Wisdom from NASA on Project Management

While reading John Tolva’s blog I came accross some NASA wisdom around projects and I quote:

“If a major project is truly innovative, you cannot possibly know its exact cost and its exact schedule at the beginning. And if in fact you do know the exact cost and the exact schedule, chances are that the technology is obsolete.”
— Joseph G. Gavin, Jr., discussing the design of the lunar module* that landed NASA astronauts on the moon.

Now at IBM we strive to be innovative for the customers we serve … does this mean that we as Project Managers should not be bound by fixed project cost and fixed project schedules?

Being innovative means that some leeway must be provided for.  To be innovative also means that there is no history and/or experience on which costs and schedules can be based.  However what goes hand in hand with this is to make sure you have good Risk Management processes in place since being innovative also means that one must take more risks.

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