Project Management Institute

Causal inferences on the cost overruns and schedule delays of large-scale U.S. federal defense and intelligence acquisition programs

A study was undertaken to understand why cost overruns and schedule delays have occurred and continue to occur on large-scale U.S. Department of Defense and intelligence community programs. Analysis of data from this study infers the causes of cost overruns and schedule slips on large-scale U.S. federal defense and intelligence acquisition programs to ineffective human resources policies and practices, consolidation of the aerospace industry, and too many stakeholders. In this article, each inferred cause and the resulting systematic effects are discussed in detail. Moreover, block diagrams have been developed for each cause and illustrate the sequential flow from inferred cause to systematic effects and reveal key interrelationships among each cause.
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