Tag Archives: Program Management

Tapping Transaction Costs to Forecast Acquisition Cost Breaches


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Authors: Laura E. Armey and Diana I. Angelis

This article uses transaction costs to predict the probability of incurring a cost breach in a major defense acquisition program (MDAP). As transaction costs are not explicitly measured for MDAPs, the authors use estimates of systems engineering and program management (SE/PM) costs as a share of overall program costs as a proxy for transaction costs. Using survival analysis, a new approach to predicting cost breaches, they also found that an increased share of SE/PM costs in initial program estimates can help predict future cost breaches.

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Time Is Money


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Author: Roy L. Wood

Program managers typically focus on controlling costs and delivering a quality product. The acquisition stool’s third leg—program schedule—appears to be a resource that can be slipped to accommodate unstable funding or technical difficulties. Despite studies linking high program cost and long schedules, few major defense acquisition programs are completed in less than a decade. Programs with longer schedules experience further schedule slips, exacerbating the problem. This article is based on research presented at the 2012 Naval Postgraduate School’s 9th Annual Research Symposium. It includes a review of the extant literature on cost and schedule relationships, presents analysis of a survey of program manager perceptions and master schedule usage, and examines why schedules may be problematic to acquisition success.

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