To print a PDF copy of this article, click here.
The theme of this issue of the Defense Acquisition Research Journal is derived from the excellent review by Eunice Maytorena of Megaprojects and Risk: An Anatomy of Ambition (Flyvbjerg, Bruzelius, & Rothengatter) for the Defense Acquisition Professional Reading List. The book examines very large projects (characterized by major expense, complexity, innovation, and impact) and why they so often run over budget and schedule. Although the authors look at civilian projects, their findings on the role of risk and stakeholder accountability in decision making are directly applicable to major defense acquisition programs.
Leading this issue, Donald Birchler and his coauthors look at one of the elements of cost risk in defense megaprojects—the role of concurrency in the processes of development and procurement. Zoe Szajnfarber and her coauthors examine these two processes, with specific reference to the space sector, through the lens of innovation, identifying shortfalls in the current approaches, and suggesting ways to improve them. William O’Neil explores the use of “reference class forecasting,” a statistical methodology pioneered by Bent Flyvbjerg (one of the Megaprojects authors) to attack the root cause of cost growth.
Steve Mills and his coauthors analyze the partnerships between two mega-organizations: the U.S. Department of Defense and the defense industry. Finally, Nada Dabbagh and her team show how innovative learning technologies can improve the training of the Defense Acquisition Workforce, which is the most critical element of any megaproject or mega-organization.
Dr. Larrie D. Ferreiro
Flyvbjerg, B., Bruzelius, N., & Rothengatter, W. (2003). Megaprojects and risk: An anatomy of ambition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.