Erica Kolatch

Paper and Presentation: The Intersection of Risk Mitigation and Innovation: The planning and development of the data management system for Nancy Grace Roman in a hybrid project management environment

Abstract: NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (Roman), scheduled to be ready to launch in 2026, is considered vitally important for NASA’s science objectives. At Space Telescope Science Institute (Institute), The Data Management System (DMS), part of the Science Operations Center (SOC) for Roman, is focusing on building the data processing pipeline for Roman, and focusing on creating new and innovative methods for scientists to interact with the voluminous data Roman is expected to produce.

This talk focuses on the intersection of traditional project management and agile development methodologies to satisfy both NASA’s risk mitigation and reporting needs for a “Class A” mission and the development team’s needs to explore and develop innovative solutions for data ingest, processing, and distribution of Roman data. The talk will focus on how traditional project management rigor and the agile mindset coexist within the project. We will demonstrate how we have been successful in both involving and insulating our development teams from external project management requirements through the use of processes, tools, and automation, while still allowing for regular NASA and Institute tracking of Earned Value Management and Risk Management. The tools used are off-the-shelf and the methods used need not be unique to the Institute. Both can provide a similar framework for other projects facing similar situations.

PMI Talent Triangle: Ways of Working

Biography: Erica Kolatch PMP, PMI-ACP is a seasoned project manager with over 20 years of experience. She has an undergraduate degree in Art History from Yale University, a Masters in Library Science from Rutgers University, and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Since graduating from Maryland she has worked in IT in the DC area, consulting for various government agencies including the Department of Energy and the FAA. She currently works for Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore as the Project Engineer developing the Data Management System for the Nancy Grace Roman Telescope. In project management her interests include risk management, requirements management, and bringing the agile mindset to federal projects. Outside of work her hobbies are focused on fiber or fabric, including knitting, quilting, and cross-stitch.