A Better Way to Get Work Done
Top-down project management focuses on resource utilization, but fails to gather ground-up intelligence. A better approach requires that organizations truly engage the workforce, making the team members a valid and viable part of the process and allowing information to seamlessly flow up to executives and across departments.
When the Kennedy administration first committed to putting a man on the moon, there were rumors of problems at NASA. It was believed that there were people who weren't dedicated to the administration's vision. President Kennedy wanted to beat the Soviets to the moon, and wanted to make sure that everyone at NASA was committed to that goal. To get to the bottom of things, he hopped aboard Air Force One and headed to NASA for a personal visit. He wanted to ensure that there was no misunderstanding of his vision for the manned-space program. Before the meeting, he met a janitor who was emptying the trash and puttering around.
The President asked, "How are you?"
The janitor replied, "I'm doing great. I'm putting a man on the moon."
The President left the men's room, got back on Air Force One, and flew back to Washington. There was no problem at NASA.
President Kennedy's visit to NASA taught us two keys to implementing a better way to get work done:
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