Ask OCE — December 21, 2005 — Vol. 1, Issue 1
Message from the Chief Engineer
By Chris Scolese
This is an exciting time to assume the role of Chief Engineer at NASA. The challenge before us — developing the capability for human spaceflight to the moon and Mars — is daunting. I am honored to have this opportunity and determined to make every effort to contribute to our success in carrying out this bold mission.
Our engineers are among the very best in the world, but accomplishing this task will require more than technical expertise. The project excellence that will guarantee mission success encompasses many kinds of excellence — excellence in processes and practices, in collaboration, in management and communication, as well as in technology. We need to enhance our methods and skills along with our knowledge, to improve how we work as we expand what we know. We need to learn together continuously even as we maintain our focus on the mission and the many parts we play in achieving it.
True learning organizations are rich in conversation — the interplay of ideas freely expressed and fully debated. My door is open to you. I strongly encourage you to challenge me with your thoughtful ideas and opinions, with the problems you see and the solutions you envision. I believe an organization is strongest and builds its capabilities most effectively when it is open to diverse people and diverse ideas.
In that spirit of open debate, I will try to make this biweekly communication a challenging and even a provocative one. It can be one strand of our conversation as we think, reflect, and learn together. I urge you to respond to what I say here and contribute to the dialogue that will help us strengthen NASA and reach our shared goal.