator in the selection and contract of the procured spacecraft, from the initial definition and design phasesto its final development process. In this "NASA-provided spacecraft mode" Goddard maintains overall control of the project in the traditional mode of past Explorer missions.

The second option is the PI-Mode. This management technique places the
Principal Investigator in charge of all aspects of the mission. The PI may elect to
cooperate with any institution of his or her choice, and it is NASA's intention to
provide the minimum necessary oversight needed to comply with its legal
obligations to the taxpayer. This mode implies that the submitted proposals will be very carefully scrutinized, prior to selection, in order to determine the capabilities of proposing teams to carry out a flight project of this scale. Scientific merits will be studied in parallel with detailed management plans, program schedule, etc.

Missions using a NASA-provided spacecraft should not exceed $40M in FY
1994dollars, which should cover the costs already mentioned plus a minimum of 15 percent realistic budget reserve. This compares to the $70M (FY 1994dollars)
allocated to those missions in which the spacecraft is manufactured by a non-NASA partner under the PI-Mode.

All proposals undergo a two-step selection process. In response to several
concerns from the scientific community NASA was made aware of the work needed to put together a proposal of this kind and, thus, effectively divided the selection procedure into a two-step negotiated procurement process.

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