Jet Propulsion Laboratory Essay

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Pages: 7

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Harvard Business School Case 9-110-031
1.1 Should Gentry Lee recommend launch or delay for the Mars Biological Explorer (MBE) mission? Gentry Lee should recommend the launch for the MBE mission. As stated in the case study, Gentry Lee is introduced to the project with a significant amount of experience working with NASA and interplanetary exploration missions (Kaplan and Mikes, 2010). Multiple review boards took place to discuss in detail the consequences and likelihood of risks occurring. Tiger teams were established to find resolutions to existing problems weeks before the launch date. The case study eludes to a high probability of the budget increasing if the launch is delayed, and the probability the
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After each risk was given, a likelihood and a consequence of occurrence, the team used the product of those two numbers to position the risk on the heat map. Not only is the heat map used as a tool of analysis for the individual risk, but it can also show any relationship between the risks (Price, 2008).

2.2.3 What is the role of risk reserves?
Gentry Lee understood the need for cost and time reserves very well. As he stated in the case study
“The art and science of risk management is knowing right at the start which components are going to need more reserves.” The role of risk reserves is to allow flexibility in the schedule and buffers in the budget so engineers can draw on them in times of need. Lee felt it important to understand risks and prepare for them as much as possible in schedule and in budget very early on in the project. Therefore, reserves are established at the onset of the project and provide a margin. All members of the project team are aware of the margin (Kaplan and Mikes, 2010).

2.2.4 What is the role of tiger teams?
Two years before the launch date, a risk review board met. During the review board, it was determined that a tiger team was needed to address the serious problems with the Bio-Marker Science Analyzer
(BMSA) Instrument. The role of the tiger team, was to