PI Update - December 2003
Just before the US Thanksgiving holiday (in late November), the top representatives from all of NASA's Discovery Projects - the PIs, the Project Managers, and the Managers from the Industrial Partners - had their annual retreat to discuss lessons learned in the Discovery Program and things to watch out for in the future. In general, these annual meetings are valuable as teams learn of situations that were encountered by the projects that are a few steps ahead. Deep Impact presented a number of problems that we had encountered and indicated how the teams behind us might encounter and/or avoid analogous issues. The problems are particularly acute for the Discovery Program because the projects are cost capped, while at the same time they are trying to do things that have never been done before, leading to significant management challenges.
I wish all our interested readers a peaceful holiday season.