Monday, February 9, 2009

Dilbert Goes to NASA

I was listening to NPR on my way to work this morning when they had a piece about a Youtube video by astronaut Andrew Young. The video follows the adventures of a young engineer who has some ideas about how to improve spacecraft design. You never actually hear much about what her ideas are, but you sure here a lot about following the procedures and processes at NASA!

My first thought was that this was inspired by the NASA Renegades, a group of engineers who say there is a better design than the Ares rockets NASA is designing. It sure sounds like the types of barriers they would encounter.

Just remember, whatever you do, follow the chart no matter how good of an idea someone else may have!

This would be funny, except that space travel is dangerous and this type of decision making can have deadly consequences. Although this video focuses on NASA, I bet you could just as easily make a version about Leahman Brothers as well where senior management ignores a bright young financial analyst.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.


OrbsCorbs said...

Hasn't that been an ongoing criticism of NASA? But I think you're right with the Dilbert reference and the idea that this happens almost everywhere. And it seems the larger the company, the crazier it gets. That's probably why so many innovators start their own companies.

Oh, and I l♥ve Dilbert.

AvengingAngel said...

I coined this phrase:

"Rules are the first and last bastion of poor leadership"