Training Badge
Submitted by tcomeau on


First, thanks to Mike & Mark for doing this extra podcast. Having additional examples helped me think about how to evaluate the goals we've set so far, and to think about what I might do at the mid-year review in March.

Second, comments not on content:
Sound quality was fine. Not as the usual studio quality, slightly attenuated, but well above the "average" (non-MT) podcast quality. Mark's voice challenges were more noticeable than the slight difference in overall sound.

I did hear Mark take a drink, and I think it was only because I was primed by the introductory comments to expect it. I don't think I would have noticed had it not gotten a mention. I did not hear any roosters.

A few times I found Mark's voice problems not so much distracting as distressing. Mark was easy to understand, but a few times I was concerned that he would do more damage to an already overworked instrument!

Mike's affect was a little different for this cast: Less the straight man, and closer to being a peer. I've never thought Mike was less of a subject-matter expert, and this time his understanding and insight showed more than usual.

Doing a quick-response podcast, particularly in response to comments in the forums, is an unexpected treat. While I know I can depend on the community to help me understand the podcast content, getting an extra "lesson from the masters" is also great. It shows how much you value the conversation we are having here, and how willing you are to respond.

Third, this really was helpful.

I'll belatedly add that I appreciated the story of John and the Gate Guard as a great way to illustrate an approach to goal setting. The problem I had with the examples, and which this podcast addressed for me, was that the goals seemed to ignore "real" goals.

For example, while I thought the two goals John settled upon were great, he seemed to be ignoring the whole purpose of having gate guards! I could just imagine a conversation between John and one of his guards:

"Hey, Daryl, when you were talking and smiling to that guy, did you notice the rocket launcher and the fifty caliber machine gun in the back of his car?"

"Yes, John, I did, but did you notice I smiled and said hello by name?"

The fourth 'cast in the trilogy clarified that these are all part of a package.

Of course there's a goal somewhere along the lines of "Check 100% of badges for people entering the facility. Insure they are current, and that the photo matches the person presenting it." There is likely a "Check x% of vehicles for prohibited items, both on a random basis for and when SOP raises a suspicion." Rocket launchers, etc, would be in the SOP as prohibited items.

Similarly, if you set a "decrease training time to x minutes by event y" goal, you need the matching, and perhaps separate "deliver training that assures 80% scores on post-training SOP tests on these four dates" goal that should be there anyway.

One of my guys has an overall set of goals for our next servicing mission to Hubble. Most of them have decent measures, but they can improve while being simplified. For example
Assure instrument safety in on-orbit activities during recommissioning.
might be better expressed as
Develop sequences to accomplish all required on-orbit activities by May 1.

Don't break any instruments during recommissioning (a 3 month period.)

There's some negotiation around the first one, because we're not sure what the required sequences will be, but we'll know it when we see it.

The second one is easy: Count the number of instruments on Hubble; Count the number that are working at the end of three months after the astronauts leave. The difference should be zero. If the astronauts break one, well, we're off the hook. (And I won't complain - the crew is accepting enough risks!)

These aren't ideal, but they're better based on the podcast examples.

Thank you again for your help.


AManagerTool's picture

No rooster!

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

I definitely noticed the audio wasn't as good. It was still okay, but was harder to hear in the shower than it normally is. Thank you Mike for the quality audio that comes our way every week. We take it for granted that the technical end is transparent. But without that it would be hard to get the excellent information you guys provide every week.

I know the discussion has come up about your music and that you guys are happy with it. But come on, how about appending a rooster? :)

asteriskrntt1's picture

I haven't heard the latest podcast.

However, I subscribe to about 10 podcasts and the only one that comes close to MT quality is the Bloomberg. Even heavyweights like HBR and Businessweek pale in comparison to the MT casts.

Thanks for removing a HUGE barrier to learning and putting so much effort into the sound quality.


dad2jnk's picture

I agree with Tom, Will, and *rntt. I have used the cast series to tighten up my own and DRs objectives and add clarity throughout. Thanks for a great job!

I especially appreciate the audio quality of the regular podcasts. That said, I didn't find the audio to be an issue in this one since you explained the circumstances in the intro. Poor audio quality is the bane of good content. When they are together, it is great.

By the way, it looks like Will is discovering his inner child avatar. Very classy. :)

All the best, Ken

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

That's my daughter Frankie Duke from last Christmas. Isn't she pretty? I thought I'd give myself a little reminder on what's important. :)

dad2jnk's picture

Very nice. That is my 8-year-old son walking ahead of me going into the woods. We enjoy geocaching and I use that pic for the same reason you did.