Project management incorporation in space systems engineering projects

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Campos, Jaime
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This study presents a highly adaptive project management approach that acts as an alternative to traditional project management. The current method of managing projects is rooted in the developments from the space race, and have influenced the way complex projects of many industries are managed. The traditional rigid system allows for effective organization and planning but has difficulty adapting to changes that are required or unexpected. There are tools found in other industries that have been successful in their respective environment. A review of Agile Philosophy, Lean Manufacturing, Concurrent Engineering, and Theory of Constraints is provided. These tools are applied to an ongoing student led nanosatellite project that is receiving guidance and support from the Canadian Space Agency. The project progress is monitored through requirements and verification as an alternative to traditional Earned Value Management to demonstrate task completion. Data provided by a complex industry satellite project provides insight into how a traditional managed project evolves from design to manufacturing. Data reviewed includes the labour hours and amount of active tasks. As verification activities show how the satellite complies with requirements, the verification state was reviewed as manufacturing and testing progressed. Findings show that the ManitobaSat-1 was able to allocate more labour hours to the technical design of the project compared to the industry project. The project has been able to meet the accelerated Canadian CubeSat Project schedule, providing deliverables in time for review deadlines. The research provides and analyses ManitobaSat-1 project health data as to demonstrate the impact of non-traditional approaches.
Space, satellites, systems engineering, project management, Agile philosophy