The work of NASA Centers and contractors, and what is likely
to be more than one generation of engineers and scientists,
needs to adhere to consistent, well-defined processes to
guarantee quality and safety and make it possible to coordinate
those thousands of local efforts into intricate, integrated
systems—think of a gigantic puzzle whose pieces must fit
together perfectly. At the same time, the processes need to
flexibly accommodate different kinds of projects and leave
room for the creativity that will solve the myriad problems
this new work will present. Most of all, these processes cannot
be a bureaucratic abstraction of how work should be done; they
need to be grounded in experience and embody the best of
how work happens in the real world.
The 7120.5D team pulls together broad and deep NASA
expertise, including members from each center and mission
directorate, from the Office of the Chief Engineer and the
Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, from Program Analysis
and Evaluation, and several mission support organizations that
provide experience in human space flight and robotic projects.
Gavin, currently associate director of Flight Projects and Mission
Success at JPL, brings a wealth of experience in establishing
consistent flight project practices at that center, but he is quick
to point out that 7120.5D represents the interests and expertise
of stakeholders throughout NASA.
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