Everyone’s heard of “moonshot” projects. They’re the ultimate in managing uncertainty!
Today we also call moonshot projects disruptive innovation, quantum leap, or radical innovation projects. In the field of innovation, they present the greatest challenges and the greatest risks in managing uncertainty—as well as the greatest potential breakthroughs.
In the past, a moonshot was synonymous with a long shot—a risky venture that had small chances of success but a high return if it did succeed. While we associate it with the space program’s goal to put a man on the moon, the phrase originated in horse racing! In recent decades, the term has morphed to mean “a project or venture that is intended to have deep-reaching or outstanding results after one heavy, consistent, and usually quick push.” Think the recent federal initiative to find a cure for cancer, or the development of the COVID vaccine.
How do actual rocket scientists manage moonshots?
So we wondered: how does NASA, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, literally manage a moonshot? How do they plan and execute a project with the massive level of uncertainty inherent in space exploration? And what can we learn from NASA when managing uncertainty in complex technological or business development projects?
Meet John Saiz, former Chief Technology Officer at NASA. After 25+ years at NASA spanning the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and Orion Programs, John is currently an Innovation360 Principal and Innovation Management Black Belt™ who collaborates with organizations worldwide to cultivate, foster, and lead innovation.
What you’ll learn about managing uncertainty
Join John for a 45-minute online training on managing uncertainty, using NASA’s framework for assessment, decision-making, and road-mapping. John will apply the lessons learned in the aerospace industry to innovation management within organizations challenged by uncertain times.
How the space industry makes decisions
The NASA framework and tools for decision making
Road mapping and formulating a challenge
Register today for this online course and add leading-edge, space-age tools to your skills for managing uncertainty.
No certificate is offered at this time.
Anyone who has been challenged by uncertainty in business and technology projects will enjoy and benefit from this course.
John Saiz, Principal at Innovation360 Group, is formerly the Chief Technology Officer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Mr. Saiz works with manufacturing and technology-intensive companies worldwide to enhance their capabilities across the core elements of innovation and technology management.
Since 2014, he has led collaborations with a number of multinational commercial organizations, and supported industry consortia and academia, including the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, BioPhorum, OrthoWorx, Purdue University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Maine.
While at NASA, Mr. Saiz directed projects spanning the full spectrum of technology readiness levels on the Space Shuttle, Russian Mir, and International Space Station, as well as a large portfolio of internal research and technology development activities. His industry experience includes engineering and technology management roles at Halliburton, ILC Space Systems (now Oceaneering), and Honeywell Defense Systems.