The Defense System Cost Performance Database

Cost Growth Analysis Using Selected Acquisition Reports

by Jeanne M. Jarvaise, Jeffrey A. Drezner, Daniel M. Norton

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The difference between estimated and actual costs — cost growth — in weapon system development has been a recurring problem. To facilitate long-term, comprehensive, and consistent analysis of weapon system cost growth, RAND has developed the Defense Systems Cost Performance Database (DSCPD). This database includes cost growth data derived from information in Selected Acquisition Reports, as well as a range of potential explanatory variables, including cost, schedule, and categorical information. This report documents the contents of the DSCPD; the authors discuss data sources, database structure, adjustments and normalization procedures used in the database, and caveats and limitations on its use. It is hoped that extensive use of the database by both governmental and nongovernmental analysts will improve understanding of the problem of cost growth in weapon systems and our ability to control it.

Included here are ancillary data files, which were originally reproduced on a DOS diskette and included with the publication when the report was first published. These files contain the two types of analysis files, rendered in Microsoft Excel 5.0 format, that were part of the DSCPD: the PEA file and the time-trend files. For further information, see page 50 of the full report.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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