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With the Secretary of the Air Force outlining new scheduling initiatives in 2015, the Air Force formally recognized the importance of managing schedules and reducing schedule slip. This report provides a framework for benchmarking major defense acquisition program (MDAP) proposed or planned schedules against the actual schedules of similar historical programs. The framework is applied to five Air Force MDAPs currently undergoing development: the Global Positioning System Next Generation Operational Control System, KC-46, F-22 Increment 3.2B Modernization, B61 Mod 12 Life Extension Program Tailkit Assembly, and Combat Rescue Helicopter programs. Schedule benchmarking approaches such as the one developed in this report can provide program staff, acquisition analysts, and decisionmakers with additional information from which to gauge the degree by which schedule estimates may be aggressive or conservative. They can also inform the formulation of schedule targets or goals for incorporation into schedule incentives.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Approach for Developing Schedule-Estimating Relationships

  • Chapter Three

    Application of Schedule-Estimating Relationships to Five MDAPs Currently Under Development

  • Chapter Four

    Concluding Remarks

  • Appendix

    Steps Performed to Conduct Benchmarking

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the United States Air Force and conducted by the Resource Management Program within RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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