By William E. Novak and Harry L. Levinson
A review of acquisition program outcomes would make it appear that many acquisition programs are destined to experience recurring schedule slips and cost overruns, and produce poor quality systems. We decry these circumstances, but the acquisition community has had limited success in correcting them. However, the analysis of data collected from assessments of many software acquisition programs has produced insights into some of the most common recurring counter-productive program behaviors. One result of this research has been the identification of a set of misaligned incentives that are a significant force in driving acquisition programs toward poor performance.