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Re: The hard questions..

At 4:29 AM -0500 2/17/04, Daniel Schultz wrote:
>For the next satellite, we need to employ another NASA technique, and have
>mandatory and formal design review by outsiders not intimately connected to
>the project.

The importance of this cannot be overstated. Good engineering takes 
more than brilliant engineers.

For this to work, the design has to be visible, at all levels of 
detail. It doesn't have to be public (though that might also be a 
good idea). It just has to be written down in enough detail that 
independent reviewers can understand and evaluate it.

What's more, the structure of the project's management has to be 
arranged so that the designers are not allowed to ignore the design 
review input. This is not easy. Even NASA has a hard time with it.

I have been lucky enough to participate in several satellite 
projects, in a small way. From what I have seen, we have made some 
efforts in these areas, but still have room for improvement.

73  -Paul
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