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Lessons Learned for Project Managers – Part XII (#12 in the series 128 Lessons Learned for Project Managers)
By Jerry Madden

Although some of the points below are specific to NASA, many Project Managers out there will be able to easily relate…

  1. A comfortable project manager is one waiting for his next assignment or one on the verge of failure. Security is not normal to project management.
  2. Remember, the President, Congress, OMB, NASA HQ, senior center management, and your customers all have jobs to do. All you have to do is keep them all happy.
  3. Always try to negotiate your internal support at the lowest level. What you want is the support of the person doing the work, and the closer you can get to him in negotiations the better.
  4. Whoever said beggars can’t be choosers doesn’t understand project management. Many times it is better to trust to luck than to get known poor support.
  5. Remember your contractor has a tendency to have a one-to-one interface with your staff; so every member of your staff costs you at least one person (about a 1/4 of million) on the contract per year.

Reprinted with permission from NASA. This article first appeared in NASA’s ASK Magazine, the NASA source for Project Management and Engineering Excellence.

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