Original Post Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In September of 2009 the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) submitted a report[1] discussing the lack of robust Analysis of Alternatives for weapons systems. The report indicated that …

“Cost, schedule, and performance problems in the Department of Defense’s (DOD) weapon system programs are serious.

Why is it that DoD weapons programs experience a simultaneous cost growth and performance degradation? I believe the answer is found in unrealistic cost estimates and schedule estimates mostly driven by pressure to win a program within a certain budget constraint. Excessive requirements change either through poor requirements development or an ever growing list of wants are also contributing factors. This problem is best address by a systematic affordability process which incorporates cost estimating, schedule, technology risk, and performance.

Bob Koury, Senior Cost Research Analyst

[1] GAO, Defense Acquisitions: Many Analyses of Alternatives Have Not Provided a Robust Assessment of Weapon System Options, GAO-09-665 (Washington, D.C.: Sep 24, 2009