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POCDC, Writers Block and NASA Systems Engineering.

by George Anderson on June 1, 2010  •   Print This Post Print This Post   •   

GulickHoped you enjoyed our June 2010 newsletter. We have filled it with samples of the bounty from our last month’s activities and descriptions of upcoming events. We also have provided quirky little articles designed to appeal to the reader who enjoys getting brief and hopefully professional insights into whatever pops into the Board Members’ minds several days before the publishing deadline. It is my fondest wish that we will soon publish what you, the membership, are motivated to contribute in a spirit of sharing your latest insight or discovery. If you need help or assistance, members of the BOD will help you get in the submission queue and may even buy you lunch because for some reason there is occasionally a reported case of writer’s block. As President, I have ruled that writer’s block is not a recognized illness that can be used to deny our membership the ability to enjoy a few minutes of illumination, advice, or camaraderie from their elected and serving representatives. I firmly believe that routine and relevant contact with the membership is essential to furthering the Chapter’s goals. While I am President, I will insist that the leadership take the lead on this and I ask you the membership to reciprocate in a sense of professional cooperation.

Our last meeting continued the upward trend in attendance with 35 attendees applauding Dr. Paul Mahata’s presentation on NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle. To most members, the program arrangements are not visible. It is all so easy to take the program for granted until you realize that obtaining good programs is a long lead-time process. Our Program Director, Don York, is a seasoned master of the long-term give and take with the speakers and moving them into the speaking arena on the scheduled evening. Added to this, he has to negotiate and field requests from the membership. Much if not all the credit for our recent outstanding attendance is due to Don and the lonely work that he began in some cases two years before the event. Be sure and seek Don out and thank him for what you didn’t see at the presentation.

I began this piece with an acronym that I really am anxious to share with you. I blurted it out during a recent ITIL training session in response to a similar Deming gem that seemed awkward in comparison. Checking afterward about the origins of these things, I learned that mine has a pedigree going well back into recorded history. POCDC stands for: Plan, Organize, Coordinate, Direct, and Control. The beauty of this little packet of wisdom is that it encompasses the what, and, in what order, guidance for almost all imaginable tasks. It works especially well with small groups who are attempting to work together without a lot of wasted effort and confusion. Who would guess that you would see a simple process like this reintroduced in a Systems Engineering newsletter? Try it soon.

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