Prolonged Cycle Times and Schedule Growth in Defense Acquisition

Prolonged Cycle Times and Schedule Growth in Defense Acquisition: A Literature Review

Jessie Riposo
Megan McKernan
Chelsea Kaihoi Duran
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 102
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  • Book Info
    Prolonged Cycle Times and Schedule Growth in Defense Acquisition
    Book Description:

    This report summarizes a selection of the defense acquisition literature from the 1960s to the present on potential sources of prolonged acquisition cycle times and schedule growth, as well as potential opportunities for improvement. It presents the range of possible causes of schedule-related problems and various recommendations cited for improving schedules by various authors and organizations.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8673-0
    Subjects: Technology, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Background and Motivation
    (pp. 1-12)

    Lengthy acquisitions or unexpected schedule slips in military system acquisition may translate to a delay in delivering capabilities to the warfighter or additional unexpected costs to the government. The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) recent Better Buying Power (BBP) initiative is aimed at “obtaining greater efficiency and productivity in defense spending” (Carter, 2010a, p. 1), including a focus on shortening program cycle times as part of its guidance for improving the acquisition process:

    BBP 1.0: “Set shorter program timelines and manage to them,” stated then–Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD[AT&L]) Ashton Carter (Carter, 2010a, pp....

  9. CHAPTER TWO Sources of Schedule Growth
    (pp. 13-34)

    In this chapter, we look at the case studies and expert opinions in the literature regarding the causes of increased cycle time or schedule growth in acquisition programs. We first offer a broad overview of the problem and then focus on some of the individual points covered by the literature. The literature describing sources of schedule growth tends to focus on negative, rather than positive, program examples. Thus, many recommendations for schedule improvement focus on avoiding pitfalls rather than ways to achieve shorter cycle times. These pitfalls are discussed in this chapter, while cited recommendations are discussed in Chapter Three....

  10. CHAPTER THREE Improving Schedule Performance
    (pp. 35-54)

    In this chapter, we present specific analyses and program experiences that have claimed to provide strategies and mechanisms for improving schedule performance.¹ We present a broad overview of possible solutions offered by the literature and then focus on individual areas of schedule performance that experts have specifically identified for improvement.

    The suggested mechanisms for improving schedule performance follow from the identified causes of schedule slip. The most common recommendations for reducing cycle time are strategies to manage technical risk. One recommendation is to use incremental fielding and evolutionary acquisition (EA) strategies, when appropriate, and to develop derivative products rather than...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Conclusions
    (pp. 55-62)

    Given the continuing interest in ensuring that acquisition program cycle times and schedule growth are reasonable and minimized, we reviewed and summarized the recent and historical literature on the two issues involving program schedule: schedule slip and longer program schedules. The open-source literature includes a range of program examples, quantitative and qualitative analysis, expert opinions, and conceptual assertions. Our review did not attempt to judge the strength of the evidence supporting these assertions and analyses but, rather, surveyed as broadly as possible the full range of causes put forward by experts in the field. We also note that reports may...

  12. APPENDIX A Case Study in Fulfilling an Urgent Operational Need: The MRAP Acquisition Program
    (pp. 63-70)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 71-84)