Q: Why is the SPMM being held over the 4th of July weekend?
A: It is not, though that is a common misconception this year. In 2017, the 4th of July falls on a Tuesday, thus the 4th of July weekend is Friday, June 30 - Sunday, July 2. Most people will have the day off on Tuesday, July 4 and will therefore use one day of vacation on Monday July 3 to create a 4-day weekend. (If they also take June 30 off they make it a 5-day weekend.) SPMM is Thursday, July 6 through Sunday, July 9, which is the following weekend.
Q: Why should I attend the SPMM? I'm just a project team member, not a project manager.
A: All team members need to have a sense of ownership for their respective projects. Additionally, your project manager will need your assistance to develop and maintain the project plan for your project. Finally, participating will give you a clear sense of what your project is seeking to accomplish and the role you are supposed to play in making your project a success. Without attending it is likely you will feel left out of key decisions, lost, and unable to contribute your best efforts.
Q: As a project manager, why should I ask my team to attend? Why can't we just have our own planning session via teleconference?
A: We are developing a common strategy for the Space SIG and you cannot be part of it unless you are present. If each team goes their separate way, chaos will quickly ensue with different teams attempting to recruit the same members, pursuing sponsorship from the same sources, using inconsistent metrics to measure progress, and lacking any coherent story to explain what we are doing or why it is important. Further, it would be difficult to understand the interrelationships between your team and other teams that form the Space SIG. The SPMM is the key activity to help all teams of the Space SIG function together on one accord.
Q: I am currently on a project team and we are meeting regularly to work on our project. Why should I attend SPMM?
A: Do you have a copy of your project's Project Plan? Do you have clearly identified tasks for each week between now and summer 2019? Do you know how much money your project will need and what it will be used for? If you cannot provide the data these questions are asking, your project does not have a clear plan or clear set of expectations for you. We have never before attempted to reach this level of organization, but we recognize that we need to in order to be successful and not waste your time. However, that Project Plan must be developed by the team members who will execute it. You must be at SPMM in order to be part of that plan development. There is a saying, "he who fails to plan, plans to fail." We do not want to fail in the Space SIG and thus we call on you to help us plan.
Q: I’m not even a member of NSBE. Why should I come to SPMM?
A: If you are interested in the mission of NSBE and the mission and purpose of the NSBE Space SIG and have an interest in one of our projects or activities, you should absolutely come to SPMM. NSBE membership is not required to attend and participate. In fact, SPMM is a great way for non-members to become introduced to NSBE. Helping to plan a project is a great way to jump in head first, get involved, and join the team. You do not have to work in the space industry to participate. If you have something relevant to bring to the table, even if just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn, we want you to join us! If you like what you see, you may well be a member of NSBE by the time the event is over!
Q: How can participating in the SPMM be relevant to my career?
A: The SPMM is focused on using project management principles to drive the effective operation of small project teams. Lessons you will learn in the SPMM and apply to your project can be directly applied to project teams you serve on at work. In particular, you will learn how to increase your personal effectiveness and how to increase team effectiveness in resource constrained environments. This is a vitally important skillset to bring to any career in the aerospace industry. You will further develop your Project Plan in a way that creates linkages between your project work and your career goals.