Extreme Cost Growth
Oct 6, 2015
This report evaluates four recent Air Force Major Defense Acquisition Programs with low cost growth and compares and contrasts their key characteristics to the six programs evaluated with extreme cost growth from a companion RAND Corporation report, which identified the main characteristics of six recent U.S. Air Force acquisition programs with extreme cost growth.
A Comparison of Air Force Major Defense Acquisition Programs
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This report is a companion report to an earlier report, which identified the main characteristics of six recent U.S. Air Force acquisition programs with extreme cost growth. This report evaluates four recent Air Force Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) with low cost growth and compares and contrasts their key characteristics to the six programs evaluated with extreme cost growth from the earlier report.
The purpose is threefold. First, we seek to determine whether or not the key characteristics identified in the programs with extreme cost growth are present in the programs with low cost growth and, if not, why. If those characteristics are not present, we assume that this finding reinforces our view that the key characteristics of the extreme cost-growth programs that were identified are likely the root causes of extreme cost growth. Second, we seek to determine the common characteristics of the low cost-growth programs and whether such characteristics can be incorporated into future Air Force MDAPs. Finally, we revisit the main recommendations from our earlier report regarding approaches to mitigating extreme cost growth and, based on our findings from the low cost-growth programs, determine whether those recommendations are still valid and broadly applicable to future Air Force MDAPs.
This report provides summary case studies of the four MDAPs with low cost growth, how the key characteristics of these programs compare with the six programs with extreme cost growth, and how these findings affect our earlier recommendations on mitigating the causes of extreme cost growth.
Comparing Attributes of Low and Extreme Cost-Growth Programs
The research described in this report was prepared for the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.
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