As children, many of us had a fascination with the extra-terrestrial. Interestingly, humans have always wondered if the other planets of the solar system have the ability to sustain life like our very own planet Earth. Over the years, scientists have conveyed multiple theories about the existence of alien life. One such example of someone with this interest is Elon Musk, the founder and lead designer of SpaceX. Musk is working to revolutionize transportation between Earth and space. He’s taken on the challenge of showcasing that Mars has the possibility of becoming an Earth-like planet.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp., more popularly known as SpaceX, is a private aerospace company founded with the objective to minimize space transportation costs and facilitate the colonization of Mars. Simply put, this company is using the collaborative efforts of technologically sound beings to work towards enabling people to travel to and survive on other planets. A lot of effort and risk are invested to pursue such a massive project. If you are seeking inspiration in project management, look no further. The following article, I hope, will give you an in-depth understanding of the various project management practices essential for use by companies like SpaceX.
Five Project Management Principles to Learn from SpaceX
Until recently, living on other planets has seemed to be an abstract dream. If we observe SpaceX’s rapid progress and look at what they are accomplishing from a project management perspective, there is no question that the essential qualities, which are vital for successful project management, are in place. An analysis of these principles provides valuable insights about the various methods, latest trends, risks, and demands of project management. Let’s explore how SpaceX acts as an ideal example of effective project management now.
- Deep-Dive into Fundamentals
As the story goes, Elon Musk always had a fascination for rockets and space technology. To further explore this domain, he concentrated on learning the fundamentals, consulted various resources to understand the details of the field, and explored SpaceX products that could enhance staff connectivity and help achieve set forth goals. Similarly, if you are a newbie to project management, try to understand the basics first. Even if you are a seasoned PM, but new to a project, you’ll need to dive deep into the basics before you begin to communicate your ideas to the project team.
- Effectively Communicate Information and Ideas
Musk’s vision to explore Mars has influenced a lot of people—people who believed in his vision and had the critical thinking to imagine achievement of what might have seemed to some to be far out goals. Likewise, communication across various levels is a vital skill for a PM. It is essentially significant for every Project Manager to be able to convey and transmit necessary pieces of information across diverse work groups to promote coordination among different project members.
- Enhance Leadership Abilities
We all know that with great leadership comes greater responsibilities. To stand out as a remarkable Project Manager, one must have strong leadership skills. The key to success here is to work harder with your team and contribute effort on an individual level. Considering SpaceX, we see that Musk hired over 7,000 people whose primary focus is on building their foundation first and implementing new ideas throughout the process. Every single contribution is essential for the development of the project.
- Effectively Manage Time
There is no question that SpaceX is moving rapidly! Projects are following a fast moving timeline for execution. Publicly announced launch dates not only inspire investors, but keep workforce deliverables on track. Likewise, a project can only succeed if there is an accurate, achievable time schedule. That is, goals and a timeline which can convey a true picture of a project’s effectiveness and productivity. The responsibility of a PM is not just to deliver a product, but to release it within a stipulated time frame.
- Control Costs
Controlling costs is one of the prime factors which has led to SpaceX’s success. Musk has ensured that resources are available by coordinating with NASA to carry their troops and consignments to the International Space Station. SpaceX also works on reusable rockets to cut down the cost of building new ones. And then, with those things in place, they work on optimizing their current project objectives. This process thereby reduces the cost of progress. Similarly, successful projects are those with a budget used wisely with minimum or no waste.
To conclude, we may say that project management comprises of major project developments and achieving the project objectives. For this reason, the instance of SpaceX is cited for a better understanding of the various project principles to the minutest level. And, we may connote that you can develop your project management skills by taking an inspiration from the SpaceX projects for effective project management. Nevertheless, in case you are new to project management, opt for a Project Management training package to optimize your existing knowledge and skill sets. You never know, perhaps you are the next Elon Musk in the making!
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