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The thermocline of truth — at NASA

August 26, 2008 1 Comment

Rand Simberg at Transterrestrial Musings (an outstanding blog, BTW) points to this e-mail from someone leaving NASA due to a litany of frustrations. I may parse out more of the e-mail later to note some of the classic troubled/failing project attributes, but this passage caught my eye:

Then between us workers and the highest levels of management another problem exists. As one person put it: “Where does the bad news stop going up?” Again, I’m sure you all know of situations where people are trying to raise red flags, but somehow they never get addressed. It reminds me of the old joke about promoting growth with powerful effects.

Of course, this is the “thermocline of truth” syndrome that I’ve discussed here before. Go read the whole e-mail, though, and be sure to read the comments as well.  ..bruce..

About the Author:

Webster is Principal and Founder at at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the BYU Computer Science Department. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at 303.502.4141 or at

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  1. The thermocline of innovation (NASA, again) : Bruce F. Webster | January 30, 2009

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