Project Success and Failures

Topics: Project management, International Space Station, Space exploration Pages: 7 (1682 words) Published: February 22, 2011
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Project Success and Failure Examples

Chapter 1

Aaron Hart


Table of Contents

Project Failure Example- Space Station: Inadequate Planning and Design Led to Propulsion Module Project Failure.3

Nature of the Project3

Budget and Time Frame for the Project3

Challenges Faced in the Project4

Project Failure Results4

Project Success Example- Fort Bliss Site Development Services- Nation’s Largest Military Communication Installation using Green Technology.5

Nature of the Project5

Budget and Time Frame for the Project6

Challenges Faced in the Project7

Project Success Results8


Project Failure Example- Space Station: Inadequate Planning and Design Led to Propulsion Module Project Failure.

This article is based on the NASA contract with Boeing on the Space Station systems to build the now-canceled addition to the propulsion module for the International Space Station. Nature of the Project

In 1993, the President directed NASA to redesign the space station to reduce costs. Part of that project was to create a new less expensive Propulsion System for the Space Station. NASA created a team to develop design options, and evaluate the management of the project. NASA’s approach was to use a single company for all subcontracting and bids for the project. To implement this decision, NASA’s administrator signed a Determination and Findings under the Competition in Contracting Act, which was created to make Boeing the single prime contractor for the project. Under the contract, Boeing was given the duty of managing and integrating the space station and for the design, development, and delivery of certain space station resources for the project.

Budget and Time Frame for the Project

The total value of this proposed modification was about $330 million. Boeing estimated that total program cost would be $479 million and maintained that estimate until April 2000. Unfortunately, the project went over the launch date by almost 2 years, from August 2002 to July 2004.

Challenges Faced in the Project

The major challenges of the project were NASA’s management over Boeing and the incorporation of Russia as an international partner. The initial propulsion module project did not meet performance, cost, and schedule goals largely because NASA proceeded with Boeing's proposal without following fundamental processes involving project planning and execution. With the introduction of Russia on the project, an agreement between the U.S. and Russia was reached requiring Russians to provide assistance on creating the technology and financing the propulsion program. In 1995, NASA became progressively more concerned about Russia’s capability to meet its commitments to the project. The majority of apprehension was that the Russia lacked the financial capabilities and ability of the hardware that Russia said it would provide on propulsion systems. NASA was concerned with Russia’s incorporation due to continuing challenges in the Russian space program, such as declining launch rates and funding for their program. Project Failure Results

The main reason why this project failed was NASA’s management of the project. The absence of accurate technical, cost, and schedule estimates early in the project made it difficult for NASA to track cost variances. As a result, NASA told Congress that the estimated $265 million cost for the project would increase. The following citation helps explain what NASA did incorrectly in there management of the project. “NASA did not do the following:

Complete a project plan. Documented project plans help to define realistic time frames for system acquisition and development and identify responsibilities for key tasks, resources, and performance measures. Without them, there is no yardstick by which to measure the progress of the developmental effort.”

The project concerns of technical cost and schedule risks were not...
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