Modern Project Management Tools


Self-directed Work Teams

The plan is to use self-directed teams as the primary organizing strategy in the implementation of the thruster project.

Self-directed teams are groups of people who come together as part of a team to undertake a specific piece of work. The teams may be a group of volunteers who come to the project already formed as a team--for example a group of NASA engineers--who can design their own work, specify the deliverables or outcomes, and set and monitor their own schedule.

Other teams may be formed by a "teaming" team at the thruster project who bring individual volunteers together to become part of a team. The team would then be given an assignment by a project management team and would organize themselves, define their own plan, project a time table and specify the desired outcomes or deliverables. For more about self-directed work teams:

Triple Teaming

It will be common on the project to give the same challenge to three or even more teams. This assures that a task gets done even if one or more teams are unable to organize themselves effectively, or unable to achieve the desired outcomes. For example, on the essential question of "how could we achieve control over the tilt, spin rate, eclectic, orientation or orbit of the earth," I expect that there will be many teams working separately, and sharing their findings with other teams in the race to find the most effective way.

Peer Review

Review teams will be formed to receive the partial and final outputs of many types of teams. For example, on the question noted above, we might have each team review and comment on the work of other teams. Or, we have noted scientists forming a team to simply review the results of the work teams. The important thing is to get the thing right, and we'll use every possible check and balance to assure that the citizens can have confidence in the efforts of the project teams. Our intentions are to keep the outputs of the teams, the reviews of the reviewers, and the thinking of the project managers all available (at least in summary form), on the thruster project site. Again, to the extent possible, while avoiding embarrassment for individual contributors or their teams, we will strive to keep everything that is done open for citizen review. Click on this URL to see examples of peer review in action:

Outcome Measurements

When teams work on a self-directed basis, it is vital to have clear and agreed-upon goals and outcomes. However the team wants to achieve the goals or outcomes is up to the team. So, the project managers are not overseeing process, but just outcomes or goals.

Every attempt will be made to see that all agreed upon outcomes are measurable, so they can be evaluated objectively, rather than subjectively.

Measurement teams will be formed to create the methods of measuring and to assure that all agreed upon goals and outcomes are measurable...(Or make clear that they are not).

An example in State Govt.

An example in measuring a media campaign.

The United Way, (a large charity in the US) offers this example.


A Unified Vision

The initial vision, to be revised, expanded, or improved, by contributors is:

We envision exploration and discovery of ways to protect earth from threats such as global warming, a new ice age, large rises in ocean water levels, and possible strikes, or near misses by large space objects. We envision that if such means of protection are discovered, and consensus is built, then the means, whether thrusters, or other solutions will be implemented.

We envision that once implementation has begun, scientists and visionaries will explore how else the devices might be used to enhance life on earth for humans and other species. We will explore moderating seasons, and creating more land available for settlement and agriculture.

Our vision is to build a consensus among informed and knowledgeable citizens of earth before taking any action


Some thoughts on vision and mission statements:

Focused Missions

The initial mission of the thruster project is also put up for review, debate, suggestions, improvement, and eventually consensus.

Our mission is to explore, discover, build consensus, and implement ways to protect earth from threats.

Assuming for a moment that this mission holds, then every work team would have assignments that support this mission. No work would be undertaken that subverts, contradicts, or is not in harmony with the mission.

Multiple Strategies

One proposed strategy is to utilize multiple strategies as a way of achieving optimal solutions.

If one work team concludes that thrusters on mountain tops is the optimal answer, and another team thinks giant levers is the key, unless peer review shoots down one process, both will be fully explored. We will attempt to keep multiple strategies in progress to see how they play out.

The goal of having multiple strategies is to avoid making terminal choices early in the process. Many projects fail because budgets necessitate making choices early in the project to pursue choice A, and kill off choice B. During the exploratory and discovery phases of the project, we will endeavor to keep alive all plans that are sound scientifically, until they prove out, or die off.